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Have you felt conflicted about vaccinating your teeny tiny baby? Me too!
Although I have my opinions on vaccinating, I don’t stand in judgement of other parents’ decisions whether to vaccinate or not.
It has been a truly agonizing decision for myself and my husband.
And if you weren’t the least bit conflicted, let me be the first to say, I envy you!
My oldest daughter Lakely had her first vaccine at 6 months.
I really wanted to delay, but my husband is her parent too, and I respected his position at the time.
While he was thinking about the short-term risks, I was (and still am) more afraid of the long-term consequences of vaccination.
Our first pediatrician, the one who had a reputation for being “relaxed” about vaccines, threw around a lot of statistics and emotional language to persuade us to vaccinate for Haemophilus influenzae type b (meningitis). My husband was sold.
The next appointment, that particular pediatrician was fired.
He was “bullying” me into giving certain vaccines I wasn’t comfortable with. We had previously established a vaccination plan.
Why was he suddenly compelled to push me in a direction I didn’t want to go?
That, and he strongly recommended I give our baby fluoridated vitamins for her teeth.
What teeth? She hadn’t even cut her first tooth!
I won’t deliver a sermon on the dark side of fluoride, but suffice it to say, I wasn’t about to give my gummy 6 month old baby a known neurotoxin.
That was my first experience with a doctor abusing his position of authority.
I do my homework. I research. Although I believe our instincts and intuitions are divine wisdom, I don’t make these types of decisions on a gut feeling.
I look at scientific studies and I make informed decisions.
I also don’t believe everything I read.
Are vaccines effective at protecting us against specific diseases? ABSOLUTELY.
Do I know the ins and outs of the Wakefield study? Of course.
And I also know more than 60 lab studies have confirmed links between cancer and certain vaccines given to children.
Again, I feel like whichever side of the line you are on, pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination, you are rolling the dice.
We have been blessed that Jojo and Lakely Belle (almost 3 and 5 years old) have suffered nothing more than your average colds and flus. I have a luxury regarding the vaccine decision other parents, who might otherwise choose not to vaccinate, do not.
We now go to, I believe, THE BEST pediatrician in the Hudson Valley.
He is absolutely amazing. He practices personalized medicine and keeps current on research. He understands and navigates the nuances of natural remedies.
A month ago, I had an appointment for Lakely to get a vaccine required by the state for her to enter Kindergarten in the fall. The office was short staffed, and as a result, a substitute doctor was helping out.
This particular doctor was warm and friendly and all he needed to do was confirm my kid was healthy enough to get a shot.
We discussed which shot to administer and made a decision.
After looking at Lakely’s chart, he saw she had only received one Hib vaccine and strongly advised she should “catch up” since he’d seen children die from meningitis.
This guy doesn’t even know me and he is casually throwing around graphic and emotionally charged language like “I’ve seen kids die”!
Talk about disrespect, disregard and abuse of power.
I’ve been down that road before, and I know full well how hard it is to stand up for yourself when a doctor is pushing his own agenda.
By “agenda”, I DON’T mean to imply doctors have any malign intentions, they simply have their own set of beliefs and experiences.
If you have experienced doctor “bullying” and didn’t know how to stand your ground, here’s what I do:
- Do nothing. Before making any decisions which don’t “feel” quite right, do nothing. Your parental instinct is your guiding light. You can ALWAYS go back next week if you aren’t sure about the decision.
- Inform yourself. Doctors can cherry pick the information they educate themselves on and draw conclusions based on skewed or limited data. You can always get a second, third, and fourth opinion.
- Stand up for yourself. If they use emotionally charged language, verbally stand up for yourself and tell them you feel disrespected. (It pulls them off the pulpit faster than you can say Amen!)
- Inform others of your experience. Immediately I let the nurse know what transpired and followed up with the pediatrician via email.
- Fire your doctor if needed. Regardless of what everyone in the community thinks about her or him, they may not be the right person for you! Don’t go to someone who isn’t aligned with your view of health and healing.
Have you ever felt bullied by your doctor? Either for your children or yourself?
How did you handle it?
The topic of vaccines usually pushes buttons. Please share with me what this brings up for you….anger? fear? frustration?