Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A shot in the dark

Vaccines. A hot button topic for sure. Bring up vaccinations and you are bound to hear things like "What about autism?" And "Do you think they are safe?" or "You aren't one of those anti vaccine nut jobs are you?"   This blog is not about me trying to convince you one way or the other on your vaccination decision, as I believe it is up to each parent to research the issue and choose what is right for them.

But in this current climate, that is all but impossible. Most discussions I read or see generally start out with honest questions, and then quickly disintegrate to misinformation and name-calling — on both sides. Lots of rumors fly around out there. Non-vaccinating parents are told they’re psycho, and selfish and so much worse. To the point that many remain anonymous on message boards, on social media like Facebook, and don't advertise their decision to do what they feel is best for their children  I believe by reacting this way we are not helping ANYONE- and just making a touchy subject a battleground.

So many myths and so much misinformation surround this subject-it really is difficult to separate emotional opinions from facts.  Here are some things I have heard that I believe are based not in fact, but emotions and people's willingness to believe whatever their doctors tell them.

1) The only reason parents don't vaccinate is because they have heard of the Dr. Wakefield study/Seen or heard Jenny McCarthy speak on the subject.  

While this may be the first place parents hear about the issue, it’s definitely not the final word. Parents who choose not to vaccinate don’t make this decision lightly. Hours upon hours of  researching every aspect and angle they can find are involved. Even parents who initially make the decision often feel very uncertain about it, and end up seeking out even more research to verify their decisions. For many, the media and “celebrities” play little to no role in their ultimate decision.

2) Parents believe vaccines cause autism and that is their primary reason for not vaccinating

 This is probably the biggest question out there. Do vaccines cause autism? There are NO DEFINITIVE ANSWERS TO THAT YET!! Yes, there are some parents who did stop vaccinating for that reason, but that was many years ago, when the Wakefield study first came out. But now, parents are well aware of the controversy and do a lot more research when making such a huge choice. And while Autism is (or should still be a concern) there are so many other worries as well.

3) Unvaccinated kids are responsible for disease epidemics.

This is the one that irritates me. Did you know that  most of the recent disease epidemics have broken out in highly vaccinated communities? They occur in cycles, and usually because a disease has mutated. These so called "outbreaks" are scare tactics, nothing more.   Since the disease has mutated, there is no vaccine to “protect” against it, so it doesn’t matter if you were vaccinated or not — you are at risk. Unvaccinated children are not out "spreading diseases around"  - there is much more to it.

4) You are a "bad" parent if you choose to spread vaccines out or not vaccinate at all.
If someone actually said this to my face- I might end up going to jail for assault.   I may be a lot of things but a bad parent isn't one of them. I do not abuse my children, they are well fed, happy, healthy and generally well adjusted humans- and if I choose NOT to put poison in their bodies - I would say that is the very antithesis to BAD parenting.

I have said it many, many times before- and I will say it many more times I am sure- I do not say DON'T VACCINATE. I say EDUCATE BEFORE YOU VACCINATE!   Do your research, and make an educated decision. Then either way you go, you will know it was the right decision for your family.Don't let doctors, the media or anyone BULLY you into making whatever decision YOU feel is best for your child. THAT IS YOUR RIGHT!  It is just as much your right to choose not to vaccinate- or delay vaccinations as to not feed your kids junk food, or to make sure they wear a helmet when on a bike-these are the PARENTS decisions, NOT the government, NOT the schools- and NOBODY should feel like they have to hide because of their decision to keep their child healthy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Me and my cranky uterus

 And I bleed for 7+ + days without dying

Happy Mother's Day! Yeah- a couple of days early- but hey- isn't EVERY day Mother's Day? I mean- is there ever a day that you are NOT a mom once you grow those people and squeeze them out? 

That said- if you are a mom you know very well what kind of havoc babies inflict on your body. Stretch marks, extra fat, saggy boobs, etc. Yeah, I am not sugar coating any of this because even you young hard body moms will soon show the wear and tear of pregnancy and birth- or at least I fervently hope you do. 

So- once you are done birthing babies- what's the point  of a uterus and ovaries? I mean- all they are good for after the fertile years"are developing the dreaded "lady problems", cysts, fibroids, gut wrenching cramps and the scene from Nightmare on Elm Street - you know the one where Johnny Depp gets sucked into the bed and the geyser of blood that erupts straight after-in your pants.  I did say there would be no sugar coating right? 

Rather than join the Happy Housewives Hysterectomy Club I think these now useless parts should just fall out so you don’t have to deal with them.  This would save money, recovery time, and avoid the risks of surgery. I know that now there are robots who can do the surgery, and unless there are other issues or your doctor is Trapper John, you don't get the hip to hip incision-but surgery is surgery. Not only that- all you have to go through prior to even being considered for surgery- it really is hell.  I would be a lot more amenable to the whole thing  if the doc would be willing to do a boob lift, tummy tuck and some lipo-and remove any other non-vital organs that are just gonna go to hell. 

I would like to thank my uterus for housing three tiny humans safely and allowing me to have the most amazing job ever- raising them and being a mom. But bitch- I am DONE with you now. I am done with the pain, mood swings and supreme assholishness that I go through for at least 3 weeks a month. So- don't take this the wrong way- but I must end our relationship- and really- it's not me..it's you. 

Angry Uterus is Angry

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's Autism Awareness/Acceptance/Action Month Every Damn Day Here

Well, another April has come and gone. Another April that I tried to post something about Autism each and every day in order to increase AWARENESS, encourage others to take ACTION, and to continually push for my child's ACCEPTANCE.

I got a lot of comments on my Facebook page, thanking me for the little tidbits of info, the statistics, the facts and the myths and the shared stories- so in that regard, I did accomplish something.  And that in itself is important and great.  If just a handful of the people NOT living daily with Autism just told one other person something about Autism, then I feel like I did a small part of my job. I think a whole lot of folks are AWARE of Autism, with the numbers at 1-88 you would seriously have to be living under a rock to not be a little aware at least.

One thing that just appalls the hell outta me is just how much dissension exists within the autism world. I believe that each group representing persons with autism spectrum disorders have a valid approach to autism support. I have seen  Facebook wars over whether it should be acceptance or awareness, awareness or action, Autism Speaks is the devil, no, it's the best thing ever,  we want a cure, we don't want a cure, it's vaccines, it's not vaccines, it's maternal age, no it's not, it's better diagnostics...GAH!!!  People on the spectrum, or parents raising a child on the spectrum are at each other's throats! It makes me so sad that we all say we want basically the same things for our loved ones, yet we are quick to jump on someone else for their point of view- making us just as short sighted and judgmental as those we want to ACCEPT our kids.  How can our rallying cry be ACCEPTANCE! when we can't even accept our differing opinions?

 We can continue to emphasize our particular view of autism without attacking another’s point of view.  If you follow my blog or Facebook page at all, then you already know that I do not support Autism Speaks anymore, and yes I do believe that there are VALID concerns with vaccinations as  ONE possible cause for autism- IN SOME CHILDREN. I do not attack anyone else if they don't agree with me - I give examples and state what I believe to be a sound opinion, but I do NOT try and make someone else feel bad or stupid for their opinions.  I also believe there are other environmental and genetic causes- THERE CAN'T BE JUST ONE!!! That said- if the opinions are presented in a manner that is polite, not accusatory and certainly not calling me some anti vaccine nut job- well of course I want to hear them.  But unfortunately human nature makes me retaliate if someone starts ATTACKING me. Even though I know when we attack each other, we take away from our cause, and slow down progress.

Better diagnostics, actual increases to cure or not to cure- these are not the real issues. It;s time to stop fighting with each other and time to HELP each other- regardless of what we feel may have caused our kids' autism.  All parents who get the diagnosis in the beginning ask that question, What CAUSED this?!?! The fact of the matter is- THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION YET! Not for every individual or family anyway. The "cause" ship has sailed- we are living with it daily and it's not going away. It might improve with time, it might not.  One thing is for certain, bringing each other down, being angry with others because they don't agree with us and bashing groups, individuals, therapies etc. is not going to help ANYONE.

 I have read a whole lot of interesting blogs, articles and opinions in the last month. Hell over the last  7 years! I LIVE to research and to look into other points of view. I did not agree with every single thing I read. I had some healthy debates. I had quite an interesting dialogue with a 23 year old young woman on the spectrum. It was eye opening, and I learned a lot. I did not wholeheartedly agree with every single thing she said- nor did she agree with everything I said- but I learned a lot from her. It was a very enlightening experience for me. (I asked if I could "interview" her for this blog, she respectfully declined and asked that I keep her identity anonymous)

Here is a short list of things we do know:

  • Many of our school systems are failing children with autism, not enough teacher's are educated about ASD's, and our kids are struggling. They are also being bullied and hurt, not just by other kids, but by the adults we trust them with. THIS MUST STOP.
  • There are not enough appropriate services and effective treatments for autism and the other diagnoses that often accompany an ASD diagnosis.
  • Children with autism grow up into ADULTS WITH AUTISM. There is a growing concern for the children that age out of school, who need respite care, who need assisted living communities, and who need programs to help them to be independent. The programs that are in place are few and underfunded.
  • Proper medical care and insurance coverage are not available for the all the ages across the spectrum.

 So yes- another April has passed- I can only hope that the people who live with Autism every damn day, who  eat, drink, breathe and sleep Autism can find ways to be a cohesive, thoughtful, HELPFUL group. We all have LOADS of information and can help each other more than anyone else! Those things up there ^^^ should be the things that unify the Autism community and spur us to not only make people aware, but to take action for BETTER, not for worse.