Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Swine Flu Blues

Is it me or does the swine flu vaccine scare the shit out of anyone else?

I have no doubt that it is better to vaccinate your child rather than watch him or her suffer what could be the worst symptoms you've ever seen inhabit that little body. I'm not looking forward to that party. Of course we all know the vaccines are necessary to protect against a pandemic and avoid last minute sojourns to the ER. And (I think) we all understand the ramifications if we don't. Yet so many of us still struggle with inoculating our children with this H1N1 vaccination. Why? Educated on the topic or not, it is counter-intuitive. We, as parents, are put on this earth to protect and teach. In that order. And we are the ones holding our little babies in our lap while the needle dripping with all kinds of ugly is aimed to perforate their perfect skin. It feels crazy to inject poison into a toddler or baby size portion of sweetly unadulterated blood cells even if that poison will then produce even sweeter antibodies in their system. Science is grand but holy tomoley is it overwhelming too. I can't pretend I understand every single iota about administering the H1N1 vaccination over not administering it but I'm definitely trying to learn. I'm a few steps short of inviting Dr. Sunjay Gupta over for a house-call and dinner so he can explain things to me in a way I'll not only understand but believe.

This is the part of parenting I don't enjoy: the playing God part. I want to protect my children with no (scary threat of side effects or worse) strings attached. I want to know that when I put my arms around their chubby elbows, I will be the one to feel the sting instead of them. In a perfect world this would be the case but man is imperfect and so is the world in which he resides.

My kids just got their regular seasonal flu shot yesterday. Our doctor's office did not have enough swine flu vaccines to go around so I'm on a waiting list. This is fortunate for me because while I "wait" the mama bear in me wants to stomp around awhile and read about the H1N1 vaccine until I saturated my brain on the topic. In my search, here are a couple of links that I found interesting.

Debate Over H1N1 Vaccine on NPR
Study Finds Most Parents Won't Have Their Kids Vaccinated- LA Times
To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate
CDC Info
****New Jersey Moms Blog- Cristie's POV- adding this post publishing b/c it's exactly how i feel too. see? lotsa mommies (and daddies and grandparents, etc.) worried and concerned. what do you think?

In my opinion, it does seem safer to give the swine flu vaccine than opt out but that does not make picking up the phone to make the appointment for that course of events any easier. It's the part of parenting I may not like so much but could make all the difference in the world. Literally.


pajama mom said...

jinx, you and crk! just freaky.

pajama mom said...

p.s. we did the regular flu shot/mist. our ped did not push the h1n1. (which is his way of telling me his opinion without telling me his opinion) as of right now, i don't think we'll go for it.

One Sided Momma said...

that is wildly freaky and not the first time that's happened. i added crk's article here b/c it's perfectly worded and supports the confused state i am in too.

that said, i admire people (you) who go with what is your gut. i am going to try to follow mine.

pajama mom said...

i am more nervous about the possibility of (anyone) catching h1n1, then getting pneumonia.

that scares me.

Monica said...

I don't even do the flu because it doesn't protect completely and they have to guess at which strains to put in the vaccine. Does this make me uniformed and a bad mom? Perhaps I should do more research on the whole issue and see if I need to change my mind.

Cristie Ritz King said...

Great minds...
Still up in the air on both. NJ demands that preschoolers get the flu shot. SO no I'm confused AND surly in a "keep your laws off my (kids') bodies" kinda way. We're in passive avoidance mode as of now but I'm sure the school letter is coming so I'll make my flu shot appt. and probably still opt out of swine. Too many doctors (PJ mom's included) are lukewarm at best.
Right? Wrong? UGH!!

pajama mom said...

i'm starting to get nervous. close to changing my tune.