Thursday, February 18, 2010

Immunizations and Autism--Editorial

Recently there have been a lot of contradictory stories about the affects of immunizations on young babies and the incidence of autism. The discussion among parents, who are nervous about the side affects of these immunizations, is totally founded because according to findings from medical journals and published health articles, certain vaccinations have played a big part in causing autism.

Autism is a complex disorder and there could be other factors involved in a child diagnosed with this disease but there are too many coincidences to ignore in vaccines. For example, according to Pathways, a community-based not-for-profit healthcare organization, "the California Department of Developmental Services, reported the rate of children diagnosed with full-syndrome autism between 1999 and 2002 nearly doubled from 10,360 to 20,377." Those numbers show a terrible increase and there is much concern for parents to not vaccinate their child at all. Discovered in vaccines during this time is a preservative called Thimerosal which is 49.5 percent ethyl mercury by weight. Mercury is a toxic metal which is known to be very harmful even for adults, imagine what it will do to babies under a year old. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the dose of mercury allowable is 0.1 mcg per kilogram per day. If an average infant received all thimerosal-containing vaccines at a two month visit weighing an average of 11 pounds (5 kilograms) the exposure to the baby in one day would be 62.5 mcg which is 125 times the EPA guidelines.

From Mothering magazine in 2001, a health article reported on the Public Conference of the National Vaccine Information Center where doctors and parents met to discuss vaccines. One parent said: "In the vaccine industry, scientific fraud and conflicts of interest are causing a cycle of deaths and injuries that is being concealed and denied by regulators and vaccine manufacturers."

One of those doctors there reported a link he discovered between the measles viral infection either from measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine or the actual disease of measles itself and autism. Dr Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist, surgeon and research fellow at the Royal Free medical school in London published his research linking the MMR vaccine to bowel diseases in small children. He had published his findings in February 1998 in the British Medical Journal, Lancet. The team at the Royal Free medical school did hypothesize that the measles virus could conceivably be the link between the bowel disease and autism but Dr. Wakefield was the leading doctor to publish this idea.

Jumping to Japan, a Dr. Kawashima had confirmed in his study that the virus causing this bowel disease does indeed come from the MMR vaccine. An inquiry conducted in Britain on Wakefield's work, which ended on January 28, 2010, concluded that his investigation into the link between the measle-induced bowel disease and autism was a deception. Dr. Wakefield hand picked certain children for the study and was also a paid adviser in certain legal cases by families suing the vaccine manufacturers. So how can parents decide whether to wait until their child is a little older to be vaccinated or follow the prescribed schedule of vaccines by their doctor? It is hard to know.

Thinking of my own experience, I know of two healthy babies who received their MMR vaccine at age 15 months and then suddenly took a turn for the worse and were eventually diagnosed with autism. My own son had a horrendous reaction to the Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DPT) vaccine at one year when he went into convulsions and stopped breathing.

This vaccine fear continues in part because parents often notice the first autism symptoms around the age of two, when many childhood vaccines are given. In my reading, medical doctors believe it is a coincidence and parents still have no assurance their child will not be one of many children already conflicted with autism. We were told in my son's incident that he was allergic to the vaccine and to not give him anymore of that particular dosage.

The bottom line is parents have to decide whether to vaccinate their children or not. Autism is a complex disorder and I don't know if clear conclusive evidence will ever convince the vaccine administrators to change the contents making it completely safe for children. In reports of vaccinations and precautions for parents, there are some suggestions given to prevent vaccine reactions in most children. First, ask yourself if your child is sick the day you planned to have the vaccinations done. Every health care provider will tell you to wait until the child is completely healthy including off of antibiotics before administering any vaccines. Second, give only one shot at a time. This is a significant suggestion because it is easy to overload a small child with too immunizations at one time. If your child has significant reactions, do not repeat the vaccine. Three, save the vaccine manufacturer's name and lot number and finally get the full information on the vaccine's side affects and watch your child closely for the next few days.

If enough doctors studying these side affects can reach those who create the vaccines, maybe sometime in the near future, we will never have to worry about how children will react with immunizations and we will be free of all disease.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Valentine's Special

February 15th:
Yesterday was a great day depsite the fact that it would have been my 29th wedding anniversary with my deceased husband. But no matter, I had six of my nine children with me and their children: a newborn grandson, Peter Holifield and my 8 month grandson, Arthur Morris. We ate together and played. It was a fun day.

Earlier at church I spoke in Sacrament meeting on Receiving Inspiration. It seemed to work out well for those listening and then I was in the nursery for the next two hours. A great day over all!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Newest Addition to the Family

This is Peter Kerry Holifield born on January 18th at 9:07pm. He weighed in at 8 pounds 15oz and very cute. He is doing well with his mother Naomi. I think she is getting the idea of nursing.
We had the opportunity to go visit them last Saturday and was greatly surprized by the chance to visit with the goat family across the street. The Holifield's neighbors has a goat farm including six baby goats who were so cute. There were also chicks with the mother hen and a lot of guinies and two sheep herding dogs. They were fun to watch as they tried to herd the goats into the barn.

Update on Caleb

This is one of the last pictures taken of Caleb in Mexico. He was very happy there but is now home. We found out last week that part of the difficulties he was having was the fact that he had aluminum poisoning where he was living. The water is the culprit.
We are now starting a process which extracts all the metals in his body while he will also replace them with good minerals he needs.
It was a great relief to me to find that there was something external which affected him which we can physically do something about. He is well on his way to recovery.
My fourth book is now available called Dogs, Blogs and Hobbits: Writings from a Widow's Persepctive. This book is more or less a non-member version of my third book Of One Heart: Being Single in An LDS World. Both Jim and I are planning a book signing at Page and Palette in Fairhope on March 20th during the Arts and Crafts Festival and will be getting interviewed on Channel 5 sometime that week. I'll keep you posted.
In the mean time--it is so cold here, bbrrrrrrrr. Those warmer days will be greatly appreciated.

A Reminder of Life's Pursuits--Editorial

Right about now, you have probably forgotten about all those New Year’s resolutions you made over a month and a half ago. Life gets busy and we forget all about what we thought was so important then. It’s the mid-winter blues and we need a little boost. Although the weather has been beautiful here it’s that time of the year when there is a long stretch of work time with no holiday until Easter. I was sent this poem a while ago through an email. I wish I had written it but I didn't. The author is unknown. This is a great shot in the arm and we all need that once in a while. This poem gives it to us.

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow
-You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
-The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are
-It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
-It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

We all need a way to remember what is important to us. We all need that reminder to never give up. So as we go through the last weeks of winter into the hot days of summer, we should remember to fight the "fight when you’re hardest hit—when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit". Don’t ever quit.