I’m a RN.
You’d think that would have helped me out some when it came to room for me to ask questions and advocate for my children’s health.
I was seen the same as you. Just another crazy mom, questioning the medical establishment, and the holy vaccine grail… too much for her own good.
I began my exit from mainstream medical worship around the time I asked my first son’s pediatrician (he was 3 months old) why there was aluminum in vaccines (a widely available fact). After she looked at me and said “oh there’s aluminum in vaccines?”…and I answered affirmatively… she proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t worry about avoiding toxins in vaccines unless I’m avoiding them altogether in the rest of my environment. Hmm…because THAT makes sense.
Over a few interactions and refusal of my sons 4 month shots, she saw my skepticism and unanswered questions were mounting.
This is the time she offered to let me borrow her AAP “Red Book” on Infectious Diseases. This big ol’ scary book was sure to bring me back over from the dark side.
This book was KEY for me, with all my brain-washed nursing background, to realize that my child was at low risk for almost all of the diseases that were vaccinated against. And the diseases that they were most at risk for contracting were diseases that had very low complication rates, and practically non-existent mortality rates. I simply made a list of risk factors for contracting each disease, and checked them up against my actual child’s situation (risk factors such as daycare setting, crowded living space, poor immunity, non-breastfed, premature birth, and poor nutrition). (By the way this individualized care could be done for each child’s unique situation, but the time and intentionality it would require would NEVER happen in the mainstream medical setting.)
Instead of her book being an effective scare tactic, it brought knowledge, understanding and empowerment. Growing up Catholic we were indirectly taught that the priests were the ones who could interpret God’s Word for the people, as the people were certainly incompetent to do it themselves. Here I was facing that misguided belief again: Doctors know the truth, and they alone can translate it accurately to lay people. I strongly believe clergy do not have greater access to the truths of God, and I also believe parents should never feel they are incompetent to delve into this complex topic and come out with a solid understanding of the facts.
Here began my relentless quest for as much data, information, theories, philosophies, historical evidence and facts as I could possible consume as a mom responsible for her child’s health. My thirst was insatiable, I could not stop until I had asked and answered a million and one questions.
While still naïve, I was hoping to find a pediatrician who was more educated on vaccine issues and more open minded to the right of parent’s choice. (Did I mention that office ‘unintentionally’ gave my son the Hepatitis B vaccine during his 2 month appointment? BTW that happens often) So feeling VERY unwelcomed and uncomfortable in our first pediatricians office, my husband and I sought out the care of another pediatrician that we heard was more open.
Just leaving that last unpleasant situation we were pretty upfront with this new pediatrician. I told her I did not need a well-child doctor, but rather would like to use her expertise when my children were sick, and I was unsure how to treat them. I gave her a two page list of the bullet-pointed reasons why we were not vaccinating at this point, and asked her to place it on my chart. (I WISH I could see the snickers from the office staff as they read over it…..the same lack of respect they show for parents who hand them their birth plan). We discussed vaccines in length and these were the most notable statements she offered:
“My patients, and your children’s health is the most important thing to me, and I would never use vaccinations if they could cause problems in these children.”
Oh and then there was the, “the connections that have been made between vaccination and adverse effects are ALL coincidental. None of them have been proven to be ‘causal’. “
Yikes. She was no different. But I was here and I was going to give it my best shot (no pun intended).
I asked her if she was comfortable with us not coming to well-child check-ups (as I know has my second child who was around 4 months), and she said she was fine with that. She said as long as she saw them ‘once in a while’ that would be fine. Well, my kids are rarely sick, and when they are I effectively support them at home.
One day, however, both of my kids had ‘pink eye’. I was using breast milk and tea bag soaks and it had yet to resolve. I was working that night and weekend and was going to be leaving the kids with my hubby. So thinking ahead I called my pediatrician’s office to request an antibiotic eye drop prescription in the event that it did not resolve on its own. Well apparently that flagged out chart and reminded the Dr. that we had not been there for some time now, and I got the reply that she would not call in that prescription, and that we would have to come in so she could see the kids face to face. Well, I had no time to bring them in and quite frankly I was annoyed by the way I was being treated. I did not go in and, surprise, my children’s healthly little bodies recovered fine from that minor infection.
The story was not over. A few days later the mail man knocked on my door with a piece of certified mail for me to sign for. I signed in confusion, shut the door and plopped down on my couch to see what in the world this was. Much to my surprise I opened a very defensive letter, written by my pediatrician, stating if we did not schedule a well-check appointment in X amount of days, then we would be dismissed from the practice.
Shock. Serious shock. How in the world, as her customer, voluntarily using her services as we needed, was getting KICKED OUT of her practice because we weren’t playing by her rules. O…I was mad. I was really mad. Had medicine really become this?
My husband and I talked and prayed and talked some more. We felt completely disrespected as parents, and that our wishes disregarded. It was very clear who was in charge here, and it sure wasn’t us. We decided to not continue care at this office, as they unfortunately did not value us as their patients. I wrote a letter, expressing the huge disappointment in their professionalism and care, and never heard from them again.
Onto the next pediatrician.
She was very kind at first, did not push vaccines, and even ‘let us’ wait on treating strep throat with antibiotics (which we successfully fought without them!!!) But as time went on, and more conversations were had that showed how completely different our parenting/health paradigms were, things got a little more hostile.
One day I found a tick on my son’s skin that appeared to have been there for some time. We had several family friends who had severe health problems with Lymes disease, and the recommendation from these natural advocacy organizations they were working with for Lymes disease was to treat all tick bites prophylactically. This REALLY stressed me out as I have never given my children antibiotics, and did not want to in any way. But I spend the next 24 hours reading as much as I possibly could about it and we hesitantly came to the decision to seek out the preventative antibiotics for the potential that the tick that bit him had Lymes disease. I called my pediatrician and told her our concerns and that we would really like a prescription for Lyme-prevention after this tick bite. I talked about how it is becoming more standard to give them for prevention as the window of opportunity is so small. I told her I was hesitant to give them, but that I was really uneasy about Lymes disease and that I would give aggressive probiotic supplementation during and after the course. She agreed to write me the prescription and that was that. (Looking back I’m not sure if I would do that again, I’m still trying to figure out my approach when it comes to tick bites, but I still feel it is a parent’s right to request certain treatments they have educated themselves on).
Or so I thought.
I called a couple months later for something like a physical, and the receptionist put me on hold. She came back and told me that we were no longer welcomed as patients of this Dr.
Jaw on the floor.
I fumbled over my words, questioning the receptionist’s words. She told me she didn’t know why, but that is what my doctor had said. Once again I was totally deflated by the tactics being used on me because I did not comply with the way they expected patients/families to behave.
I asked to talk to the doctor. She called me back and we had a very emotional conversation about what had happened. She told me that she will never be pressured like that again and that it was totally inappropriate of me as the mom to ask her for what I want for my kids. I kindly disagreed, but apologized that I came off that way. I told her that just dropping a patient because of this is inappropriate and unfair. She agreed to welcome us back into the practice. I felt like I had been heard, but still felt embarrassed, unsupported and frustrated.
Somewhere along the way mainstream medicine subtly took parents’ rights away.
I don’t know how this has happened, and why no one questions it….but I’m so done with it. (Read more about the ways medicine has become unscientific and unacceptable).
My children were entrusted to me by God to care for, provide for and protect.
No one else has this charge, and NO ONE else cares for my children like my husband and I do.
To truly believe your doctor cares for your child as you do, is unbelievably ignorant.
You are another patient, another chart number, another appointment to get through quickly to meet patient quotas.
Your doctor may have entered medicine to help people, but there are many standard protocols, practitioner expectations and conflicts of interest that keep them from being able to honestly say they care the most about your child’s health.
It’s laughable at this point to even mention that doctors, nor pharmaceutical companies are even liable for vaccine injuries. In the 1980’s an act was passed called the “National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program”. This relieves any potential liability from doctors who PRESCRIBE and GIVE these vaccines, and all the legal liability lies on the US government. So basically all you have to do is sue the US government to receive compensation for the tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills you pay for your child’s vaccine injury. Just imagine how likely THAT is to happen. Hilarious, huh?
We moved to another state, and after these many bad experiences, I’ll just say that we’ve been here for a year….and have yet to hire a new pediatrician.