I couldn’t find the right words last week. Today, I feel like I’ve found my voice again.
In reflecting on a few things that had me feeling so down in the dumps earlier, a few people came to mind: the pro-vaccine crowd, the CDC, the mainstream media and some doctors and their medical staff. When those folks crossed my mind, I let them and their negativity invade my thoughts. I wouldn’t be here without them though, so I thought it time to say thank you to those folks. Yes. A thank you. I want to express my gratitude for their contributions, especially their latest ones.
To the Pro-Vaccine Crowd who continues to add insult to injury (vaccine injury, that is), thank you! Really. I want to thank you for every new Vaccines Are Safe blog, article, interview, FB comment and social media message you share. Why? Well, for some new parents, and for those parents who are on the fence about vaccines, your words spark a question. They’re asking, “Are vaccines really all that safe?” That questions leads to a search. That search turns into a discovery. That discovery reveals a story—a story of a child with an unfortunate vaccine injury. As they read that story, a seed is planted—a seed of doubt. Why doubt? Because you, the pro-vaccine crowd, say the exact opposite, and quite brusquely I might add, of what the vaccine injury story is stating. It’s no wonder that new parents are thinking that maybe vaccines aren’t safe!
It’s through that revelation and that seed of doubt that parents begin to search for further info, info which you, the pro-vaccine crowd, consistently neglects to mention in your pieces. Parents want that information. Where must they turn then to find that info? To other parents, of course!
P.S. That’s where I come in.
Here’s why. When I write, it’s with honesty and it’s peppered with all sorts of undeniable facts. When you write, as a pharma-influenced blogger, writer or newscaster, it’s heartless and glorifies an entity that’s using humans for profit. It’s only right that people hear both sides of a vaccine story—yours, which confuses them, and mine, which is told through the eyes of a former vaccinator who now provides round-the-clock care to a child who was severely affected by vaccines.
Obviously, our stories and motives differ greatly. My story is told with heart and includes an extra-large dose of vaccine-injury reality. Your input portray vaccines as safe all the time for everyone no matter what. Even though you forget to mention everything there is about vaccines, like that pesky vaccine injury, I don’t mind filling that in the blanks in my writing when you forgot to mention it in yours.
So kudos to the entire pro-vaccine crowd and their efforts. Even though some of your posts tend to be sort of judge-y and fear monger-y, you’re reminding parents to keep their thinking caps on when it comes to vaccines. Fear mongering isn’t so great, but getting those thinking caps on is good. Great job, guys!
To The CDC who continues to sweep important data under the rug, thank you! Why such gratitude? Well, with how you’ve been so super quiet since Dr. William Thompson stepped forward, people are coming to parents like me instead of to you for information. Yep. Just like how the pro-vaccine crowd’s writing can repel the general public, your silence is repelling some of the general public’s trust.
People genuinely want to know things. We’re curious creatures. When it comes to wanting to know what’s going on in the world of medicine, people naturally head on over to the CDC to see what y’all have to say. That is up until a few weeks ago. Dear, dear CDC. Bless your heart! People don’t trust you so much anymore. Manipulated data, fraudulent activity and the fact that Congress is getting involved is causing your reputation to get a tad more tarnished among a circle of parents. You know who those parents are, right?
Psst, they’re the same ones the pro-vaccine crowd is pushing away.
Where do those parents go for help? To people like me. Sure it takes up more of my time to redirect parents to better, less shady resources, but it’s worth every minute. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. My plate is already very full, and I don’t need to answer every call I get about vaccines. But I don’t mind picking up the saving lives and protecting part you proudly display in your motto. I don’t mind it at all. Count on me to step in and do just that until you stop hiding and do the right thing.
To the Mainstream Media, keep those vaccine don’t cause autism stories coming! And, please, don’t hold back! Why? Once you post one of your sensationalized, too-good-to-be-true-vaccines-only-save-lives pieces, parents know to go elsewhere to get real vaccine news. Where do they go? They hop on over to an alternative universe, ours, where vaccines haven’t saved lives.
Vaccines devastated lives on our side of the planet. People know this. They may not want to believe it, but in their hearts they know it to be true. Here’s the why. Viewers tune you in for only a few minutes at a time. Once away from the screen, those viewers run into us and our vaccine injured children in town. In real life. Where commercial breaks don’t exist.
While you can make vaccines look safe and harmless, we cannot hide a vaccine injury so well. The stimming, the meltdown, the flapping, the echolalia? Not so easy to cover up. Why, just a few weeks ago a man stared at my son mid-meltdown. Instead of helping me, the very capable yet stunned grown man watched in horror as Ronan thrashed about. It was pretty intense there for a few minutes, but once over, we dusted ourselves off and continued on. The poor fellow though. He was left speechless and kept standing there. I attribute his response, well, his lack of response, to you! Kudos to the media’s mad editing skills and only showing happy, shiny needles going into kids’ arms and legs. Imagine the alarm that would ensue if the general public really knew what can happen when the needle comes out. I shudder at the thought. I know you do too.
A suggestion, which you really don’t need, Mainstream Media, because you do keep your stories so fresh and always full of rainbows and unicorns, is to continue doing a great job averting the eyes of the public of what’s really happening with autism and vaccines. You cover things up things so well already that no one would dare believe you if you started to share what is actually happening. The public would be too shocked to handle such truth. Despite that, I do feel compelled to share that you did lose a few viewers a long time ago. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I know you won’t be too offended to know that several have already reached for the knob and turned you off. Who are those viewers? A lot of us parents with vaccine injured kiddos. Yeah, we didn’t like it when you stuck your fingers in your ears saying “La la la la la” while refusing to air our autism-vaccine stories. No hard feelings, right?
To The Doctors and Medical Staff who push, push, push vaccines, thank YOU! Just like people are curious creatures so are they creatures who seek comfort and acceptance from others. Since some of you are doing the exact opposite in your medical practices, my circle of friends has grown. How so, you might ask? When you are being gruff and demanding with your my way or the highway attitude, you remove yourself from the equation and open the door for someone else to step in. Who is that someone? Me! Yes, me. And countless other moms and dads who step in to do what you’re called to do.
In case I lost you, let me break things down for you.
Moms want the best for their baby. We’re raised to trust certain people and professionals. Doctors top that list. Lately, when parents go to a doctor and vaccines come up, moms are finding that their doctors have turned into dictators. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think dictator was included in your job description. At least I hope it wasn’t! Either way, I know for a fact that, for the majority, vaccines are not mandatory. Take a recent story I heard just this week.
A young mom called me and told me she declined the flu shot at her child’s well-visit exam. The nurse stated to the mom that her son was due for the shot. Mom replied no, thank you. The nurse left the room and a few minutes later in walks the doctor. The doctor insisted that her child get the shot. Mom stood her ground and repeated that her child was not getting the flu shot. You know what the doctor did? He stormed off! Quite professional of him, don’t you think? Hmmmm, not so much.
Instead of being able to have a mature conversation about vaccines, this doctor turned into a dictator. Then he displayed toddler behavior. How on earth is that professional or acceptable? Thankfully this mom, after doing her own research seeing other parent’s children suffer vaccine injury, felt confident in her decision and was able to walk out of the office with her head held high. Time will tell if this doctor “fires” her from his practice for declining vaccines. If it comes down to that, fine, I say. Walk away. Walk away proudly. Who wants to feel pressured to roll up a sleeve or a pant leg for a vaccine they don’t need or want? Not I. And come to find out, not a lot of other moms and dads out there who’ve heard us well.
To all the people who have shaped the path I walk now with Ronan, I have learned so much from you—from what to believe to whom I should trust, all of it has been eye opening. To the Pro-Vaccine Crowd, to the CDC, to the Mainstream Media and to the Doctors and Medical Staff, none of this would have been possible without your contributions. I say, well done, folks. Well done. Thank you so very, very much!
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.