Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

The MMR Vaccination Debate – a Parental Perspective

53 Comments

As the mother of an Autistic child, I can’t help but put my two cents worth in on the recent uprising of controversy surrounding the outbreak of measles and the risk of administering the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination. I do believe I have a rather uncommon perspective on the matter. Unique? Maybe not. Nevertheless, here it is.

When my first son (who is completely “normal”) was one year old we went in for his MMR shot and the doctor suggested that I be immunized at the same time. Much to my regret, I did; I found out a few weeks later that I had been two weeks pregnant with my second son when I had the shot. When my second, Chris, was born everything seemed fine. He was developing according to his milestones and even beyond them. He spoke a few words and played normally. Then, at one year of age he had his MMR. He didn’t speak another word until he was four and a half. He was diagnosed at the age of four with Autism.

It wasn’t until after his diagnosis that I heard about the correlation between the MMR vaccine and Autism; for me it all fell into place. What else could it be? I had one perfectly healthy child and another who wasn’t and there are cognizance issues in the history of neither mine nor their father’s families. Then a study was done. It was “proven” that there is no medical evidence that the MMR shot has caused Autism in anyone. I remain skeptical to this day.

BUT.

When Chris was five years old I had another child with a host of different problems. Alex was born with Noonan Syndrome. In the 1960’s Dr. Jacqueline Noonan discovered a set of characteristics when, put together, proved to be a congenital disorder. My baby’s most life-threatening symptoms were those of his heart: an atrial septal defect, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and the pulmonary stenosis that was bound to end his life within a year if we didn’t have it corrected with open heart surgery. We were told he had a 50/50 chance of surviving the operation. We went through with it when he was a mere two months old, and yes, it nearly killed him. When the surgeon came into the room and told us that he had just resuscitated our son with open-heart massage and that if his heart stopped again they’d just let him go peacefully we were both frightened and devastated.

Here is what gives me my uncommon perspective on the MMR controversy. I had Alex immunized when he was a year old. Measles, mumps and rubella are all life-threatening illnesses. Having the choice between a healthy Autistic child (which I have) and a dead child (which I almost had) there was no contemplation on my part, even given the suspicion I have that the MMR shots both I had whilst pregnant, and Chris had at the age of one, caused his Autism.

Alex was rendered Deaf during the course of his surgery due to a prolonged period without oxygen. He is not Autistic. I wouldn’t hesitate to have him vaccinated again if it was called for.

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

53 thoughts on “The MMR Vaccination Debate – a Parental Perspective

  1. I’m wondering if waiting until they were abit older than 1 year old and their bodies abit stronger, would that have made a difference….
    I think I want to go read about this some more.

    Like

    • Some people do wait – it’s hard to know if it makes a difference since many kids are given the vaccine and don’t end up being Autistic – only one out of three of my kids did and they all had the shot.
      I hope you find the information you’re looking for out there. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on 61chrissterry and commented:
    A sensitive subject and thank you for your insight.

    No vaccine can be 100% safe, as can no other medical procedure, but one needs to assess, do the advantages outweigh any disadvantages or not and then decide accordingly.

    Like

  3. Linda, you are a brave woman to even talk about all this. I can’t imagine your having endured it all these years. Maybe this sadness in your life has been the catalyst to make you write. I can definitely see your reasons for what you did and what you recommend.

    Like

    • Thank you, Beth. πŸ™‚ Writing in general is an escape from it all most of the time. It seems a shame though not to share my experiences with others both going through it now and those who, unfortunately, may in the future.
      I appreciate your kind words. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Thank you for sharing this. An incredibly wise opinion, I think. And lucky kids to have a parent brave enough to make strong decisions πŸ‘

    Like

  5. Unique point of view. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  6. Thanks for sharing your views on this very sensitive topic. We can only hope that vaccines can be produced in the future without Mercury and other toxic ingredients.

    Like

  7. Linda, my youngest kid, he will be 27 in this month, did have reactions after the first of those vaccinations of MMR. I don’t know today, but that time it was 3 times at all. He got serious problems after and in many years, so I do so much understand your doubt. I will tell you too, that he did not get the other of these vaccinations by same reason. He was later diagnosed in the autistic area, but after fighting for many years for him, he got an education but still has some problems. So for me, don’t demand me this vaccination, it took so many years from us. I will deny again, if it was needed. I saw all the reactions and met all the other parents with same problems, and many of them told me, that their kids problems came after this vaccination.
    Vaccinations is not natural for the body and some will have very bad reactions, no matter what they later get paid to say.
    Sorry that I’m a little tough here, but it gave me a tough live too.

    Like

    • Irene, I didn’t mean to demand anything of anyone by writing this post. We all make our decisions made on our beliefs and experiences. Your experience, I’m sure, has been like mine in many ways with my Autistic son. I’m still fighting daily for the education and services he’s provided (or not provided).
      But for me what’s even harder than that is worrying that I have a child who might die, not necessarily from the measles, mumps or rubella, but even from a common stomach flu or complications from a cold.
      The hardships of caring and advocating for a child with Autism can’t compare to the devastation I would feel if I lost a child, and so I decided not to take the risk with him of not getting the vaccination, potentially saving him from those three illnesses. That was the entire point of my post.
      I do understand what I tough situation it is having to push constantly for your child’s education, and I also understand the frustration of knowing I have a child with a brilliant mind who can’t properly express himself.
      I hope I haven’t upset you with my post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You did not upset me Linda and I do understand, why you took your choice also. We don’t want to risk our kids either. You have several kids with problems and are tested enough with their troubles Linda and I think you are doing all you can for your kids πŸ˜€
        When we fight long time enough, we become like a lioness, because we are the only ones to take care for serious.
        I hope you feel better again Linda.

        Like

  8. You are a very strong mother Linda. A Mother has a special feeling to know what is best for her children. We are not there yet with the science to tell if this MMR vaccine and the best is to trust a mother instinct. Very powerful post, thank you for sharing Linda.

    Like

    • Thank you Adrian. πŸ™‚ We really do have to trust our instincts and live with the consequences of our decisions, whatever they are. I think trust in the medical community, and especially the drug companies is at an all-time low at the moment, which doesn’t help at all; they’re all we have to fall back on.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Whooping Cough | willowdot21

  10. US MD Doctor Mercola has reviewed much of the scientific literature on vaccination. It’s worth a look. http://www.mercola.com It’s interesting, though, in my growing up in the UK in the fifties all the kids had mumps and measles as a matter of course. Polio was the big scare then.

    Like

    • I know, right? I remember the biggest fear of catching the measles was that it might sterilize you, particularly if you were a grown male. Makes you wonder if the vaccinations have impaired our ability to cope rather than helped that much. Still, tough call. Having kids is important to most people.
      Thanks so much for your input and for the link, Tish. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged on rixlibris.

    Like

  12. Reblogged this on rixlibris and commented:
    An excellent and timely take on a very complex subject.

    Like

  13. My sister’s first child, 19, is Autistic and speaks only on demand, toilet trained at 5, you know the rest… She went extreme in her research, anger ( bad thing), and over analysis of the cause of it. She had a second, surprise pregnancy which resulted in a another girl, now 10, healthy – neurotypical.
    For her second daughter, she waited until she was 5 to get her any immunizations. I am so glad she found a compromise, a way to consider her 10 year old’s well being with her own fears of a second child being afflicted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Strange how one child can seemingly be affected and yet the others aren’t. Maybe the study that SHOULD be done is on the pregnancies themselves, but I’ve thought about that with my Noonan Syndrome baby too.
      Thanks very much for sharing, Susan. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The verdict is still not out but your post sheds a different light because you having the unfortunate result of what we are told are “slim” are still there and still you are weighing the pros and cons and without prejudice share your thoughts on the outcome if a child would die of any of these diseases. I know more now thatn 35 years ago when my children were immunized but there were many then too refusing. I felt bad for the little guys who had to stay home so often when there was an outbreak of this or that. If I had to do it all over again, I would hesitate more since we know more. Yet, your post creates an awareness of the true issue…life or death.

    Like

  15. I’m exhausted of this subject, but it’s nice to read when “real people” write about it.
    At the time all this came up, I delayed Moo’s MMR shot. I had her get two or three others, but I said I wanted some time between them and the MMR. To be fair, myself and two of my kids already had reactions to the MMR and I wasn’t keen on going through double trouble. My doctor was angry, but pleased when I brought her back a few months later.
    I don’t think autism is something to fear above death from a preventable illness. At the time, I worried much more, because I didn’t KNOW any autistic children. I do now. In fact, I love some. But you know, I would separate the shots all over again, and likely will when they’re graduating. Bunch of shots one day, MMR months later. I will always choose MMR on a Friday, because they will get fevers and get rashes. They just will. The same thing happens to me, and I schedule mine when my husband will be around.
    I’ve read recently that there are doctors who encourage spacing out the shots, but I don’t know WHY they’re doing it. Is it to put worry at rest, or do they, like so many parents, think 5-6 shots in a day are too much for some bodies?
    It’s very concerning to me that so many parents don’t even talk to doctors about their concerns. It’s one thing to make a choice out of concern for your child, but it’s different when it puts those who cannot be immunized at risk.
    Like most people who love an autistic child, I’d like to know what causes it. I’m leaning toward genetics, or at least genetic predisposition. But these days, autistic children are far from unusual and I don’t care what anyone says, no one I know is NORMAL. There are people who don’t like ice cream, Linda! And people who need their cars to match their favorite pair of shoes…Madness!
    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing yours too, Joey. I do think spacing out the vaccines is a good idea. Many of these shots are live, meaning they have the actual virus in them. It’s no wonder some people get very sick from them.
      I refuse to believe, however, that there are people who don’t like ice cream. It’s just not possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Reblogged this on willowdot21 and commented:
    This a brilliant blog Linda I agree with every word. Mumps Measles and Rubela are all killers and need to be eradicated. As Linda says she would rather have a live child with Autisum than a dead child.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the reblog, Willow, and for your support. I do hope that one day they can be eradicated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I so agree Linda, it is hardly the same but our youngest had Whooping cough before he was a month old.. He nearly died it was awful his first year was fraught. He caught it from anyone of his siblings friends or maybe even in the hospital. That is another vaccine that needs to be given side effects or not . one day hopefully all the invisible killers should be gone. Parents need to see babies and children struggling in intensive care. Anyway great post Linda i hope it spreads the word xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Life doesn’t always offer easy decisions Linda. You chose what was best for your child, given the information that was available. The alternative was obviously not acceptable. I had a boss who was an RN and she had to have her dog put down (it was very old and ingreat pain). She called me weeping and said she never wanted to play God again – how hard it was. And that was decision making for a dog – I’ve never had children of my own, so i cannot imagine how hard it must be to make decisions that literally affect their lives and deaths. There is no backing out for no decision is a decision.

    Anyway, given your experiences I too would come to the same conclusion – that the vaccination had a detrimental effect on your son. I was an inpatient at the General a few years ago and I was outside having a smoke and started to chat with a gentleman around my age. His Mom had just been rushed by ambulance from an assisted care facility in Hawkesbury. She had had a violent reaction to the “safe” flu vaccine. Later that night I was outside again and he came out. I asked about his Mom and he said she had just died and he was waiting to do paperwork. She was fine in the afternoon, had a flu shot, got sick, was rushed to hospital, and died – all in the space of a few hours.

    Medicine is quirky Linda – all you can do is use the best info you have and the the rest is probabilities – there are never guarantees. What really matters is that your children have a Mom who loves them dearly and is donig her best possible to act in their best interests. i dealt for years with statistics at work and I can tell you that it is completely possible for statistics to show no correlation between a cause and an effect and yet there may be what are called “outliers” where the link is absolutely solid. In all statiscal models outliers are discarded as not being relevant – but if you personally happen to be one of those points it sure is relevant for you.

    **HUGS**

    Liked by 2 people

    • This just goes to illustrate that there’s really nothing we can do. As you say, trust in the probabilities and for the rest, just go with the instincts.
      Thanks so much for sharing this, Paul, and for your support and encouragement.
      Hugs are nice too. πŸ™‚

      Like

  18. The choice between a deadly illness and autism – I’d much rather have a son with autism (which I do) than to not have him at all. Autism merely adds to his character and gives life a few extra twists. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  19. That is a really tough one, Linda. I don’t know the truth about vaccines other than that they have saved a lot of people. I agree with you, though – choosing between a dead child and a disabled one is a no-brainer for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. There will always be debate, and there will always be risks with every medical procedure. My kids are all vaccinated, including my preemie who received his first round while still in the NICU. It is mostly due to his medically compromised childhood we had every single shot on time for all three. Had he contracted anything generally considered a “typical childhood illness”, it could have killed him.
    What a terrifying experience for you. So awful to have to stand back and not do anything for our children when they are suffering so. Hugs!

    Like

    • Yes, we get every vaccination going too. Alex’s immune system is weak; he’s had RSV twice, pneumonia countless times, H1N1… even gastroenteritis can be fatal for him with his heart issues.
      Really, all we can do is go with our instincts when we know something is wrong and trust the doctors. And take one day at a time.
      Thanks for sharing, and for your hugs. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  21. This debate will go on for years I suspect. All my kids were immunised and thankfully are ok, my disabled son is like he is not from immunisation issues. When our kids are little we are so often in the hands of dr’s who act in the best interest of the child. When my youngest son was ill at 3/4 months of age we ended up asking his specialist dr what he would do if our son was his. Now that’s gets an interesting response. We went with what he’d do if it was his child.

    Liked by 1 person

Don't hesitate - jump right in!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s