Autism Watch: 2007

Posts Tagged ‘mercury

Tomorrow’s Barnacle Boy’s MRI appointment. We’ve done the social story, we’ve talked about how he’ll be at school late, and we’ve burned the CD for him to listen to during. I think we’re set, except for the one thing I can’t plan for or prevent: a meltdown.

The last couple of weeks, bb’s been having a lot of ‘short fuse’ moments. Out of nowhere, he blows up, usually over pretty small things. No clue when it’s going to happen, it just does. In addition to the verbal assault, his weapon of choice is a swift sharp kick to the shin. Ouch.

I have no idea what’s causing it. Meds not strong enough since he’s had a weight gain? Aggressive phase? Not feeling well?

Right now, I’m leaning towards not feeling well, though we have no real idea as to why he doesn’t feel well. He’s getting the headaches still, but they’re not 24/7. Residual feeling from headaches?

I picked him up early from school (again) yesterday. Fever of 101.7, though my thermometer here at home showed 98.7.  Looks like I may need to consider a new thermometer while we’re at it. He went to the nurse a few times again today, no fever but not feeling well. He’s going to take a pain reliever and see if he can make it the rest of the day. The message we’re trying to send is that coming home from school is only for when you really don’t feel good. None of us think he’s faking, at this point; you can see his eyes seem not quite right, and we can tell he’s not feeling well when he says he has a headache, but he also is not the best at communicating his physical feelings.

So what now? We’ve tried to get him to explain his feelings to us, but we get a lot of “I just want to be left alone.” We can’t read his mind, and that apparently irks him. (It irks me, too, but I can’t let him know.) He says he feels his friends are ignoring him. He says that we don’t let him do the things he wants to do. He says a lot of things, but where are we, really?

I’ll be glad when tomorrow’s MRI is over. The doctor can then read the results of everything (bloodwork, too) and see if there’s any physical reason. Then we’re looking at how to treat the headaches/migraines.

Meanwhile, I wore my Green Our Vaccines t-shirt yesterday. What better opportunity than St. Patrick’s day, for a non-green/non-Irish person? I’m still reading, with interest, the back-and-forth between everyone on vaccines, and I still believe that we need to re-do our vaccine schedule along with removing the garbage in them. Did you know they pulled mercury from dog vaccines because it’s a neurotoxin? Apparently dogs are more important than kids, pregnant people, and the elderly who are supposed to get the flu shot. Who knew.

I’ll update after the MRI. I’m coming back to work right after, so it won’t be an immediate update…I’ve been so bad at updating anything lately, this is nothing different. We are going camping this weekend, and bb’s really looking forward to it. Being outdoors seems to really help him, though there’s always arguments because he feels other kids leave him out. What’s new.

Wow, has it hit the fan this week! I can’t think of a more politically correct way to say it that wouldn’t make me censor my own blog. Jenny McCarthy’s hitting a nerve, and as we all know, words are like peroxide — you can pour it all over your body, but it will only sting where there’s an open wound. You can call me fatty or smelly or stupid, but it’ll only bother me if I am fat, if I smell, or if I am indeed stupid. So when Jenny is out there saying that we want safer vaccines and people are getting mad, I have to wonder, why?

Safe vaccines. There, I said it. It’s really simple. There’s no ‘anti-‘ in that — there’s simply the word safe. Why is that so hard to understand? Why fight it?

Let’s make up a scenario. We have a baby, we begin injecting it with toxins (such as aluminium over 10x the recommended safe amount for a newborn) in the first few days after birth, and proceed to give it another 30 or so vaccines by the age of two. We don’t do any tests to see if the child’s got a weakened immune system and could get sick from any ingredients in the vaccines, we just figure we’ll prevent our child from measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc. Our doctor says it could happen, so it must be true! Then a couple of years later, we wonder why our child’s losing speech, constantly having rashes or diarrhea, and is banging his head on the floor while pulling out his eyelashes and screaming when you move his line of toys or screeching when you turn on your overhead fluorescent light. Oh, wait, that’s not a scenario, that’s real. Let me do the fake scenario.

So here goes, the futuristic scenario: people open their eyes and realize that even if there really is not 100% guarantee that autism is caused by vaccines, having safer vaccines can’t hurt. Formaldehyde, ether, aluminum, thimerasol, and aborted fetal tissue is removed from the vaccines and, sit down, the VACCINES STILL WORK.  These vaccines continue to decrease the risk their child will get a fever from chicken pox or itchy from the measles, and decrease the risk that polio will return. One thing that may happen is that the insurance companies or the parent may pay more of a co-pay towards the vaccine. Or, here’s the shocker, major pharmaceutical companies, one of the most profitable yet protected (immune, ironically, if you’ll pardon the pun) industries in the world, may make a few dollars less. But the big change? The risks related to these vaccines — the numbers printed on the inserts of vaccines, that every parent should be reading already — will decrease. Less children will be suffering seizures, swelling, infections, dying. Pretty significant, wouldn’t you think?

Those of us who are “Jenny Followers” do so proudly. She’s saying what we’ve wanted to say for years but we just aren’t celebrity enough to get the attention. She’s spent weeks with doctors and renowned scientists learning facts about vaccines, illnesses, autism, diet, nutrition, etc. She’s simply the messenger. (In fact, I’d venture to say that Amanda Peet, the “other” side of the current argumental coin, is just a messenger, too…but she volunteered for the role, whereas Jenny was thrust into it by her son’s autism. Jenny’s lived the life, Amanda’s learning it secondhand. Jenny’s been doing it for a while, Amanda’s brand new. So before I hear another person spout off “why are you listening to Jenny?” I want to know why they’re listening to Amanda Peet? She knows about as much about vaccines as any first time mother of a baby. Big deal.) I don’t care if Jenny was a nude juggler in a Martian circus act and speaks in gibberish. If she can get a point across, great. Pretty narrow-minded to think people are only worth listening to if they’ve got a medical degree.

Even if you don’t feel autism is related to vaccines, I honestly don’t care. I’m already neck-deep in autism and its side-effects, so I don’t expect you to understand. I’ve got friends that can’t even find two minutes to ask me how my son is doing, so I can live with a stranger who has a different opinion. But think about it, really think about it. If vaccines can be made without toxins, and the diseases are still prevented, WHY NOT? We want vaccines — we just want our child or your future child or grandchild or Godchild or friend’s child or niece or nephew to just not be the acceptable collateral damage that there are so many of today.

And essentially, that’s what my son is when you look at numbers and say “my son’s not autistic, and he was vaccinated.” Better me than you, right? Maybe my son has a weak immune system, or maybe he was genetically predisposed to autism in some other way, and maybe vaccines didn’t have anything to do with it, but why take the risk? No studies have ever been done, ever, to test the full load of all the current vaccines on small children. (Why? Who wants their child to be that guinea pig?)

Lastly, if that can be a real word for just now — don’t blame unvaccinated children for your illness. If your vaccine worked, you wouldn’t have any worries. Unvaccinated people are only at risk themselves if the vaccines really work. And truly, measles is a walk in the park compared to severe autism.

Don’t let the point of this latest issue on CNN and everywhere else be lost because you’re choosing between Jenny or Amanda or because you’re hung up on their lack of credentials or scientific proof. We all know formaldehyde, ether, aluminum, and other things aren’t in food or any other thing around your body (or your dog’s) because it’s not safe. So why does it belong in a vaccine? It doesn’t. Safe vaccines with a safe schedule harms NO ONE. That’s the point. Safe vaccines. If you remember nothing else in this fiasco, remember those two words: safe vaccines. That’s all we want.

Lately, in the firestorm of arguments about mercury contributing to vaccine, new vaccines being put on the schedule, states considering making vaccines mandatory, I’m seeing pro-vaccine parents becoming more and more vocal. So many thoughts on that, where to start. I undoubtedly will muddle my words and my thoughts, but here goes.

I often hear pro-vaccine parents saying that the risks of the vaccines are worth it, to protect their children from diseases. But what about that 1 in 150 children who IS the child who has the side-effect? As long as that 1 child in 150 vastly affected by the vaccines is not their own child, the risk is worth it? Does that make my child’s autism acceptable damage? Who is anyone to make that choice for someone else?

If someone wants to vaccinate, why the need to persuade the rest of us to do so? Why not just vaccinate without the need to defend it? We’re not taking your vaccines away. Those who us who don’t want to vaccinate have the number one goal of making vaccines safer and not injecting toxins into our children, not tell pro-vaccine parents what to do. Such a glaring difference between the sides.

I’ve heard the words ‘collateral damage’ a lot lately in regards to the children who are affected by vaccines. When is damaging any child, any human, in the name of saving others acceptable? Shouldn’t we be aiming for no collateral damage, instead of accepting the numbers and being glad it’s someone else’s child? If we know that we can make vaccines without the garbage that’s toxic, why isn’t that a priority? Is your money better spent on Starbucks than paying a few more dollars for a safer version of a vaccine?

Greening our vaccines is a goal that will help all of us. No child/human should be injected with formaldehyde, ether, antifreeze, mercury, or anything else that’s toxic. If a product can’t be in our food, in our makeup, or in pet vaccines, should it be in a vaccine? Greening our vaccines will still give all the pro-vaccine parents the choice to vaccinate. Nothing we ‘green vaccine’ parents wants is going to hurt anyone else, yet the potential for harm if the vaccines aren’t changed is vast and WILL hurt people. It HAS hurt people. It’s CONTINUING to hurt people.

Pro-vaccine parents need to understand that those of us who don’t want to vaccinate with the current vaccines are not anti-vaccine. We are pro-SAFE-vaccine. There is a huge difference between the two. HUGE. We want to continue to eradicate disease; we want to keep people safe and healthy; we want to offer immunity (as much as is possible) from diseases that could maim and kill. We don’t want our children to be collateral damage to that cause. Our children didn’t sign up to be the poster children for vaccines so the collective “we” can say “Yeah, but at least less people have measles this year. Phew, glad my child dodged the autism bullet.”

Everyone needs to realize that any time they give their child a vaccine, they are potentially going to cause their child to be THE one in 150 who will get autism or some other illness. Not all our children are genetically pre-disposed to have that happen, but it’s like playing Russian Roulette. Who knows if their child will be THE one? Is it worth that risk? Those who usually say it is don’t have a child with seizures, or with autism, or with some other illness/injury that has negatively impacted their life, and may never go away. Things change, irreversibly, when your child isn’t potty-trained, bites himself, can’t talk, has to wear headphones to leave the house…the list goes on.

My favorite comment of all: “Unvaccinated children put mine <vaccinated children> at risk.” Hmmm, this one’s so easy, I really don’t get why people still say that anymore. IF vaccines worked, why would an unvaccinated child be of any risk to a vaccinated person? Yeah, I know, I puzzle over that, too.

Pro-vaccine parents often say ‘but there’s no definitive proof it causes autism.’ Newsflash, there is definitive proof that mercury is unhealthy. There is definitive proof that ether, formaldehyde, and antifreeze are unhealthy. The bottom line is, even if these things don’t cause autism on their own, they have no place in vaccines. If mercury is not safe in fish…in mascara…in pet vaccines…it is not safe in a flu shot. The fact remains that the autism rates have risen exponentially, and so have the number of ‘mandatory’ vaccines. It doesn’t take a genius to say that it deserves further consideration. Studies done 10 years ago don’t relate to today, as today’s world, the generation of children born in 1999-2001, the children who got 500x the number of mercury deemed safe for a 300 lb adult, who are newly diagnosed, or not yet diagnosed got a lot more shots than when studies were done. And the list is continuing to grow if agencies have their way.

We want a cleaner environment. We use less-toxic cleaning products in our home, vehicles with less emissions, we recycle and do any number of other things to green our homes and conserve the environment. Our children, born/unborn, diagnosed/undiagnosed, deserve no less. If you shop for anything safer for your home, your car, your life, why not consider greener/safer vaccines? And if not, don’t bash my choice. Just don’t imply my child is acceptable collateral damage. There is no such thing.

Does anyone see the contradiction here that mercury in amalgams is bad, but putting it in shots is okay? (It was also removed from mascara too — apparently it’s bad near your eyes.)

When is this going to start making sense?  Thimerosal wasn’t taken out of vaccines back in 2000; new shots with that same amount of thimerosal were just no longer manufactured. Doctors were allowed to continue to use up their stock until they expired so children born/vaccinated years later still received thimerosal. It’s also still in the flu shot that pregnant women, children, and elderly are given.

Now maybe insurance companies will start covering porcelain fillings 100% instead of 60-80% because amalgams are cheaper and therefore 100% covered. If amalgams are bad, it makes sense, right? Then again, what makes sense (removing mercury from shots if it can’t be in your mouth, your mascara, or even your dog vaccines) isn’t always what’s done.

Yesterday’s rally was amazing. I wasn’t there, but I keep reading about it and the 4 minute video on CNN is nothing short of fantastic. Jim Carrey’s words about ‘too many, too soon,’ and clarifying, repeatedly, that we aren’t anti-vaccine, we just want safe vaccines, had to get some serious attention.

It’s great that finally the fact that mercury is BAD is getting mainstream focus from a major agency like the FDA. It’s a shame it took so long, and so many of us exposed our children to this. We have choices though — we know mercury is bad, and we need to stand up for our kids and not expose them to questionable toxins. (And by questionable, formaldehyde, ether and antifreeze are still in current vaccines, so if those aren’t questionable by way of being poisonous, what is?)

 

 

I was standing in the checkout line of Lowe’s last night, in the throes of a migraine that was only growing worse, when the people in line behind me slapped down some things onto the counter that we were still occupying.  I looked down and saw the first item was a triple-pack of those spiral-y lightbulbs..you know, those mercury-ridden things that may save some energy but could expose you to a neurological hazard? I turned to dh, and asked him what he thought the man would do if I told him about the problems with those things? Dh looked at me thinking I was kidding, and reached for the debit card slider. Louder than necessary, if I’d just been talking to dh, I said “Don’t knock their bulbs over — might have to call HAZMAT.” Dh either really didn’t hear me, or is getting used to me, or agreed with my passive-aggressive public service announcements. Someone has to tell these people, right?

We are trying to go green, in some regards. We’ve started very internally — a safer home environment by way of stainless steel cookware (no Teflon), not heating in plastic, safer cleaning products — but those lightbulbs will never find their way in here. Not only can they be unsafe when broken, but they are also reported to contribute to seizures, and we have a daughter with seizure disorder.

It’s great that a product to save energy is now becoming more affordable and available, but people need to be aware that you can’t just throw these things in the trash. They have special requirements for disposal, and you can’t just pick up the pieces or vacuum them up when you break them. At what cost are we saving energy?

I’ve talked a lot about vaccines and thimerasol/mercury, and you’ve probably seen a lot of about it in the media lately. But, the latest is that the emissions from mercury can contribute to autism — makes sense, right? Makes you wonder, too, where else this has happened.

Risk of Autism Linked With Mercury Emission (MSN Health)

Doing a little more research, I found that this has been a concern for approximately three years now. (Mercury Pollution/Autism Link Found: U.S. Study — from CommonDreams Newscenter) Ever wonder why the general public isn’t told about this?

Yet, there’s mercury in CFLs, the wave of the future for energy saving lightbulbs, touted all over as THE way to go. Think twice, and at least read the disposal directions for those lightbulbs..and what’s involved in the cleanup should you break one.

My house is not a green house. We’re working on it, small steps at a time. But, I do know that we have to carefully consider anything brought into our home. Do yourself and your family a favor, and do the same. Even things touted as green, safe, environmentally-friendly, etc., aren’t always as safe as you may think.

 

I’ve got some strong feelings on vaccines — I’m one of “those” people, you know, the people who don’t want anti-freeze components, formaldehyde (yes, the stuff used to preserve dead bodies) and thimerasol (a form of mercury, known to cause mercury poisoning symptoms) injected into my body or my children’s bodies. I also feel that, hold onto your seats, we parents know our children best, and — still sitting down? — should have the right to determine what our children are exposed to, taught, administered, fed, etc. Silly me, I know, I live in a ‘free’ society, yet I expect that freedom to extend to my parental rights when the government insists that it knows better about vaccines. For now, I still have the freedom to say yes or no to vaccines, so I use that right. I also educate myself about all vaccines, not just the ‘mandatory’ (not) school vaccines, but those that continue to crop in and make big money for pharmaceutical companies. The HPV vaccine won’t come near my girls (unless they decide when they’re adults that they want it, and so far, my 19 year old daughter has read enough of the fine print to know that possible death or severe illness is less preferable than being smart with her body) and no one in my house has gotten the flu vaccine in years.

Interesting thing about the flu shot that many people don’t know is that it only protects against the strain(s) of flu that the manufacturer thinks will be the strain(s) to worry about that season. Check out this article (2007-2008 Flu Vaccine a Failure, Worst Flu Season in 4 Years, WiredPRNews.com) for some details on what an awesome (cough) job this most recent flu vaccine did. Was it really worth the dose of thimerasol that came along with it?

While thimerasol may have been taken out of regular childhood vaccines, there’s a common misconception that children stopped getting vaccines containing thimerasol back in 2000 or so, when in reality, manufacturers stopped putting it into newly manufactured vaccines, but the vaccines that had thimerasol were still used until they expired. In some cases, they were used years later. So if you think your child wasn’t exposed, you still might want to review their records. Lot numbers on vaccines are tracked, and you can research to find out exactly how much mercury your child was exposed to. It’s rather scary, and honestly, I have yet to research it on either my autistic son  born in 2000 or my epileptic (but no brain damage/injury — in other words, no reason found) daughter born in 1995. I already know I should have said no to vaccines. Maybe one day I’ll do the math.

However, let me be clear. I am not anti-vaccine. I am pro-vaccine. However, I am pro-SAFE-vaccine. The unnecessary garbage in the current vaccines needs to be removed before they are safe though. Sure, it might cost a little more to manufacture safe vaccines, but aren’t our kids worth it? Current vaccine schedules expose our children to something like 36 vaccines in the first three or so years.

I believe autism is caused by a child being genetically pre-disposed to autism, and when they are exposed to some toxin, they then have autism. (This would be why not all children who get vaccinated get autism, a common question I get.) Obviously, I’ve simplified that but you get my drift. For some kids, this could show from birth onwards. I know people who feel that their child’s autism wasn’t caused by any toxin or environmental issue because they were ‘different’ from birth. (And I’m there with you, my son was different from birth.) However, a lot of those people forget that their child is given a bunch of shots there in the hospital, and within days of birth, then weeks, and then months. In our case, my son was easily irritated, wanted to be tightly wrapped, stared at ceiling fans, didn’t look at us much, and flailed at startling sounds from birth, but at around 18 mths or so, things worsened. Does that mean the autism ‘began’ at 18 mths, or just that his developmental delays started to become more evident? Hard to say, but I fully believe that had I not given him the vaccinations that I did (and we didn’t even do them all) that he wouldn’t be in the same situation he is today. Who knows, maybe some other toxin or medicine or whatnot would have contributed towards autism, but we’ll never know, and therefore I can’t rule out the vaccines.

I run into more and more people questioning vaccines. I respect those who don’t agree, but that doesn’t mean that vaccines can’t be improved upon to make everyone happy. The weird thing is that most of the people I know who believe vaccines are innocent don’t have a child on the spectrum. Hmmmmmm.

And for people that think that an unvaccinated child could endanger their life or that of their child’s? If your or your child’s vaccines work, an unvaccinated person poses no threat. Another hmmmmmm.

With 1 in 150 children being diagnosed with some form of autism, people need to realize this is an epidemic, and there’s no such thing as a genetic epidemic. Something out there is causing it, and we need to figure out what it is. It’s Autism Awareness Month. Wherever you are on the topic of vaccines and autism, public awareness is key to getting the funding out there for the so-needed education and advocacy. My mantra? “Educate, advocate, and love.”

 

 


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