The Klein's

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. – Harvey Mackay

Some blogs you think do I really want to write it?  A couple of weeks ago I read a social media post wanting everyone to know why they should not get their flu shot.  Honestly, I haven’t been able to let it go.  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that post.  When I’m refilling my daughter’s medicine I think about it.  When I’m pounding on my daughters back several times a day I think about it.  I find it interesting that most of the people I see warn me not to vaccinate have completely healthy families.  Go ahead and comment that’s because they don’t vaccinate, but I’m going to just reply whatever.  As much hate as you want to send me for sharing my opinion is not going to make one bit if difference to me.  Not one.  Not this time.  You see I had an allergic reaction to a vaccine when I was a child, I ended up in the hospital, and I still vaccinated my kids.  I am not a bad parent.  I am not a bad person.  I understand the odds of them being injured from the disease were greater then the odds of them being injured by the vaccine.

I had pneumonia and bronchitis together last winter.  Let me tell you it sucked.  My biggest fear?  Giving it to my kid.  My chest hurt, I was out of breath, and I was exhausted.  It was a good reminder for me of what Lexi feels like a lot of the time.  Before anyone wants to lecture me about not vaccinating, let me tell you about my daughter’s lungs.

CF Lungs

Lexi has cystic fibrosis.  The inside of her body has a sticky mucus, and that mucus likes to settle in the lungs.  Twice a day she is supposed to wear a vest to literally shake the mucus out of her lungs.  She inhales sodium chloride to try and make the mucus thinner.  She takes nebulizer treatments to change the consistency of the mucus.  Every three months the mucus is tested to make sure that there isn’t bacteria in it.  You see that mucus likes to attract little germs, and once they settle they don’t like to leave.  Sometimes they stay for years, and often they require a minimum two week hospitalization for IV meds to try and kill the bugs.  Over time those lungs get tired of all the mucus and bugs and they simply fail.

xray

My daughter also has asthma.  Only 10% of CF patients have asthma, so managing the two together isn’t actually a perfect science.  Imagine, take a set of CF lungs, and squeeze them shut.  That’s what asthma does.  It tightens and restricts the lungs, and doesn’t let the air move.  Now imagine as those lungs squeeze, and they are full of mucus.

trapped air

My daughter is one of the 5 to 10% of people who’s asthma doesn’t respond to typical treatments.  Over time she has developed trapped air.  Before my child I didn’t even know that such a thing could happen.  Her bronchial tubes have tightened so much that air is now trapped in her alveoli.  Along with that air we can assume thick, sticky, cystic fibrosis related mucus.  Next week my daughter has surgery.  She will have an ENT for her sinuses and her vocal cords,  She will have a GI doctor for her esophagus disease.  She will have a pulmonologist who will go deep in her lungs, try and make sure there are no hidden germs, and try to open up those trapped airways.  She will be admitted to the hospital, and have to stay overnight, because of her history of post surgical respiratory distress.  Last time she had a surgery her 3 day stay ended up being 7 days.

I shared all of this not for your sympathy.  No, please, we are living our best possible life, and we know that God’s got this.  I share this because I don’t want people around my daughter who haven’t been vaccinated.  It’s plain and simple.  So today I want to focus on one point that people who don’t vaccinate themselves or their children often make, and that is they wouldn’t go around others if they are sick.

From Seattle Children’s Hospital – https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/infection-exposure-questions/

disease 1disease 2disease 3disease 4disease 5

I only want to focus on the flu.  I added everything else, because often when you talk about vaccines, those other three come up a lot in discussion.  Since I figure someone will message me about the others, I would just go ahead and throw them up there.

Have you ever started the day feeling fabulous and then as the day went on began to feel run down?

Have you ever sent your kid to school perfectly happy and seemingly healthy, only to have the school call you at noon and your kid has a fever?

school nurseI have.  On both those counts.  More then once.  I’m guessing if your honest you have too.

My point?  Of course you would never get my chronically ill child sick on purpose.  The whole reason you don’t do vaccines is because you believe that your keeping yourself or your kids healthy.  I have no desire to get into the people who vaccinate are evil vs people who don’t vaccinate are evil battles that happen online.  I want to give you something to think about, and if you know my family personally ask you to stay away if you haven’t had the FLU shot this year and were around someone at work or school or anywhere that might have possibly been sick.  Because the FLU has a 1-2 day incubation period.

So here is the most recent data on vaccines that I could find…

vaccines

… and here are some other facts you might be interested in.

odds

I am guessing that you may have driven in a car sometime this week.  If you didn’t ride in a car you probably lived somewhere that you could walk to where you needed to be.  My point?  Living is dangerous, but we live.  Cars are dangerous, but we drive cars.  People can give me statistics about how harmful vaccines are, and I can give statistics about how harmful life is.  Are we going to change each others mind?  Nope, probably not.

If your kid gets the FLU they are going to get sick.  They might even get really sick and end up in the hospital.  If your child gets the FLU shot maybe by some slim chance they would have a minor reaction, but they are more likely to be hurt in a car accident on the way to get the shot then be hurt by the shot.  It’s just a fact.  A statistical fact.

If my child gets the FLU she will immediately be admitted to the hospital.  Why?  Because all those statistics about people who die from the FLU are usually people like my daughter.  She will have to start an immediate around the clock respiratory protocol to keep her from being a real statistic.  That statistic people hear about on the news, and think oh that’s so sad.  The statistic about the number of people who died that year from the FLU.

There are no laws here that say you have to vaccinate your kid.  So you don’t have to.  No one can make you.  You get to make your own decisions.  Just do me a favor, and please avoid my family and consider the incubation period.  You might not know your sick when you see us.  You might not know that you’ll start coughing or sneezing or running a fever while your here for dinner.  So please don’t risk my child just in case it happens.  Please don’t tell me that I’m being ridiculous because statistically you probably won’t get sick while your here.  That same statistical argument you give to me will be countered with the statistical risk that an unvaccinated person could bring harm to my daughter.  We are both going to use statistics for our own benefit to “win” our arguments, just as most people do in this situation.

I’m going to say that I know there is no vaccine that is 100% safe or effective.  So many things go into that.  But I’m going to get the shot and accept that sometimes the simple act of being alive is dangerous.  I’m going to do what I can to protect my family, while living the best possible life possible.

If you know us, and you love us, or even just like us, I’m simply asking you to do the same.  Please help me protect my family.  Let’s not argue about vaccinating, because no one every changes anyone’s opinion on that one.  It just leads to a lot of angry people, and my request is simply made out of love.  The love of a mom to protect her family.

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One thought on “Flu Shots and Chronic Illness.

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