There’s been a lot of talk about vaccinations lately after the Australian Vaccination Network encouraged its members to contact parents who’d lost children to SIDS to see if they could find out whether vaccines ’caused’ the death of the children.
I’m not a doctor or a scientist – I can’t tell you what the negatives of vaccination are or whether or not it causes SIDS or autism or peanut allergies. I can only go by what I read in the media and what I can gather from talking to those I know who do work in the medical industry. I’m also not going to attack the AVN. All I’m going to tell you is my opinions on vaccination.
I’ve never understood why parents choose not to vaccinate their children. And this is why: I had whooping cough as a child. It was fucking terrifying. So I don’t understand why parents wouldn’t try to prevent it in any way possible. I guess I can sort of understand why parents may not vaccinate against ‘typical’ childhood diseases such as chicken pox and measles – until a few years ago, I always thought that they were just an itchy and annoying childhood disease. Now I know better, but I can understand that not everyone reads as much as I do (nor is everyone related to three nurses and a medical researcher – which is how I found out that chicken pox is a bit more serious for some people!). But that still doesn’t explain why some people don’t vaccinate against deadly diseases such as whooping cough, polio and diphtheria.
I got whooping cough when I was 10 years old. I’d been vaccinated but a girl in my grade 5 class hadn’t. She caught it and she brought it to school. Four more children caught whooping cough but the only one who was hospitalised was the child who hadn’t been vaccinated.
Thankfully, my whooping cough was pretty mild. During the day it felt like I had the flu. However at night I’d be sleeping peacefully then suddenly lurch awake, unable to breathe. I’d sit up in bed unable to do anything but cough. These tiny, quiet, uncontrollable coughs would expel air from my lungs but I couldn’t inhale. I’d just keep coughing and coughing and coughing and I’d start to panic – it would feel like minutes passed before I could get that huge intake of air (the “whooping” sound) before the coughs started again. Eventually I’d vomit and suddenly the coughs would stop and I’d be able to breathe normally again. I’d be sweaty and covered in sick but able to breathe in sweet, clean, cool air.
Air is under-rated. You don’t realise how important it actually is until you’re deprived of it.
The coughing fits would happen once or twice a night and after five nights, they went away. That was a mild dose of whooping cough and I was a very healthy and active 10-year-old. Imagine if I hadn’t been vaccinated, or had been an elderly lady with emphysema, or a newborn baby. Having had whooping cough, I understand just how deadly it could be.
Which comes back to me not understanding why people are anti-vaccination. Personally, I think every anti-vaccinator should get a dose of whooping cough. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t wish death on them (nor do I want them spreading whooping cough). But I want them to go without air. I want them to wonder when they’ll get the chance to breathe in again. I want them to feel that fear. I want them to over-come the coughing fit. And then I want them to think about how a small child would feel – a child who doesn’t understand what’s happening to them and doesn’t understand why they can’t breathe. Then defend their choice not to protect their kids in any way they can.
Where do you stand on vaccination? Are you pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination? Have you ever been truly ill?
We happily welcome open discussion but abusive comments will not be tolerated.
PerthWife has written 1 posts.
PerthWife is an anonymous and slightly inappropriate blogger who is addicted to tea and Twitter. She is a full-time housewife, keen baker, crap gardener, mediocre crafter and avid reader. She suffers from foot-in-mouth disease and hopes to have a baby with her husband sometime soon. PerthWife currently lives in Boganville with Husband, Little Dog and Kitty.