Friday, June 14, 2013

Adventures With the School Nurse: Vaccine Exemptions

So, the last few weeks have been insanely busy. I have gone back to work full time and Elijah's school year has come to an end. We went through all of the end of year parties and IEP meetings. We decided to keep him in Preschool for a third year to better develop his communication and social skills before throwing him into Kindergarten. Another plus? His sister, Jazlyn, will be in the same class with him. Mommy thinks that's just too adorable :)

Anyways, Elijah's teachers are being moved to another school within the district, so I had to go through the registration process at the new school, including bringing in our newly acquired vaccine exemptions. We have that law requiring all three types of exemptions be signed by a doctor. Our naturopath decided we qualified for permanent medical exemptions for both kids. I love her so much for that. The state and federal governments will not ever be able to take that away from us (hopefully). Anyways, I brought in the signed and lawful exemptions along with the rest of the registration stuff to the new school office. The office staff called in the school nurse to verify the exemptions. She looked over them for a few seconds in silence and then the fun began.

Nurse: What medical conditions do they have that prevents them from being vaccinated?

Me: Elijah has suffered from a vaccine injury. The doctor believes Jazlyn had a mild one as well.

Nurse: A what?

Me: A vaccine injury. He had an adverse reaction to his shots when he was about a year old. He has autism as a result of encephalitis, demyelination and over toxicity in his entire body.

Nurse: *eyeroll* Oh.

Me: Yep, so no more vaccines for us.

Nurse: Well, was this signed by an actual doctor?

Me: Yes, Dr. A is a licensed ND. She even has a fancy "Dr." in her signature.

Nurse: Well, usually WE provide the exemption paperwork and then you take it to your doctor and bring it back.

Me: Well, she had the paperwork in her office. Saved a step.

Nurse: Why is this a photocopy? Where is the original?

Me: The doctor has the original. I can go get it if I have to.

Nurse: *sigh* This should be ok. Where is the additional form stating you are aware that should an outbreak occur, your children will be excluded from school until the outbreak is over?

Me: Um, that statement is already written on this official exemption sheet. Right above my signature.

Nurse: Well. I don't know if all this will be sufficient. I will take it and let you know if it's not.

Me: Thank you *walk out the door feeling the major eye rolls and overall bitchiness going on behind my back*

I was so ready to drink. Or fight. Or both. My goodness. Even with a LEGAL SIGNED exemption, I was given so much trouble. I did everything right. And still she tried to find a way around it and force my children to be vaccinated. The family who was being helped ahead of me was another preschool registration and the nurse had already been berating them for not having enough vaccines. The poor mother was almost in tears not understanding why her son needed more vaccines. "He has had SO many already," she said. I really felt for her. I looked at her son, smiling, healthy and happy. I pray he will stay that way. My son was not so lucky.

With so much pressure from doctors, media and even school nurses, it's no wonder so many parents blindly shoot up their kids, even when their instincts tell them not to. Unless you have spent the hours upon hours researching this topic, you really are lost on the whole subject. Your heart tells you its too much but since you are ignorant on it all, you just let it go and trust these people who tell you how perfectly safe it is.

One thing is for sure. The nurse can hate me all she wants, the mainstream doctors can browbeat and throw scary sounding statistics at me, the media can highlight every rare case of polio, measles, tetanus, whooping cough, mumps, etc on the 6:00 news, other moms can roll their eyes and condemn me as a negligent, idiotic mother. They will never break me again. Never. I did not lose my temper with that school nurse. I was armed with knowledge and experience of which she couldn't shake. Never again will I be intimidated or pressured into poisoning my children, and that is the most empowering feeling in the world. Call me crazy, call me negligent, call me anything you want. In the end, I know what damaged my child and thousands, millions just like him. I am secure in my choice, supported by an amazing doctor and strongly knit community of people like me. Together, we will change the perceptions of nonvaccinating families. I used to be afraid to talk about it in public. But I find that when I do, I actually get support. Regular people all over the country are genuinely curious about vaccines and have many questions. Instead of raging and scaring these people off, we must share our stories and our knowledge. Help them see what is happening to the current generation of children suffering from chronic illnesses. Perhaps we just may be able to save them without Pharma or government agencies changing their policies. WE have the power to save ourselves. One story at a time.