Remembering a Time Before Vaccines! And Knowing that Vaccinations Save Lives.

12 Feb

Chicken pox, measles, German measles, mumps….I’ve had them all. And I did not like them. I did not like the constant itching of those horrible rashes. I did not like the swelling of my face. When my brother got mumps my parents were frantic…this is a disease that causes young men to become sterile.   Luckily not my brother, but others were impacted by this now obsolete childhood disease, or somewhat obsolete.

I remember the summer we all had chicken pox. It was miserable. We were in the Catskills and could not leave our bungalow. I was the last one to get them. Everyone else was outside playing. And I watched from the porch. My mom was so exhausted by that time that she was sitting outside as well. I know she was happy that there was finally only one sick child, and not three. I remember swinging on the screen door of the porch pushing the envelop of being outside because I wanted so much to be with everyone else.

We got the measles in Jersey during the school year. One week after the other we broke out in these horrible rashes. German measles was the same. I hated them.

Luckily for my children’s generation, there were vaccinations for most diseases, but not for chicken pox. My daughter’s case was horrifying. Her chicken pox were internal. Hardly any showing on the outside, but her mouth and throat was covered. She would cough up and vomit scabs. I freaked out. Luckily my husband is a pediatrician and could deal much better with this. By the time my son had chicken pox, I was much better prepared.

I was so happy that they were not going to get other childhood diseases like whooping cough and diphtheria, both stopped by vaccines. And we cannot forget the important T of the DPT, tetanus. Thank goodness no one ever has to get lock jaw or tetanus anymore. A vaccination will keep you safe.

I remember the small pox vaccine. There was a needle with many little needles that was stuck into me.   I am one of the few who do not carry the scar from this vaccine. But I am so glad I never got small pox.

As for polio, each summer we went to the Catskills for two reasons: first to be with family and friends and second to escape from the city where polio was rampant in the summers.  Those of us who were away for the summer, out of the hot crowded cities were much more likely to avoid this horrible disease.

I still remember standing on a very long line at the public school in North Bergen, New Jersey: so many children and their parents. The line seemed to go on forever. As we reached the front of the line, we were given a sugar cube. Delicious. At the time I did not realize it was soaked in polio vaccine. All I know now is that I walk and I breathe. Thank you for saving so many lives with this amazing discovery.

As we watch the measles reclaim our country, I am stunned. I hear unbelievable comments from politicians who say a parent has a right over his child’s body, I am so amazed. These same politicians tell us that a woman has no right to use birth control or chose to terminate a pregnancy and that the government needs to make laws against it. But at the same time they say that a parent can chose not to vaccinate their child! What type of hypocrisy is this? A major one!

My husband is a pediatric immunologist/allergist. He has devoted his life to helping children. He is amazed that people do not want to vaccinate their children! And do not get mad at the doctor who does not want to treat unvaccinated children and then get mad at a doctor in whose waiting room dozens of children are exposed to measles. It is not the doctor’s fault that people do not have their children vaccinated.

I wonder how far these anti-vaccination people actually go? Do they not have their children vaccinated against polio? Do they understand the ramifications?

And as for our politicians who are supposed to be leading our country and helping its citizens, they need to be voted out of office if you think vaccinations are not necessary. They are a disgrace.

Instead of believing a fraudulent medical study that was disproven years ago, parents have got to realize, Vaccinations Save Lives.

Do not go back to the days of misery that I remember from my childhood.

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