considering not vaxing, but have a lot of questions and a hostile pediatrician - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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dd is 8 months and has had most of her baby shots already. but now i am reading about vaccinations, and starting to consider non-vaxing. but i have some questions and i can't get an answer from the pediatrician other than "you must vaccinate!". when i refused the flu shot they acted like i was a bad mother, so if i don't do any of the vaxes from now on i know that i'm in for a fight.

 

dd has had part of the hib and rhotovirus series. would it be dangerous to not finish now that she's had part of it? is it an all or nothing situation like taking antibiotics, where a partial dose is dangerous?

 

i am a navy wife, and there is a strong chance of dh getting stationed overseas. would non-vaxing cause problems with visas/travel? i plan to homeschool, so daycare policy doesn't matter, but i don't want to be unable to travel to wherever dh is stationed next.

 

how do i get a religious exemption form? will it look funny/suspicious that dd has already had some vaxing but now i'm saying i have a religious objection?

 

is anyone else navy or navy-spouse and could tell me if there is navy/military-specific paperwork i'd need to do?

 

 

dd's next checkup is in 3 weeks and if i'm going to have to fight the pediatrician then i want to know my facts ahead of time and have my ducks in a row. i can't change doctors because it's the on-base hospital and all the peds there have the same views. and non-military care is not an option financially.

any advice or information would really be appreciated. 

 


betsy:  wife to tony, mama to haven (7/6/10), arlo (m/c 1/21/12), and expecting valencia in late december.

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#2 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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It is not dangerous to not finish a series; it's not like antibiotics. You can stop anytime you wish.

 

I don't know much about military, but there may be some hurdles with vaccines and travel - but I'll let someone else answer about that. You are not guaranteed problems, however, and you can choose to cross that bridge only when you come to it, if you wish.

 

You don't need any forms if you homeschool. In my state (MA) there aren't any forms at all, actually. You just write a letter and submit it. If you decide to go this route, come back for some advice on how to phrase the letter. It's not too hard, but there are some things you want to avoid stating, and overall you just want to say very little actually.

 

But I can give you some good advice about fighting with the pediatrician: don't. Your best options are:

1) Find a provider you don't have to fight with. Most likely choice is a family practitioner rather than a pediatrician. (OK, sorry, I see you can't choose a family doctor, so moving on to 2...)

2) Stick with the ped, but don't fight. Just say "I'm not comfortable doing these today" and repeat (you will definitely have to repeat). Do not state specific objections, or they will pounce and run you over with them. Don't get into a debate. Don't say that you've decided not to do them for sure, either. Just "not today."

 

I do know that you are not military, and your child is not military. They can't make you submit to medical care that you don't want. They might be able to make your husband do it, but not you and your child. There may be travel restrictions, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUBMIT TO VACCINATING YOUR CHILD. Take your time, do your research, and don't get rushed into a decision.

 

If you feel totally cornered and they tell you a reason that you should vaccinate that you can't counter right then, tell them you'll think about it and bring them in next week if you decide to do it. There is NO EMERGENCY about getting a shot. Even if you decide a vaccine is the right thing to do for any reason, you don't have to get it today. I'm telling you this because this is a very good thing to remember when you feel highly pressured. Don't make this decision under pressure. If they say something that scares you, you can always go home, research, think about it, and make a rational decision to go back and get it done. But you can't undo it.

 

Oh, and don't forget, you don't HAVE to take your child in for this visit either :)

 

Be strong, good luck :)

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#3 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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Oh, I just remembered. A lot of practices pressure moms into signing a "waiver" if they choose not to vaccinate. The wording on the waiver is fairly ridiculous. I am not aware of any real repercussions of signing the thing, legal or otherwise, but you may want to search this forum about this or ask people for their opinions so you aren't blindsided if this gets put in front of you. I don't have a strong opinion about it myself, but if you're unsure about it, you CAN take the waiver home and look at it. They cannot take your child hostage or anything until you sign it. You can leave without signing it, you can take it home. If you don't want to sign it you may choose to be less confrontational and say that you just want to take it home and look it over (as opposed to something like "you know where you can put that waiver" or whatever, lol).

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#4 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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I'd be nervous too. Not going to lie. I hate vaccine confrontations with doctors.

 

Bottom line, it's your child, your decision. Just be firm and say that you are still researching and will not do any more vaccines until you feel 100% sure you have all the information. Tell him when you're ready to discuss it, you will let him know. Don't let anyone rush you. 

As far as traveling goes, I would seek the advice of a Naturopath and find alternative ways to keep the immune system healthy and strong.

 

 

 


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#5 of 19 Old 03-17-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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Hi Mamadiamond,

 

I feel your pain, and I have been where you are. If I were you, I'd ask around and see if you can find a less hostile pediatrician. I've gone to pediatricians who vehemently disagree with me, yet do not insist on fighting with me, and that's OK. I do not care if they agree or disagree, I only want them to respect my right to make medical decisions for my child.

 

Seashells is absolutely right that you do not fight, reason, argue, etc. with your pediatrician. Do not discuss the issue. Simply smile and say, "We believe this is best for our child." Repeat over and over and over again, smiling. Practice in front of a mirror if you have to, but do not engage in any argument or discussion with your doctor. You will not win, you will not change their minds, and you will end up feeling bruised and battered.

 

In Maryland, you can download the vaccination form on the internet. At the bottom of the form is a place to sign if you have a religious objection to vaccination. Don't fill in any vaccines your child has, simply sign the bottom. That's what I did. I handed the form in to camps and schools, smiled, and left before they could ask me any questions.

 

Also, it is absolutely true you do not need to go in for well baby visits. Those are timed, coincidentally, with the vaccine schedule. If your baby is well, then skip those visits. I only brought my child in for annual physicals, and when DD was sick.

 

Do a search for vaccine and military threads on mdc, and you'll find more information about military requirements. The rules may vary depending on the country you are moving to.

 

Don't forget that you can do titers to find out whether the shots your baby has already had make him/her immune to the various diseases. Often the series of shots are overkill -- a single shot may be plenty to provide immunity. My doctor lied to me and told me there was no way to test whether my child was immune, but that is not true. Titers are expensive, and docs would prefer to simply give your child another shot rather than go through the bother of doing titers.

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#6 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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"Remember that you can file ICE reports online for ANY bad and good experiences you have at any military facility (military doctor, the commissary, exchange, etc.). They will always follow up on your report and try to remedy the situation. The ICE system is done through DOD and stands for Interactive Customer Evaluation."
http://ice.disa.mil/

 

And just so you know, you do not have to do all WBVs--you don't have to go to that appointment. You not have to stay have to stay and be mistreated--you can walk out. 

 

Quote:

#19 We Got Declined for Japan (Update!!!)  However, if you need help with this sort of situation, contact:

 

Cdr. Sal Maida, 202-762-3077, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington D.C

Please spread the word about this and give everyone this Cdr's info! (NAVY of course)

 


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#7 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Rotovirus is for baby diarrhea and is one of the shots I would consider to be utter nonsense. There is no way I would give that one. If I were to be living in a 3rd world country without clean water or sanitary conditions, sure, I would get some of these shots. But rotavirus shot is a joke and if a baby passes a year old without it, they won't give it because it is only for infancy.

 

I highly recommend switching doctors. Oh, and HIB is not usually on the vax required schedules for school. It is not in Texas anyway. You can google this. It is also a shot that is only considered "needed" for babies. 

 

You really really need to switch doctors.

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#8 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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My answer is very simple.  If you are the patient of a doctor who will not respect your decisions, find a new one.  YOU ARE THE PARENT.  YOU MAKE THE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR CHILDRENS HEALTH.  If they are going to bully you, run as fast as your legs can carry you and find a ped who will respect you as a parent.  Even if that is just to wait until you are more comfortable about vaxxing.  I had a ped who would drop me if I didnt follow the schedule exactly.  That is BS imo, and i found a ped who was willing to work WITH me, not against me.

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#9 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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I agree with the part where I would not do the well check up. Just call and cancel now saying that you just found out you will be out of town. Then when they ask you when you wish to reschedule for, just say you will have to call them back when you have your dates in front of you. IF your child actually gets sick around that time where your child needs to go in (but lets face it, kids do not usually get sick that often) they won't remember that you said you were going out of town.

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#10 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the great advice/encouragement. my only option for a new dr would be another dr at the same military clinic, and they are all in agreement. the whole clinic is very uneducated about anything even slightly outside the establishment. at 4 months they were shocked that my dd wasn't sleeping through the night yet "like she should", so i had to explain that breastmilk is digested quicker than formula. they all told me how dangerous it was that i co-sleep. declining the flu vax was like the end of the world. every little thing is like swimming upstream. i don't plan to have an argument, but having all the info ahead of time will help me be more firm in asserting my choice and ignoring the attitude that i will get.  i tend to be intimidated by medical people, which is why my dd is partially vaxed. i feel really bad for buckling to the pressure. so since i'm stuck with the dr that i have, i'm just going to educate myself and stand my ground and do what's best for dd regardless of the fuss. i've been reading other posts about military policy, and it looks like i just need to get used to pushing against the grain.


betsy:  wife to tony, mama to haven (7/6/10), arlo (m/c 1/21/12), and expecting valencia in late december.

"we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" - arthur o'shaunessy
 
"if there is no dancing then it is not my revolution" - emma goldman

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#11 of 19 Old 03-18-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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Hello mamadiamond,

I believe the rotavirus vaccine was designed to target babies who go to germ-laden daycare centers and who are formula fed, because they are more susceptible to contracting the virus. In fact, the rotavirus vaccine is really nothing more than a "designer diarrhea". Last year the rotavirus vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline was found to be contaminated with a pig virus (porcine circovirus type 1 or PCV-1) and the Merck rotavirus vaccine was contaminated with both PCV-1 and PCV-2.   http://www.mothering.com/health/lethal-pig-virus-found-in-mercks-rotavirus-vaccine

jaw.gifVaccine contamination happens much more than we are told. I would take this fact into serious consideration on the vaccine issue in general.

 

Ditto to what all the PPs advised you. This is the perfect opportunity to take back your power and follow your gut. It's a shame that as a culture we have put doctors on pedestals to the extent that giving them so much power has contributed to medical tyranny. I no longer take my children in for WBVs and their health has improved greatly. Besides, doctors' offices have all sorts of bugs your healthy child can pick up. 

 

Doctors often rely on fear mongering and hyping of disease to scare parents into complying with their vaccination program. See it for what it is and make an informed decision in peace.


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#12 of 19 Old 03-20-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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I've been there with docs who go nuts when I refuse MMR, Flu, and Chicken pox; pretty much some of the 3 most controversial vax's out there... I would(and have since) go out in search of a no-vax friendly pediatrician, the only one's I can find in my area are also holistic but we're into that as well so no problems here. I have been told that at most doctor's offices if you refuse over a certain number of vax's, or state that you will not do any, they will kick you out of the practice. Can't remember where I heard that though?


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#13 of 19 Old 03-23-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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as a 'military brat' i am familiar with the challenges of being limited by that community.  my mother sought medical advice from outside the military medical world.  in fact, she refused to deliver babies in the military hospitals and chose to fly from where-ever in the world she was back home to her father's women and children's unit to have a more supportive birth environment.  she even flew back from overseas in europe twice for the last two kids.

 

Doctors are hired professionals who we pay to give us advice, support, and information on how to support our children's health.  the attitude that they have any more authority than parents in kids lives is something that I feel is very dangerous and should not be an option.  

 

we went from a pedi who didn't listen to a family practice that is very pro-vaccine (in MA), but who is also very supportive of our decisions.  I make all our well-baby visits to document my children's progressive health.  My pedi supports having my children's health reviewed consistently more than he feels like he needs to convince me that I'm wrong.  This attitude is such a blessing.  Our son had 2 vaccines, and our two daughters have had none.  Our next child will be an unvaccinated homebirth, just like our last.  At this point, the practice is watching our kids carefully, but also have to note that they see no problems.

 

As for dealing with the military attitude towards following the rules..... well, that's going to be hard!  but educating yourself, showing up with books, (I recommend Dr. Sear's Vaccine book to take to Dr's), with folded pages, high-lighted, notes on what you don't like and what you do, coming in prepared with one child can make the entire practice decide that you are capable of decision making on this front.  But that's my personal style.  


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#14 of 19 Old 03-24-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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I created a blog for my friends and family who I attempt to educate about vaccines.  I was tired of repeating myself over and over, so I put it all in one place for them to access whenever.  It has answers to common questions about vaccines (all with sources,) videos, charts, etc. Search "taketimetofindyourtruth  vaccines"  in google.  Hope it can help you out! 

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#15 of 19 Old 03-24-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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We are Air Force. Since you are seeing pediatricians on base, they cannot fire you nor can they require you to sign a waiver for not vaccinating, that's the only beauty of military peds. So say no and that you know that you are not legally required to vaccinate nor to sign a waiver. If they claim it is a law or whatever, ask them to produce the proper paperwork with the DoD or Navy regulation stating so, and they will quickly give up. Our bas peds never tried to pull this on us and just let it be, but I have heard of peds trying to tell wives that their husbands will get kicked out if they don't vaccinate. The dependents are not military members and hence no vaccination is necessary. You can still get a religious exemption as long as you won't vaccinate anymore in the future, and those exemptions are only necessary when your LO goes to school.

 

As for overseas assignments, no, you do not need to vaccinate, you just need to get an exemption, and there are plenty of threads about this here. Only if the host country requires shots will you have to get those. Most countries do not require shots, in fact I do not know of any (and I'm European, can tell you for sure neither Germany nor Italy require them).

 

Do not let them bully you and let them know that you know your rights. If they threaten you, let them know that you will file an ICE complaint and will want to talk to their superior, that should put them into their place immediately.

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#16 of 19 Old 03-24-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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Hey! I myself and former Navy. But of course they filled me up with every vaccine known to man at the time. As someone else said you and your baby are not in the military so please don't feel as pressured.

We had a friend in the new town we had moved to become a secondary pediatrician (the main one took hours to get in to see at the same practice). We had been to his house and one of his kids was the same age as my daughter. When we made the decision to stop vaccinations he didn't become mad but said he didn't understand, he tried to talk me into it, made me feel very uncomfortable. He took me and my 2 kids into his office from the exam room and wanted to sit down and discuss. I stopped taking my kids there. I didn't even want to tell him why I was really taking my kids out. Because his kids and mine go to the same preschool I thought oh no it is going to get out my kids aren't vaxed and I am going to have a bunch of angry parents coming at me. Yes yes I know about doctor confidentiality...

Anyway, I found a local website of moms that didn't do vaccines and asked them which peds doc they recommended.

I am learning so much on this website though.

Good luck on your journey.

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#17 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks again to everyone for the advice. just wanted to update. i just got back from a ped appointment and am feeling so relieved. i talked to the dr about not being comfortable with some vaccines and she was actually supportive! i was so surprised. turns out the attitude of pushing shots and just assuming i'd want all of them was more about policy and the fact that most parents she sees don't care. but once i brought up concerns she listened respectfully and then told me there were three vaccines she really recommends (which were the same ones my dd already had) but that she considers the others to be totally discretionary. it was such a good conversation, and a huge weight off my mind. i'm so glad i got past my nervousness and initiated the conversation. it's a great lesson for me on the bennefits of being bold. so thanks to all of you for helping me find the confidence.


betsy:  wife to tony, mama to haven (7/6/10), arlo (m/c 1/21/12), and expecting valencia in late december.

"we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" - arthur o'shaunessy
 
"if there is no dancing then it is not my revolution" - emma goldman

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#18 of 19 Old 04-04-2011, 05:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadiamond View Post

thanks again to everyone for the advice. just wanted to update. i just got back from a ped appointment and am feeling so relieved. i talked to the dr about not being comfortable with some vaccines and she was actually supportive! i was so surprised. turns out the attitude of pushing shots and just assuming i'd want all of them was more about policy and the fact that most parents she sees don't care. but once i brought up concerns she listened respectfully and then told me there were three vaccines she really recommends (which were the same ones my dd already had) but that she considers the others to be totally discretionary. it was such a good conversation, and a huge weight off my mind. i'm so glad i got past my nervousness and initiated the conversation. it's a great lesson for me on the bennefits of being bold. so thanks to all of you for helping me find the confidence.

 

 "I only really recommend these vaccines" is how my first child ended up partially vaccinated (the mil doc convinced dh)--it may just be another tactic. I guess you'll know the first time you refuse a vaccine on her personal "recommended" list.
 

 


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#19 of 19 Old 04-07-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mittsy View Post

I've been there with docs who go nuts when I refuse MMR, Flu, and Chicken pox; pretty much some of the 3 most controversial vax's out there... I would(and have since) go out in search of a no-vax friendly pediatrician, the only one's I can find in my area are also holistic but we're into that as well so no problems here. I have been told that at most doctor's offices if you refuse over a certain number of vax's, or state that you will not do any, they will kick you out of the practice. Can't remember where I heard that though?



I can say it was true for me. We had our doc for all of 2 months...when I presented him with a list of the vaccines I was comfortable with + only getting one at a time, delaying others until my LO was older, he told us he couldn't work with us anymore. It's really a shame.

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