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I came across this great blog called "Before Vaccines." It has stories of experiences with dIseases that vaccines now help protect us from. One story is of a woman who is nearly blind from measles, many of the stories are about children who have died (one story is of a little boy who died from chickenpox in the 90s). Truly heartbreaking accounts of what these diseases can do.<br><br>
<a href="http://beforevaccines.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">http://beforevaccines.blogspot.com/</a><br><br>
I think it's a great reminder of why making sure our children are up to date on all their vaccines is so important.<br><br>
Edit: If you want, it could be helpful to post a snipet of a story you find especially compelling or interesting.<br><br>
Or to post your own story of friends/family members that had bad reactions to VPDs.<br><br>
My grandfathers younger brother had polio and walked with a limp and cane his whole life. He was never able to play sports or run or enjoy the outdoor activities that were so important to my family like hunting and hiking.
 
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<p>I get most emotional about vaccination when it comes to protecting those who don't have a choice to make. </p>
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<p>A friend of mine in her mid-thirties has leukemia and is post bone-marrow-transplant. She's better now and has been able to be vaccinated herself again (had to start all over post-transplant because it gave her a brand new immune system), but she was very vulnerable for a time.</p>
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<p>If I ever hesitate over my annual flu shot I think of her and it's immediately an easy choice to make. </p>
 

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<p>My mother had polio as a child. She has lost the use of one of her legs, and suffers from nerve pain that gets worse every year. She was lucky not to have died, though. That is all.</p>
 

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<p>I had a physics teacher in high school who had polio as a child. He walked with the aid of two sticks - he had some impressive upper body strength, and would do tricks for us on the last day of term if asked nicely. He got a lot of teasin from the kids, and getting around was clearly hard for him. </p>
 

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<p>My best friend's mom had polio as a child and had weakness on one side of her body - she walked with a limp - and partial paralysis in her hand and arm.  I remember her riding a giant tricycle around the neighborhood because she couldn't balance on a regular bike.</p>
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<p>It's interesting how many of us know someone affected by polio.  How likely do you all think it is that it will be eradicated?  We're so close...</p>
 

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<p>I'm guessing most of us have had chicken pox, which is something DS is unlikely to have.  Does anyone remember what it was like for them?</p>
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<p>I was 8 or so and got what I guess was a moderate case.  It was all over my body, lots and lots of spots.  But I didn't have anything in bad places.  I remember being uncomfortable, but fine.  I was glad when it was over, it felt like it lasted a long time.  I missed a lot of school.  But I also remember being confused when the vaccine came out, wondering why people would want to vaccinate for it.</p>
 

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<p>I had the chicken pox at 12. I was exposed in the same month that the vaccine came to market. It was unpleasant for a week or so, but I didn't think of it as that big of a deal honestly. If there weren't a vaccine now I wouldn't be dreading chickenpox coming for my daughter. Thing is, though, even if natural immunity is longer-lasting, everyone's vaccinated these days so you actually have to work at catching the disease. There's something about deliberately taking my kid to a "pox party" that is disturbing to me. It seemed that if I skipped the vaccine to see if she got the natural disease before teenagerhood, the odds are against her getting it anyway. And my husband remembers chickenpox as a miserable experience and felt strongly about getting the vaccine. </p>
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<p>Honestly I don't know of any more bad disease experiences in my own personal family, but I know they're out there. I know the mortality rate for young children used to be higher than it is. Friends of mine have a preemie who is now 5 months old adjusted and I'm glad that vaccines are available to reduce the circulating disease around her. (As for the discussion of "well, adults are undervaccinated too so there's no point getting hung up on unvaccinated kids", adults probably are undervaccinated but 1. that's a reason to look at whether adults need more vaccines, not a reason to not vaccinate kids, and 2. transmission is less from adults because adults don't chew/drool/wipe their nose on everything in sight and then hand it to people the way little kids do. And there are campaigns aimed at teaching adults not to cough in their hands and give people stuff.)</p>
 

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<p>My MIL had polio as a young child. It took her a year to learn to walk again and one leg has always been thinner/weaker than the other. She has post-polio syndrome now and works very hard to maintain her ability to walk- physical therapy several times a week. My uncle was permanently deafened by mumps. </p>
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<p>I'm not saying chicken pox is normally deadly, obviously that's a very rare outcome. BUT I was overjoyed to get my kid vaccinated for it. I had it when I was 5 and it was severe. Pox everywhere... down my throat even. It hurt to talk, eat, drink, everything. I only have one scar but I still remember the pain. I hallucinated from the high fever. It SUCKED! DS is fully vaccinated and has never had a reaction against any of them. I'm glad I can spare him some of these truly awful experiences. </p>
 

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<p>I am a peds nurse and I work on step-down ICU/respiratory/cardiac monitoring unit. I have had more pertussis babies than I would like to think about. It's awful. No other word for it. I saw a grown man cry over the crib of his baby who was suffering so much with pertussis and could not get a break from the coughing, and could not eat, and was vomiting and had drool and snot pouring out of her mouth. From the start of treatment it takes at least a couple of days for this stage to pass. There is simply nothing you can do but continue to suction the baby's airways and hope they do not get bad enough to have to sedate and intubate.</p>
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<p>I was pregnant with my first and had routine titres drawn up. I found out I was NOT immune to rubella for some reason. Had all my shots, just didn't take or something. If I had contracted rubella in the first half of the pregnancy, my daughter would have possibly been severely disabled. Because of the herd immunity that exists in our society I did not contract rubella and she is a bright, healthy child. I got the vaccination before I left the hospital after giving birth.</p>
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<p>Varicella is not horrible for most people and it's one of those vaccines that I'm not a strongly for as some of the others. But I do believe that if people do not vaccinate for it, they need to make sure their child gets it sometime between preschool and early school age. My husband unfortunately got it in college and was extremely ill. He had to take off that semester, was almost hospitalized, and had the rash in places you can only imagine. He has scars from it, both physical and emotional. </p>
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<p>Not vaccine-related but my kids great-grandma had rheumatic fever from strep. It affected her heart valves and she was so affected that when she got pregnant, they delivered the babies by c-section because they feared she would not live through the childbirths. This was in the 1950's, and antibiotics were not as widely used back then. The great-grandmother ended up getting a stroke from a blood clot originating in her faulty heart valves and it severely disabled her and finally killed her. </p>
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<p>In Victorian times diphtheria, scarlet fever, and smallpox killed many children. They used to take photos of their children after death. It was common to lose kids in that time. <br>
<a href="http://io9.com/the-strangest-tradition-of-the-victorian-era-post-mort-472772709" target="_blank">http://io9.com/the-strangest-tradition-of-the-victorian-era-post-mort-472772709</a></p>
 
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