I realized, based on several different factors, that the jokes I made in my last post were not necessarily funny to everyone. I would like to devote this post to explain the basis for joking about a terrible disease, which, to set the record narrowly straight, my son DOES NOT have...anytime you have to discuss the reasons for your jokes, you know they are bad. Like Mike Huckabee joking about pointing a gun at Barack Obama. Ha Ha-not. Fortunately, actually unfortunately for me, I don't have to go on Meet the Press with Tim Russert to explain myself. Actually, I would love that. But I will just do it here.
SO just in case you have been living in a hole for the last six months, there are no small number of people in this and other countries absolutely convinced that vaccines have caused autism within their small children. Given the astronomically soaring rates of autism in the last couple of decades, the theory is not completely crazy...except that there is no scientific evidence for it. Yeah, except for that.
Still, Adam and I reviewed all of the studies before ultimately deciding to give Eli all of his shots. I talked about it with his doctor and countless other friends. While I know that there is no credible study that makes the link between vaccines and such a terrible onset of circumstances, it still makes me nervous giving my child multiple shots at once. I told my doctor as much and she said she was perfectly willing to work with me on splitting them up- especially once she realized that I was not one who saw Jenny McCarthy say her son has autism, and it's all the vaccines fault so now I hate vaccines without doing any further research. We ultimately decided that the more important factor was that we (Adam and I) are both traveling to a third world country in a few weeks and the risk that we might bring back a disease which Eli could catch, were he not inoculated, far outweighed the risk that he might contract vaccine onset autism. So he got everything except for chickenpox. We'll do that in a few months.
So that was why I was joking about it. The doctor mentioned that his head was a little large and that we should have him tested for lead poisoning just because our house was built in the 70's. I impulsively thought it was funny to combine all of those together for a quick quip; but on further reflection, realize that people not steeped in the vaccine controversy, and even those who are and aren't so cold hearted and insensitive as I, might think that a ridiculous and very unfunny thing to kid around about. So nor more kidding about my kid and devastating diseases.
In any event, despite all of the scientific evidence to the contrary, I am still the littlest bit nervous about all of the shots that a child gets in one sitting. I think it is worthy to consider spreading them out. I read in a Baby magazine just last night that the CDC has retracted its initial endorsement of combining the MMR with the chicken pox shot because a higher incidence of fever induced seizures was occurring with the 4 in 1 shot. I don't know, I am about the farthest thing from a scientific authority, but that just doesn't make sense to keep upping the number of shots combined to avoid a few extra pokes. My kid can handle the pokes a lot better than he can a seizure, or something worse. So, in the future, I will probably spread out my kid's shots. He will get ALL of his vaccines. I think it is far more dangerous, and frankly very irresponsible and stupid, not to get them. But I also think it would be wise for doctors to consider accommodating parents' fears about this issue rather than dismissing them; when there are courts that are granting millions of dollars worth of settlements to parents claiming their child has autism resulting from a shot, this is not just going to go away.