Friday, October 26, 2007

Sittin' On the Fence

I had to take K.Z. to the pediatrician today for... brace yourself, I am not making this up... an infected belly button. How in the world you can get a cut or abrasion in your belly button is beyond me. The infection part? That's easy, he is seven, and a boy, and thinks showers are for making shampoo mohawks and singing goofy songs.

So we pop in for a 12 second visit which wound up costing me a $15.00 co-pay and then $25.00 for "anti-belly button funk" creme. And she popped the dreaded question, "While you are here should I give him a flu shot?"

Now for many of you this may not be so dreaded and I am not bringing up this topic to ruffle any feathers, but lately I have had a heavy heart when it comes to the influenza immunization. I just don't know. I have no trouble inoculating my kids
once against polio, lockjaw, cooties, whatever; but to shoot 'em up again and again, year after year just makes my stomach knot. I have reasons that make me want to stay far far away, but I am not going to go into them since I am a layman when it comes to medical science. I am, however, an expert when it comes to the Mr. Clean family offspring and my keen "momma instinct". Most days anyway.

The dilemma I face however is saying "no thanks" when the doctor wants to give my kids the shot. Last winter I avoided the problem and just did not take Xena and K.Z to the doctor, as they never had a need and by the time their annual check ups came around, it was spring and I was in the clear. My baby, however is another subject. She was born smack dab in the middle of flu season and has her annual check-up; say it with me now... "smack dab in the middle of flu season". What's a gal to do?

I caved and let them do it last year for C'sa, even after I told them we were using a homeopathic influenza serum and they told me that would do pretty much the same thing (just without the mercury). I still had that "oh so guilty, bad mom" shame at questioning the doctor, even though I am the mom and have the right to refuse the shot and question the doctor (for the record, I really like the doc that gave C'sa the flu shot last year, so this has no bearing on him whatsoever).

So back to today's excursion. I politely said (lied), "that's okay, I will make an appointment for all of them together."

The doctor K.Z. saw today looked at me as if I had three heads. "Does he have asthma?" she asked. "Because if not, he can have the spray", more than likely assuming my objection was to the needle.

"Nope", I assured her. More blank stares from the doctor as I gathered up my purse and energetically said, "Okay K.Z., lets go and fill your prescription!"

I never looked back. I can only assume that she was still sitting there dumb-founded at the fact that a mom with such amazing fashion sense (I wore the jeans
without stains and frayed hems) and such a killer vehicle (the soccer-mom goober mobile) could be such an idiot.

So where do you fall on the "flu shot topic"? I am sitting up on the fence and would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.


Lea said...

We had the flu shot on Thursday, when the boys went in for their 2 year check ups. My husband is a family doctor so he gets one every year. I had never had one before I married him a couple of years ago:). The first year I got the flu shot (year before last), I also got the flu, for the first time. We'll see how this year goes. We can't remember if I had it last year or not. I don't really know enough negatives about it to have an opinion. I suppose I should ask more questions or do some research, although I think my husband would always want the boys to have one. This year, our family doctor and my husband both thought I should have it, since I had pneumonia a couple of month ago and my lung is probably not quite back to normal yet.

TheTutor said...

Yeah, what is up with all of my confidence getting sucked out as soon as I hear my kid crinkle the paper on the exam table?

My doctor learned not to ask about the flu shot after my knock-down, drag-out with her NP over the chicken pox vaccine. (Okay, she did the knock-down, drag-out part. I fulfilled the dumb-founded roll. LOL)

Frodo gets the flu shot because of his asthma, though.

Jamie said...

We were at the doc's this week too and he told us our two youngest could get the shot. I've NEVER gotten one and neither have my children. My hubby 'has' to for work. I just said, 'ok' as he was informing me the immunization clinic down the hall was doing it. So, no need to know if they got them or not;)

I just don't think its necessary for flu shots. My kids aren't smack dab in the middle of public school germies. I know we could catch it from Walmart or church or somewhere else, but so far we've been pretty protected and for that I see no need.

It's not like they had flu shots years and years ago and its not like millions of people die by getting the flu.

But this is coming from the same mom who recently immunized her 3 year old son for the FIRST time. So come next month when I have to bring him in for more shots I'm sure they'll again broach the flu shot subject and look at me as if I've fallen off of the face of the earth (afterall, what parent doesn't IMMUNIZE their child)?

Sorry I wrote a book...

lana said...

I've had the flue shot twice in my life (both times when I was pregnant). My girls never had one. My oldest is allergic to eggs (the vaccine is grown in the egg yolk) and I just never took my baby to get one. I just don't know how effective the vaccine is and I'd rather not get my kids poked with a needle if I don't have too.

Mrs. Sam said...

Hey, we have that dilema in my province too. We stay far from it. Having said that, my husband has asthma and was advised to get it. He did 2 years in a row and was sicker than he'd ever been in his life. So he stopped getting it and hasn't been sick since. In our neck of the woods, the problem always seems to be the choices 'they' make on what flu to cover in the shot. And they usually get it wrong. So, having said all that, we don't do the shot, but, if someone in my family was immuno compromised, we'd reconsider. My mom has lymphodema (due to breast cancer) and will at some point have to get it. But for now, she uses alternatives like Chiropractic, theraputic massage and accupuncture. And she is very very healthy. So bottom line is, no we don't. We also don't vaccinate. My brother has autism. He wasn't born with it. After his first innoculation he cried for 72 hours and was never the same. Food for thought.

Susie said...

I've heard pros and cons about it all, but I think you shouldn't ever do something for the doctor that makes you feel uncomfortable for your kids/family, Angel.

The fact that your doctor thinks you're "strange" isn't a good sign, in my humble opinion. It's a choice for you as the parent to make. Afterall, you have to live with the kids afterwards. :o)

Thankfully, we've never been pressured to have a flu shot, but we were for the chicken pox vaccine, and it still bothers me. LOL!

Ami said...


I totally know how you felt at that appt. I am the SAME way! Every year I determine not to get my kids the flu shot, and every year the Dr. talks me into getting it for at least one of my kids... and that one has been Ethan for the last couple years. However, Ethan has been sick with the flu every year of his short life, and last year (as you know) was horrible. So, this year my little guy is going to stay flu shot free, and I am going to cross my fingers and stay on my knees praying he does not get sick. I figure he prob will get it anyway regardless of the shot, and it can't get any worse than it did last year. Anyway I could go on and on. ;)

Michelle said...

There is a value to vaccination, but you know I'm not a fan of all the hidden info regarding vaccines. Shockingly unethical behavior on the part of some companies, IMHO, vaccines that aren't fully tested but used on children anyway until too many have side effects, and vaccines that don't give 100% immunity. Etcetera.

I hate going to the doctor, mostly because it is still hard to stand up to them when my son is trying to dismantle the exam room after our 45 minute wait or is crying for the germy toys in the waiting room. I don't feel like I'm respected as a thinking adult who can understand what's going on even though I don't have "MD" after my name. (Well, actually I do have M.D. after my name, but that's not what they mean, LOL). I avoid the doctor as much as possible, especially now, because my kids always get sick after we go there.

I'd certainly be concerned about mercury, which is a toxic heavy metal. I don't care how many studies the pharm companies sponsor saying it's harmless. (Or the AMA. Follow the money. Who funds the buildings that teach the doctors?) "Rare" side effects aren't fun when it's your child, and it bothers me to think that mercury can accumulate.

People need to do their homework about vaccines and what's in them. We don't live in a world where you can trust what you're given at face value, unfortunately, but we were given a great light to discern the way: the heart often knows what confounds the mind. :)

Carolyn said...

My boys were born 3 months early and they and my husband and I have gotten the flu shot every year for about 6 years. None of us has ever had a side-effect from the shots or has gotten the flu.

Anonymous said...

Our whole family gets the flu shot every year too - kids and adults alike. Quite honestly, I don't understand why you wouldn't. Oh, and vaccinations do NOT cause autism, though I am very sorry that the poster's nephew was diagnosed as such. Some of the comments on here are very disturbing. It saddens me that there are so many in the world that think this way.