Before I start, I want to preface this opinion with a fact: This is simply my experience, my story, things that have honestly happened to me. I’m speaking for myself and no one else, hoping that this can help others understand my side of the issue. I’ve done very little research, I don’t understand the science behind everything; I only know what happened to me.
At 14, I went into the doctor for a “pre-season” check-up, the one that was required by the state to clear my sister and me to play sports in high school. Physically, we were healthy—we weren’t sick kids and had never been hospitalized for anything but scrapes and broken bones. My doctor suggested to my mom that we both get a round of vaccinations while we were there. We were offered a cocktail of preventive vaccines for mumps, measles, rubella, meningitis, the flu, and cervical cancer. We only turned down the flu shot since we’d never had the flu before and had never gotten the shot. After receiving the rest, we walked out into the waiting room and all of a sudden, I was on a gurney.
I’d passed out cold, which isn’t too alarming since it was the morning, I didn’t have a lot in my stomach, and had just received a crazy cocktail of drugs. I came to after about five minutes, and they sent me on my way.
One week later, I had my first seizure. I had no idea what was going on. All of a sudden I was there, feeling terrible, and the next I was surrounded by crying high school kids calling for teachers and a doctor. Not believing I’d had a seizure, I insisted I was fine, took a nap, and went back to class.
Then it happened again, two days later. And again and again.
I was having so many seizures and I had no idea what was happening to my body. I developed an anxiety disorder and depression. I spend the majority of my sophomore year of high school in the hospital getting poked and prodded. I was put on insane diets, took multitudes of medications, and was subjected to stress tests, tilt tests, sleep deprivation. None of it worked. Not a single doctor found anything but benign spots in my brain. I was diagnosed with anemia, hypoglycemia, a heart murmur, low blood pressure, and dysmenorrhea—none of which explained my seizures.
Finally, after two years of investigation, my exhausted mother dragged me to an herbalist and acupressure specialist. I started going through a process to “clean my blood,” something that I scoffed at then and still sneer at now. Going back to my physician, she explained her belief that I was a victim of the disclaimer. The moment after a commercial for medication when the man on TV speaks really fast about all the possible ways it could hurt you. I was the in the footer, in the legal statement.
Since then, I’ve turned down any vaccines that I can. Having traveled to other countries, I haven’t often had the choice. But after getting any kind of vaccine, my “condition” has flared up again, glaring me in the face and sending me back to high school. Doctors speculate that it could be the mercury in the vaccines, but I don’t know or care. I just know what it feels like to be in a body that betrays me.
You can shout all you want about how vaccines protect us, how only stupid and obstinate parents choose not to vaccinate their children. Maybe I’m stupid and obstinate. But my children will not be getting any optional vaccines.