Monday, November 03, 2008

Mercury or No Mercury

Zack was scheduled to have his flu shot at daycare. We have new health insurance and the prospect of him getting a shot for $25 instead of $125 seemed too good to pass up. Mercury free shots, same as the doctor's office. No need for me to take off work to take him.

Then they called.

Hi, this is the daycare. We wanted to let you know that the traveling doctor we are using said that since it is so late in the season the only flu shots that they have left are the ones with Mercury. Do you still want him to get the shot here?

My first, gut reaction, sure. It is a shot. There is no proven link between Autism and the mercury in flu shots.

Then I started to panic a little. I thought of one choice. One single selfish choice and never being able to talk to my son again and suddenly I couldn't breathe. I called the doctors office. They told me what I already knew. There is no proven link between the Mercury in shots and Autism but if I felt more comfortable they could give him the shot there and their shots were Mercury free.

I told her thank you. I would think about it. And then I thought about it, and how I would never forgive myself if something happened and I could have prevented it. However small and minuscule that chance may be. So I called the doctors office and scheduled his shot and then called the daycare and lied through my teeth because I feel bad telling people no. So I just told them the Doctor's office wanted him to have the Mercury free one. And now, my heart is beating a little slower and the weight is not so heavy on my chest.

Whew...this being a parent and making life altering choices is hard work.

What would you have done?


Anonymous said...

My guess is at some point you were given vaccinations. You don't have autism. My children are mostly grown. (By mostly I mean in college, but they'll always be my little kids!) They were given all their vaccinations, including flu shots and I never had to differentiate between mercury or mercury free. They're fine. I truly feel, and I think this is becoming a very controversial topic, that they're trying to blame autism on something. If there was a link, my kids, myself, and probably yourself and most of the people you know, would have autism. Now mind you, my daycares never offered the shots, and we always took our kids to the doctors for them, but as far as I'm concerned, I would've let him get the shot at daycare if I was in your shoes.

ErinM said...

I disagree with Anonymous, and would have done the same as you. No one ever said that every child who gets a vaccine with mercury will get autism. No one even said most children who get vaccines with mercury will get autism. In fact, they're still not sure if there is a link or not. But why take a chance?

I make a lot of my decisions that way. I think 5 or 10 years down the road, how will I feel if the concerns are proven? Not proven? Usually, I think that if they don't prove a link, I might feel a little silly for having insisted on something like that (or spending more money on organics or whatever), but if they did prove it, I would feel extremely relieved.

It's not worth the peace of mind to take a chance.

Creative Genius? said...

We stopped vaxing at a year... Avi didn't get MMR, flu, his last DTAP, Hep A, or chicken pox.... and he won't get those if I have anything to say about them (he might need them for school if I can't get around it by then).

For baby #2 we will delay and then selective vax.

I personally don't believe in flu shots as they vax everyone with one strain and then we all get sick with another strain - silly at best!

I also believe that some kids have "something" in their DNA that interacts with the vaxs that causes "issues" (be it autism, etc)... not every child who has autism has this issue and not every child who has this issue has autism - but they have no idea what the issue is, how to test for it, etc - and you don't know until it's too late. So I agree with you - why risk it!

Creative Genius? said...

And PS - if you compare your vax records from 30 years ago (or however old you are) to what your child gets today ... you'll see that they get a TON more... and I have to believe that they make them differently now too! So it doesn't mean what we got it what they are getting - and it also doesn't mean that because we are fine they will be too...

Ok just my four cents LOL

Amanda said...

I think you did the right thing - better to err on the side of caution than regret it later.

Anonymous said...

I've heard a little on this debate, but beings I have no children, I haven't really paid that much attention.

But, my thoughts are this:
If your Dr. said it is ok, do you trust your Dr.? As far as I'm concerned, my Dr. is someone I wholeheartedly trust. If you trust them enough to call and ask an opinion in regards to your son's health, shouldn't you trust their answer?

If I had called my Dr. and they said it would be ok for my son to have the shot, I would've let my son have the shot.

Yarian said...

I always take my children to the doctors office to get there shots. It costs more but I feel safer at the doctors office then at some random place. I myself always get them at the doctor's office as well because of the trust issue. So I think you did the right thing.

KimN said...

The last time I got a flu shot, I ended up with pnuemonia and spent some time in the hospital. As a result, no one in our house gets flu shots. I'd rather take my chances with the flu. My personal opinion on the flu shot specifically, is that it is so limited in strain, that it is rendered mostly useless. Gabe has never had one and has never had the flu even though he goes to daycare. After two years of being sick a lot, we built up our immune systems naturally and for the last 20 months, none of us have been sick even once.

All that being said, Gabe has received all his other standard vaccinations, just not the flu shot.

Anonymous said...

I understand everyone has their own opinon about these topics and I'm not here to judge or offend anyones ideas. Stating that it is just bad parenting to not vaccinate your child-you wouldn't encourage them to go have unprotected sex with someone who has AIDS would you? Same situation. You also put everyone else's kids at risk to death and serious disabling deases by not vacc. your kids. If parents stop vacc. there will be mass numbers of deaths in years to come-don't forget about all these people coming to the U.S. unprotected & not vacc. spreading deases. If small pox (etc.) were to break out the health department will make you give your child the vacc. because children will die and/or become disabled...& Mommy Hamilton you should keep in mind it's very important that your childs dr takes care of all his medical issues and has a record of everything on file with his file-not scattered out from one facility to the next-also if anything were to happen to him the dr is able to better troubleshoot due to the fact he/she already has all his medical info. In the long run it's always better to keep this info together with a dr that knows your childs medical history vs saving smaller amounts of money. Most parents receive money back at tax time=for the children, this is a great oppertunity to keep money aside for when you do need money for your child, most people receive this due to their child anyway why not spend it on the child?...

Bree said...

You might have over thought it but in the end it is what you feel comfortable with. Is an extra $100 worth your piece of mind, absolutely. I guess I should be grateful that my kids got theirs for free.

Also, just because a study says now there is no link, doesn't mean a study a few years down the road it won't say the opposite.

Renee said...

this is so controversial, and i don't have the energy to debate, but i'll say this: i selectively vax my daughter. i think you made the right choice...a slight speculation that there could be a link is enough for me. do i still think vaccines are a good thing? of course. but we as parents must educate ourselves and make good choices for our children.

good for you for listening to your gut!