Tuesday, October 27, 2009

i just have to do it

Here it is, a post about the flu vaccine. With the recent story about Desiree Jennings, I can't hold back anymore. There is widespread panic about the swine flu and upcoming flu season and I'm sure the drug companies are loving it. They get to make more vaccines, which equals more money for them. Add the drug company lobbyists that help put a spin on things just enough for politicians and the media to grab hold and run with it. This is why your average American is in a panic about the swine flu and flu, and then running out to get their vaccines. Well not me and not my kids.

In 1999 the FDA reviewed the use of thimerosal in childhood vaccines and found no evidence of harm, but as a precautionary measure, recommended removing thimerosal from vaccines routinely given to children. Thimerosal was removed from all pediatric vaccines in 2001 with the exception of the flu shot. There is a single-dose, thimerosal-free vaccine available but it is in short supply and not typically advertised. You have to ask for it. Do you know why? Well, I'm going to tell you...because it's more expensive. It costs less money to use Thimerosal as a preservative, enabling physicians to give the flu shot from multi-dose vials rather than a single-dose vial.

Most people will say that the chance of something happening because of the flu shot is rare, a one-in-a-million chance. Desiree, the woman in the video, stated that she would not have had the shot if she knew the risks. That is just sad. She should have known the risks, as rare as they might be. I do my research...on pretty much everything. On this subject, I've read the CDC report and the FDA report. I've read the position statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics and I've read documents written by the anti-vaccine movement. I am responsible for myself, for the choices I make. I am also responsible for my kids so it's even more important to me that I make decisions based on information, not on blind faith and trust. Be an active participant in your own care and your children's care. Do some research. Read. Seek. Find. And then make the decision that is best for you. But please, just make it an informed decision.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

cam update

Just a quick follow-up to my last post. Took Camryn to the pediatrician on Wednesday. He ruled out anything bacterial that would be the cause of the fever...strep, pneumonia, flu, ear infection, sinus infection. She had no rash, lumps or anything alarming on exam so the "rule-out" diagnosis was "it's something viral". The fever broke on Friday and she's fine. Five days of a high fever, no other symptoms. I'm glad it was nothing, but if a fever is the body's way of fighting something off, then I guess it was something. Just don't know what the something was.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

stay away

If you know what's good for you, stay away from us until the spring...maybe even the summer. If you see us coming, run for your lives. The kids are sick, again. It's going to be a long fall and winter.

I've been meaning to post about this for about a week and it was originally going to be called, "Going through the big D and don't mean Dallas", which is a country song reference. In the song, "the big D" means divorce. In my house, "the big D" means diarrhea...and lots of it. Connor got things going on October 1st. After seven days of it, I took him to the pediatrician. Since there were no other symptoms, they had me collect stool samples for the lab with these instructions:
  • Get a foil baking pan and mold it to the toilet when he has to go. Picture that for a second.
  • Collect the sample.
  • Divide the sample up among five containers and three slides.
  • Label everything.
  • Put one container in the freezer, one container in the fridge and leave three containers at room temperature.
  • Seal the slides in the envelope.
  • Take everything to Quest as soon as possible.
Piece of cake! Of course, he had to go in the middle of dinner and I didn't want to pass on an opportunity to collect crap in a baking pan, so off Connor and I went while the girls ate. After the collection, I gathered the containers and slides together in the kitchen, which was completely appropriate given we were in the middle of dinner, and I divided it all up into the proper places. It took about 10 minutes. A few minutes into it the kids wanted to know what the smell was. Seriously? My kids are smart, and knew what I was doing, so I was completely baffled by the question. I was like, "Uh...what do you think the smell is?" They really are brilliant kids but somehow that one got past them.

By the time all of Connor's results were in a few days later, the girls now had diarrhea. The results were fine...no salmonella, rotavirus, parasites, etc. The nurse practitioner told me to make an apppointment with a GI doctor, even after I told her that the girls now had the diarrhea and that it wasn't a problem exclusive to Connor. I didn't get that one. So, I used common sense and decided to wait it out instead of taking him to a GI doctor.

Today it's been one week since then and we seem to be in the clear. The girls were actually over it faster then Connor. He had 19 days of diarrhea. That's insane. We're over it though and already on to the next thing. Camryn is on day 3 of a fever. No other symptoms. Tomorrow is the magical day 4 that the pediatrician always says to wait until to call. So I'll call, and probably end up there tomorrow. I know there will be an exam, ear check, likely a strep throat swab because they always seem to do that no matter what. Maybe I'll even get to collect poop again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

in this corner

Here's a clip of yesterday's Wii boxing match between Connor and Emily. You can't see it but at the end of the match, Emily took quite a blow to the face that sent her Mii into a backwards flip. Needless to say, it was a K.O. for Connor. I like to watch them instead of their Mii's. If I don't look at the t.v. then it's not like I'm teaching my kids to physically fight each other. I don't need to see fists flying and bodies falling to the mat. It's all about the denial. And the fun.

Friday, October 9, 2009

sunday, sunday, sunday (monster jam announcer voice)

Last Sunday we all went to 'Monster Jam on the beach' in Wildwood. The weather was beautiful and the kids were great...even the girls who weren't as interested as Connor. Carl's brother Paul, his wife Sherry, and their boys Christian and Carter also went so we met up with them there and ate afterwards at Texas Roadhouse. It was a great family day.

Avenger. Connor's favorite.

This was interesting. Not a Monster Jam truck...it was the halftime entertainment.

Brutus. The only truck that rolled that day.

Connor and his cousin Christian after the show.

Connor held his ears, even with ear plugs.

Connor is a huge Monster Jam fan, he watches it every morning from 7-8 as he eats his breakfast and gets ready for school. He's been watching it since age 3. He knows all of the trucks, most of the drivers and owns 20 or so (the Hot Wheels version). Every trip we make to Target we head down the cars/trucks aisle and look for new Monster Jam vehicles. He builds his own courses using books for ramps. He lines cars up for the trucks to jump over and puts school buses in position so that the Monster Jam trucks "crush" them as they drive over top. Sometimes he has me time the trucks to see who's faster (it's his hand controlling their performance so it's interesting how his favorite truck always seems to win). And since he's a list maker like his Mom, he usually writes down the winners and then the winners take on the winners and so on until there is an ultimate winner. The real challenge for Connor is actually getting to play the whole Monster Jam scenario without Camryn knocking down the course and stealing the trucks.