When my children first started getting sick- nonstop, obviously not run of the mill sick- I was repeatedly told "this is normal" and "kids just get ear infections" and "your son probably has asthma, just deal with it." But I can not just accept something like constant illness as normal, so I started asking questions and, when my pediatrician could supply none, I started searching for them on my own. This was the catalyst of my journey into real food and, to be perfectly honest, the basis of my mistrust of the medical establishment. My kids were allergic to milk. It was a simple solution to a draining period of illness. But was this something any doctor they saw even once brought up? Not once. Even though it is suspected that at least 50% of children who suffer from repeated ear infections are allergic to milk, and that their infections would stop altogether by simply avoiding milk, it was not brought up. Instead the doctors talked of "official" asthma diagnosis, inhalers, antibiotics, and tubes. Surgery, over something as simple as eliminating dairy. If that doesnt' sum up the current state of our healthcare system, I don't know what does.
Thankfully I had the strength and the sense to start doing my own research. On my own I found out the link to dairy, and asked my pediatrician if they could be tested for food allergies. I guess I should consider myself thankful that she didn't blow me off and instead was understanding and scheduled a blood test.
And so started my own personal revolution. My research on food allergies led me to whole foods, then to traditional foods and Nourishing Traditions and a huge host of natural healing methods. After a mere 8 months of elimination and healing and focusing on properly prepared real foods, my children could again consume dairy (and wheat... Oliver was also allergic to wheat). Even though Izzy still cannot consume conventional fluid milk without regressing a little and still has obvious reactions to over-consumption of sugar, their lives have more or less returned to normal, and we eat a roughly 80/20 real food/"outside" food diet. I do not want to give them a food complex, so I focus on feeding them real, whole food inside the home and educating them on WHY I choose the foods I do (and do you know any other 7 year olds who can have a moderately well informed discussion about battery chickens and who has a more basic understanding of GMO's than most adults? because I don't), and then I let them make their own choices most (most...) of the rest of the time.
(yes, longest intro ever, I'm not actually talking about food today...) But I will also admit that, after the onslaught of learning and dietary changes that followed that chapter of my life, I had had enough. At least for a while. Issues that I had not researched I conveniently ignored, and I decided it was okay to just rest on my laurels for a while. And I can honestly say that, due to the intensity of my journey in the months before, that was okay. Until a year ago I didn't know (and didn't care to know) much about GMO's (this has changed significantly, btw, but that is also not what I'm talking about today). And since my kids were mostly vaccinated by the time we figured out what was going on, I had more or less ignored the issue until recently. But because of this current pregnancy and the issues I had with my children I realized recently that this is NOT an issue I can ignore any longer. So I started to read.
But as much as I'm not here to talk about food today, I'm also not here to tell you whether or not to vaccinate your child. No one on the planet should listen to me re: this topic. But I am here to ask you some questions:
- Why is it that any parent choosing not to vaccinate is asked "did you do your research?" (and that's if the person is being kind...), but no one asks this of parents who choose to vaccinate?
- What do you know about the effectiveness, safety, and ingredients of vaccines?
- Why has the number of vaccinations absolutely skyrocketed in the past 30 years?
- Hep B & Gardasil: Worthless, Useless, and Dangerous
- The Myth of Herd Immunity
- Why All The Measles Outbreaks...
- And Then There Were TUBES...
Because that is the thing that gets me hot more than pretty much anything else- parents who choose not to vaccinate or to delay, or who choose to not eat the SAD (standard American diet) and avoid processed foods, or who elect to avoid medical interventions viewed by the American mainstream as "normal," are the ONLY parents I know who are doing the kind of research that warrants the label "informed." Yet they are the ones labeled instead as crazy, fearful, hippies (which I find both sad and hilarious, as most of the pro-vaccine propaganda is completely fear based). It's like we've begun to criminalize asking questions.
I didn't even intend for this post to be about vaccines- my intention was to make this point: take nothing at face value. Do nothing without thought. Your life, up until the months before you conceived your child, only affected you, and someday you will no longer be here. But the second you decide to procreate your life and your decisions suddenly take on a much larger significance. Every decision you make not only affects your own offspring, but possibly even THEIR children. Do not let this incite guilt in you, but do let it encourage you to question EVERYTHING. From vaccines to circumcision, to baby food and formula, anything that enters or touches or even comes near your child becomes worthy of your questions, and what other people think of you no longer matters. Because people thinking you are crazy is so much less important now than the well being of that little person you are carrying.