Monthly Archives: March 2014

My FB Friend Called me an A$$hat

Well, she didn’t say, “Sara, you are an a$$hat.”  She called all people who do not vaccinate their children “a$$hats.”

My knee-jerk reaction was to unfriend her.  Then, as is always the case when I am on the receiving end of this type of insult, I asked myself, “is there mirroring going on here?  What lesson am I supposed to learn from having this appear in front of my face?”  In this case, after several deep breaths, I calmed down, reminded myself how much I love my friend, and went about my life, our friendship intact.  And today I write this post in response to her, and anyone who feels so strongly about this topic.

And for the record, I want to be very clear.  I am not against vaccines.  I am against the forced vaccination of entire populations on a “one timetable fits all” basis.  I also believe in a parent’s right to choose what is best for his/her healthy children so that they may remain healthy. How each parent decides what is best is his/her business.  I support the personal belief exemption, for what that’s worth.

This vaccination issue is very divisive, and it not only makes friends enemies, it has become a key issue for bitter divorces.  The topic is instilling hate in people who normally wouldn’t feel such an emotion.  The hate comes from both sides, and it clearly stems from fear.  With all the scary images and stories out there about the damage that can be done by measles, HPV, polio-like illnesses, as well as similar stories of disability or death caused by vaccines really puts parents in a no-win situation.  The question becomes, “do I spin the roulette wheel and hope my healthy child does not have an adverse reaction to a vaccine that I’m not sure I want him to have?” Or “should I spin the wheel because the CDC says so, because there might one day be an outbreak of an illness, with a small percentage of a chance of causing long term damage not only to my child, but to an entire community, including pregnant women and unborn babies?”

You may not agree with my stance, and that is OK.  You are entitled to your opinion.  But make no mistake, I and the thousands of parents I’m electronically connected with who feel the same as I do, we have all done our homework.  Some of us have honorary degrees from the University of Hard Knocks.  We are not, as portrayed in many media stories, uneducated imbeciles who have their heads up their arses.  We are not too lazy to take our kids to the doctor or Walgreens.  Hell, if I thought a flu shot was in the best interest of my family, I’d love that 20% off of groceries that Von’s offers every flu season with the purchase of a flu shot.  Actually, I’d stagger, I’d take my family in one member at a time, each get the shot one week at a time, and get 20% off 4 weeks in a row!  Ah, but I digress…

What it boils down to is this.  For as strongly as you believe in forced vaccination, I believe just as or more strongly in the personal belief exemption.  I am a graduate of the University of Hard Knocks.  My son was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD) at his 3-year “Well Visit.”  I was suspicious of a problem at his 15-month appointment and was blown off by his doctor, and I allowed my son to be injected.  At his 2-year well visit, I was told it was fine that my son lined up all his toys in crack-the-whip fashion.  When I asked about my son’s ability to place 50 states in a puzzle and name them all at 18 months, I was told he was very smart.  When I questioned his speech development, I was asked if he knew 100 words.  I explained that he knew 500 words but couldn’t string anything together.  Finally at 3 years of age we had a new pediatrician.  He had a similar opinion to my own, and diagnosed the PDD. He also told me that I had to figure out a way to wrap my head around the diagnosis, and the best I could ever hope for my son is that he could be a janitor one day.

So, I found another doctor.  And that MD took my family to hell and back with “unproven treatments that are a waste of money and instill false hope,” per our diagnosing pediatrician.  We had to refinance our home to pay for the treatments that insurance deemed unproven.  In the end, my son is recovered.  So who is the doctor I listen to and trust?  The one who said my son was developing normally?  The one who said my son could perhaps aspire to be a janitor?  Or the one who took my 3-year old son with a developmental age of 1.5, and got him to a developmental age of 3.5 in 1 year’s time when “no cure was possible?”  Just saying, not all “white coats” are alike.

It is due to the experience that I never wanted to have, that I crusade for families’ rights to act on this issue as they see fit.  And I will encourage any parent who is told that their child will always be chronically ill or delayed to seek a second opinion.  Or third, fourth, etc.  And of the thousands of parents I’m connected with, most have had similar experiences to my own, or someone close to them has.

So, I won’t hide the fact that I no longer vaccinate my children.  I will continue to share articles, and people can continue to ignore them.  I will accept people calling me “a$$hat,” and I will continue to post the vaccine awareness articles.  When people post images of children with measles rashes covering their bodies on my page, I will write back “thank you.”  When friends list all the worst possible outcomes of contracting measles, I will not write back “these are the same possible outcomes of the vaccines themselves, except we are injecting this possibility into healthy children.”  The information is out there for anyone who reads more than the handout provided by the pediatrician.

The most interesting part of all is I really care about the pediatrician who made the diagnosis.  He is a great guy.  I know he had my son’s and my family’s best interests at heart. He was just lacking some serious information.  I wish him well, and hope that he has broadened his knowledge base since we last saw him 4 years ago.

Just like I really care about all my friends, FB and otherwise.  I don’t have a single friend whom I think is a bad parent.  We are all doing the best we can, making the best decisions for our families given the information we have.  My friend who called me an a$$hat included.  She is a lioness; an advocate for her children, friends and abandoned animals.  I pray that one day she can see shades of gray instead of only black and white.  Until then, I respect her for the amazing mother she is. I fervently hope she never experiences what my family went through.  And God forbid, if she does, I will be there to connect her to people who can help.

The last point I want to make is this: If you think anyone decides to skip vaccination without giving it a second thought, you are very mistaken.  The first years of my son’s life, and the first six months of my daughter’s life, I agonized each time that needle penetrated their thighs.  Was I doing right?  Was I harming them?  Should I wait until the next appointment, space the injections apart? If I delayed the vaccination schedule, would i be punished by having my children contract one of the horrifying diseases the vaccines were supposed to prevent?

The doctor who provided solutions to my son’s well-being told me to stop vaccinating both children immediately.  The decision was  made for me by someone who had earned my respect.  Thank God.  If I had continued to adhere to the other two doctors’ recommendations, our lives would be very different now.  This is why I feel medical exemptions are not enough; philosophical exemptions should be in place.

End note: Most of my FB friends don’t know about my son’s PDD diagnosis.  I have only shared this information with a few people in an attempt to respect his privacy.  When I do share with other moms I meet, I get a “he seems so normal!” response.  I want to laugh, and I get pissed off all at the same time.  First of all, yes, he does, and that was the goal.  Secondly, I’m never sure how to take this type of comment.  I don’t feel like it is said in a congratulatory way, like we are being acknowledged for bringing him back from the brink.  It usually comes out like “I’m not quite sure I believe you,” or “he must not have been that bad in the first place,” or “you are just a GF granola-eating mother following the trend du jour.”   Maybe that’s a chip on my shoulder I need to look at and find a way to remove; however, that is a tall order given the fact that we were physically, emotionally and financially decimated by our son’s illness, and to a lesser extent, our daughter’s autoimmune issues as well.  In the end, I let it go, because my friends are normally pretty fine people.  Truth be told, I’m thankful they don’t understand my experience.  And at this point, I don’t really need anyone else’s validation.

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My Personal Truths

I have been on a very long journey to self-discovery.  Along the way I have read many books, met many people, and everyone who has crossed my path, written or in person, has in some way helped me evolve.  I have put together a list of Personal Truths; they are mine, they might not be yours.  But in the event that we perhaps have some overlap, I am sharing below.  And below these truths of mine is a list of references from which I gleaned my truths.

  • I choose my beliefs.
  • I am the most important person in my life.
  • I am worthy.
  • I am created of God.
  • God is perfect.
  • God is a healer, and therefore so am I.
  • We choose our experiences.
  • As humans we are here to experience joy, love, and all positive emotions.
  • As humans we tend to experience negative emotions.
  • Karma is something that we as humans create to whip ourselves.
  • The people in our lives are with us for a reason.
  • Look into your loved ones’ faces and hearts, it’s like looking into a mirror.
  • Guilt is a useless emotion.
  • Forgiveness is a choice and a gift.
  • Love, joy and forgiveness are the building blocks of happiness and health.
  • Words, thoughts and intentions are powerful.

Recommended reading:
The Science of Mind, by Ernest Holmes
You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay
A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle
Soul Love, Spiritual Growth, and other books by Sanaya Roman
A Course in Miracles, specifically, the chapters on “forgiveness”

 

I’m Having a Lazy Day (Week, Month, you get it) and I Love Louise Hay

I have not been posting regularly, no pearls of wisdom come to mind today.  So, today I share someone else’s gorgeous pearls, my dear friend (although I’ve never met her) Louise Hay.  You will find these and many other words of wisdom in her book, You Can Heal Your Life:

  • We are each responsible for all of our experiences.
  • Every thought we think is creating our future.
  • The point of power is always in the present moment.
  • Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt.
  • The bottom line for everyone is, “I’m not good enough.”
  • It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.
  • We create every so-called illness in our body.
  • Resentment, criticism and guilt are the most damaging patterns.
  • Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer.
  • We must release the past and forgive everyone.
  • We must be willing to begin to learn to love ourselves.
  • Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the keys to positive changes.
  • When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.

Also from You Can Heal Your Life:

I have long believed: “Everything I need to know is revealed to me.” “Everything I need comes to me.” “All is well in my life.”  There is no new knowledge.  All is ancient and infinite.   It is my joy and pleasure to gather together wisdom and knowledge for the benefit of those on the healing pathway.  I dedicate this offering to all of you who have taught me what I know: to my many clients, to my friends in the field, to my teachers, and to the Divine Infinite Intelligence for channeling through me that which others need to hear. – Louise L. Hay

All Bets are Off When…

2/21/2014

My back went out this week.  The level of pain reached 10 on a 10 point scale.  It is so hard to be kind when I feel like this.  All bets are pretty much off as far as keeping a kind, compassionate point of view.  I actually warn my kids that they need to stop bickering, or do it where I cannot hear it, or else they will unleash a load of crazy no one wants to experience.

I am blessed in the sense that I know this back pain is a blip.  I used to have chronic pain, now I just have flare ups on rare occasion.  My pain will pass.  However, I am reminded now with these flare ups how absolutely debilitating and destructive they are.  Chronic pain has the capacity to make a monster out of someone who is normally pretty decent.  My parting thought for today is if a loved one in pain lashes out, try not take it personally.  I do not suggest that you become a pounding board.  I’m just suggesting that instead of engaging in an argument that neither of you wants, you send your loved one thoughts of compassion as you quickly leave the room.

In a future blog I will touch on some non-mainstream ways I went about avoiding the recommended L4-L5 spinal fusion.

The Glass is Half Full

2/20/2014

Altering my perceptions has served me very well on my road to self-healing.  Finding the upside to every situation helps me achieve greater contentment in life.  Adopting a “half-full” outlook to life is a fairly new development, going back around 10 years.  A book I read by Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, was instrumental in helping make the shift in my outlook.

I grew up in a home with a mother who was a “Pitfall Pointer-Outer.”  I learned very early that life is very hard, I should constantly worry, and there is a downside to any situation, sometimes you just need to look really, really hard to find it.  Looking back, I realized I even spoke in a crazy negative fashion.  For example, I might say “it’s not, not pleasant,” instead of just saying something was “pleasant.”  God forbid something be pleasant!

I realized that changing my outlook, my perception, was basically just stopping a bad habit.  It was actually far easier to do once I got rolling.  I still bite my nails, I still eat more Belgian chocolate pudding than I should, but changing my perception from a negative slant to a positive one was fairly easy by comparison.  I think the reason for that is that once I began finding the bright side in situations, even in situations that initially didn’t appear to have a bright side, I became a happier person.  Another benefit is that the number of negative situations that come my way has been greatly reduced.  Or at least, that’s my perception…

Sorry!!!! I am a Waver on the Open Road

Today I want to talk a little more about compassion and kindness.  My motivation for this was the following Facebook post:

“Dear driver, waving to me doesn’t make you unstupid”

I saw this comment and felt a brief sense of sadness.  The 7 “likes” for the post added to it.  Then, I found the upside; there were only 7 “likes” for this post.

I am Queen of the “wave because I accidentally drove in a manner that may have put you at risk” motion.  I do not perform this motion because I want to appear less stupid to a person I don’t even know.  I perform this motion because I acknowledge that you had the right of way, I goofed up, and I am sorry.  In my mind, I am acknowledging that you are a human being, I thank you for not plowing into me, I hope you continue on your way safely to wherever you are going and have a pleasant day, in spite of the fact that I may have scared or irritated you.

In a nutshell, I’m trying to redirect a negative situation by sending positive energy to replace it.  Chances are, the driver referenced above was trying to do the same.  Sadly, the message was not received by my friend.  I still love this friend and wish her well on her path.

Today I end by extending a challenge.  I try to brighten the days of others, and by doing so, I find I brighten my own.  I do my best to treat people with compassion and if an apology is offered, I accept it.  Do you do this?  If not, can you give it a try? You might be impressed with the results.

The number of people who cut me off without waving is fairly high.  Most people are so caught up in their busy, busy lives that the effort it seems to require to throw a wave at someone is too great.  God bless them.  But if someone actually extends their arm in some sort of human acknowledgment, I have to say, it really makes my day just a little bit better.  Thank you, Wavers on the Open Road!

PS, if it was a wave so they could break in between you and the car ahead of you, for Pete’s sake, just let him/her in.  Chances are you will be rewarded the next time you try to do the same.

Blessings!