Thursday, February 4, 2010

Time to regroup on autism -

Whereas anti-vaccine parent advocates cite personal anecdotes and state that they know with certainty that their child's autism came from vaccines because "they know their child," scientists talk about the "preponderance of evidence" and "statistical significance."

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There are also those who claim that CFS is caused by vaccines.  However, I hadn't had a shot of any sort in many years before I got sick, which sort of disproves that theory.  Many other CFS patients have wracked their brains (and searched their medical records) without finding a link to vaccination dates.
It's comforting for people to point to something like a vaccine and say "if only I hadn't" and decide that when the choice comes up again, they will refuse on behalf of their child.  In this area, we've had a lot of unvaccinated kids hospitalized because they came down with one of these preventable diseases because their parents refused to have them vaccinated for fear of autism.  And had kids diagnosed with autism despite having no vaccines.
The simple fact is, the only "risky behavior" I engaged in just prior to getting sick was leaving my apartment to go to work, church and grocery shopping.  I had excellent health habits: ate healthy food, fast food maybe four times a YEAR, no smoking, no drugs, very little alcohol, no coffee, exercised daily... there was simply nothing my doctor and I could find to blame for the CFS except that I may have been coughed on by someone who had the virus, or touched something that had germs on it.  A grab bar on the bus?  Some coins given in change?  The door of the ladies room after I'd washed my hands?  No one knows, just during the work day I felt fine and by dinnertime I was delirious with a 105 fever that my dinner guest (not a medical professional) mistook for stomach flu and decided not to take me to the ER.  (We have now been educated that "the flu" rarely gets over 101, so this had to be a more powerful virus than a simple tummy bug.)

One day I was in excellent health and the next day I couldn't even get out of bed.  I'm not one who jumps to baseless conclusions, like that I've eaten tuna a million times before, but this Friday's tuna sandwich made me sick, so it must have been the tuna and therefore no one should eat tuna ever again.  I felt fine after breakfast, I felt fine after lunch.  I sat down for dinner, and the first bite of chicken tasted bad.  My guest said it tasted fine.  The first bite of baked potato with sour cream tasted awful; my guest reassured me that the sour cream hadn't spoiled.  After those two bites that I spit out, I felt so awful I had to lie down and a few minutes later ran to the bathroom.  My friend ate the same food, including some of what was on my plate, without incident, so it wasn't food poisoning.  By the time he finished eating (and he's not a slow eater), my temp was over 104 and I was delirious.  That's how long it takes to change a life forever. 
But since we shared the food, and I hadn't actually swallowed any of it, the food can't be blamed. 
Back up a few hours, or a few days, and the only risky behavior that turns up was that I left my apartment during flu season, and mingled with people on the bus, at the store, walking down the street, at the office.
It can happen to anyone, and it has no connection to vaccines.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Well some of what you say relates to my own case an onset of a flu like illness. However as the years went by my GP found my good response to antibiotics may indicate an infection such as Lyme Disease which had been picked up on other patients here in Surrey. Eventually I was diagnosed with Lynme disease and treated on long term antibiotics. After much reading of Burrascano Guidelines I remembered the bite and bulls eye rashes that lasted about 4 weeks although many people are not aware of either the bite or the rash and it can be years later that the onset of symptoms occur in people with chronic Lyme Disease.

I was one of the few lucky ones whose doctor considered it as a possible diagnosis, Kenneth Friedman of CFSAC e mailed a reply to me indicating that two research articles found 30% of mE/CFS patients to be sufferring from Lyme disease and yet as he says it is difficult to get physicians to check for it. Blood tests currently are considered to miss 50% of cases.