This is Amber’s story, which God prompted her to write some time ago. I was thrilled when she shared it with me and I am glad to share it with you, here, with all the details, for the first time.
My name is Amber. I have 6 kids. I want to explain my journey: how I lost faith in the mainstream medical world.
You might think I am crazy. Sometimes I wonder myself, but I am what I am because of the journey I have been on. I am surprised at my destination, since it is not one I would have ever expected, but I am thrilled with what I have learned along the way.
I am a parent and I have used my parental rights to choose to vaccinate my children. Granted, I didn’t realize at the time that I was exercising that right of parental choice. I did whatever the doctors said to do. I completely trusted them and never did any research.
I didn’t even know that there was anything to research.
As a new mother, I thought that children needed food, water and vaccines to live. I never once questioned anything about them.
I had been fully vaccinated as a child, wasn’t everyone? As a new mother, I knew one family that blamed their 4-month-old son’s SIDS death on his recent vaccines, but I assumed they were just trying to throw stones because they were hurting.
Don’t get me wrong, I HATED taking my babies into the creepy health department and getting them stuck. They always handed me those colored sheets of paper where I read all about how safe and necessary vaccines are.
The side effects part freaked me out a bit, but side effects never really happen, right? Then I got to the part that IF my child had a severe reaction, I could depend on the government to help us out with any medical or financial needs, and that was a comfort because I figured that they wouldn’t offer that if people were really having reactions, right?
I always felt so bad when their little faces went from peaceful trust to sudden pain and then crying, but life is about pain and suffering for the greater good, right? I would hold them and nurse them to console them afterwards. Rubbing the hard little bump where the shot was given and giving them children’s Tylenol to bring down their fever, like the good doctor recommended. (Because that’s another thing I had been taught to fear… fevers.)
I would come home and record the shots in their baby books, along with the sticker they got that said, “I was so brave!”
There were always those terrifying posters on the walls in the health department of mutilated babies that had gotten chicken pox. I would sit there and remember having chicken pox in the 4th grade, in fact our entire class got it that year, but thank God none of us lost half our face like the poor children on the posters and at least my kids wouldn’t even have to worry about the inconvenient, itchy spots at all!
Things were normal for my kids childhood: ear infections every month, antibiotics every month, allergies to dairy, a couple of cases of strep, an ER visit for croup… All normal stuff, right?
Perhaps my trust in the medical field began to crumble a bit when our 6-month-old was made to endure a dislocated elbow (commonly known as “Nurse-maid’s Elbow”) for 2 days, when the hospital ER doctor sent us home with instructions to safety-pin her sleeve to her shirt in a make-shift sling and wait for the elbow to go back in place.
She whimpered constantly and screamed when her arm was bumped until it went back on its own. Her elbow popped out 6 times in her first 2 years of life, and every time we just waited, while she suffered, till it corrected itself.
Lest anyone get suspicious of why this kept happening to her, let me clarify just how easy her elbow would pop. The first time it happened her 2-year-old brother had jumped on her arm when she was napping in bed. Once, it happened when I lifted her out of a grocery cart by her hands. Another time it happened when her grandpa was swinging her around in a circle. Finally on the last time it happened we were around a kind doctor friend who gently showed us how to “pop” it back immediately. So all those times she had to suffer and wait for it to go back on its own were unnecessary!!!
Another encounter with the medical establishment began when I was 27 years old, with 3 young children. I became covered in bruises and discovered I had ITP (Immune thrombocytopenia [THROM-bo-si-toe-PE-ne-ah], a blood disorder that causes the spleen to destroy the platelets in the blood, which makes you a “bleeder”). I now have a completely different outlook on healthcare thanks to ITP.
My faith in the “drug and Dr” world was torn down piece by piece and my faith in God has been renewed. I have learned to put off the fears of the unknown and question every side of every issue. I have learned that it pays to be responsible for your own healthcare and to research, research, research.
Oh, I went into ITP with the same blind faith I had entered the child healthcare world. I listened to my blood doctor explain the “possible” side effects of the drugs he was going to put me on while I reminded myself that side effects rarely happen, right? We racked up $50,000 worth of medical bills trying different treatments. I got laughed at by my blood doctor for asking him about different studies and treatments my mother had found on the internet, “You can’t believe everything you find on the internet,” he said.
I asked my family doctor to test me for a stomach bacteria that had been linked to ITP and she said there was NO WAY I had that bacteria, but she agreed to test me anyway because I begged. The test came back positive. Yes, I had the stomach bacteria that she thought there would be NO WAY for me to have, the same stomach bacteria that was connected to many other ITP victims… according to the internet.
One response I got many times was surprise that I had ITP at age 27, because it is more commonly known as a child’s disease. Research this one and find, on the CDC website, that the MMR vaccine lists ITP as a possible side effect. But I’m sure there’s no connection between children getting ITP more than adults and children getting the MMR vaccine more than adults, right?
After 8 months of drugs and treatments that were NOT working to raise my platelets, but WERE working in giving me every side effect listed on the drug package insert (and exhausting our finances), I exhaustedly told my doctor that I was done. I had wrestled with accepting that my life was never going to be the same and yes, I could bleed to death if I bit my lip, but I just wanted to be off the drugs and let happen what would happen. I was ready to trust God.
The doctor helped me wean off the drugs and told me to be careful and not do anything dangerous like get pregnant or hit my head or cut myself. I survived for 18 months with a dangerously low platelet count, researching when I could find the time while mothering three young children.
I found a vast world of natural “quacky” ways to treat oneself. My dad found out he had cancer during this time and was scheduled to begin chemo. He had to postpone his first chemo appointment because of my grandfather’s funeral, and by God’s timing and direction, he began seeing a natural doctor (Yeah, one of those). He was having extreme success with what this natural doctor was suggesting and prescribing.
My dad had so much improvement that the radiologist who did his next PET scan was so impressed with how much the cancer had shrunk he assumed my dad was taking chemo. So dad encouraged me to see this natural doctor too. After two months of taking vitamins and herbs that this doctor found my body was lacking, my count began to climb and then I discovered I was pregnant!
I was so tired of doctors at that point that I highly considered home birth, but… in rushed the fear, the worrying, the doubt. Would I die in childbirth? Would the baby be ok? I went to the OB/Gyn and he considered me high risk due to my platelet count. During that pregnancy, my count climbed to low normal, unexplainable according to my blood specialist doctor, but my natural doctor was not surprised. He said that sometimes pregnancy can be like pushing “restart” in a women’s body with an autoimmune disease.
Our daughter was born perfectly fine with no issues, but my count began to drop again, plateauing out at mildly low numbers, so I began taking the vitamins and herbs that the natural doctor suggested again. Within a year my count was in the normal range. I wasn’t even considered high risk with the next pregnancy.
Keep in mind, this is considered an idiopathic disease, meaning they do not know what causes it and it is not curable naturally, according to my blood specialist.
I had the pleasure of running into my blood doctor on the elevator at Miami Valley Hospital when my husband was there with a broken leg. I hadn’t seen him in two years and he didn’t know I was pregnant again. He asked how I was doing and I told him my platelet count, which was high normal then. He showed his surprise and joked that maybe I would just have to stay pregnant from then on.
My count never dropped below normal after our son’s birth and was still normal 3 years later when I had it checked again because of another pregnancy. I regret to say that my blood doctor has never called me up to interview me or take notes of my journey. He sees patients every day who have ITP, who are exhausted with the drugs, side effects and fear. I have to wonder, does he ever tell any of them that he had a patient 10 years ago who no longer has this disorder and she didn’t use drugs to get there? I’m sure he would have to consider if he would lose money telling his patients to try other remedies beside pharmaceutical drugs.
Having ITP really opened my eyes to health care providers. I am not angry at my doctors; they are not God and should not be treated as such. I am disappointed in our medical system. It was because of our daughter’s elbow experience that we took child number three to a chiropractor when he dove off our couch at age 3 and couldn’t sit or stand at all without screaming. There was no way that I was trusting the ER’s care.
The first chiropractor worked on him for 2 hours without any luck. She handed me his x-rays and sent me to another chiropractor. The second one placed heated towels on his neck along with shock treatments to the locked muscles in his neck and within 30 min he was up and walking out of there!
I have enjoyed the care of a doctor who listens and has made a positive difference in the health of my family. She also happens to be a chiropractor. Yes, there was a time when I believed that chiropractic care was nuts and that government programs, like the FDA and the CDC, were honest.
I have found that you can believe something as truth until it is proven otherwise. And that is why I now practice my parental right in making the choice to refuse all vaccinations for our children…. until I feel they are truly safe and effective. In my research of alternative, more natural ways to heal my body from ITP, I discovered many concerning stories about vaccines. No, I can’t be positive that they are all true, nor can I be positive that what the drug companies say is truth.
No, I didn’t come to this decision overnight. In fact, because of my skepticism at first, and the pressure from our doctors, and the fear of the unknown, both our 4th and 5th children were vaccinated. I did choose to only have them vaccinated with one vaccine at a time, much to our healthcare provider’s annoyance. The nurse would roll her eyes and assure me that vaccines were completely safe and there was no difference in receiving them one at a time or 5 at a time. But I held my ground and with heart racing and hands shaking, I insisted on one at a time. The practitioner would come in and make it very clear that he would only agree to this if I promised to bring the child back in 4 weeks for another shot. They stressed that I had to wait 4 weeks, because it wasn’t safe to give a child another vaccine within a 4 week time period. No, I never had the courage then to point out that they were going to give them 5 in one day yet it wasn’t safe to have 2 in one month?
I collected my baby and left as quickly as I could. Every single month it was the same routine. Nurse would sail into the room with her 2 or 3 shots, I would request just one, she would sigh and have to go back to exchange it for the single shot or tell me that it wasn’t available in single form. Every time they would treat me like a dumb, uneducated oaf and throw out all those typical arguments: vaccines don’t cause autism, Wakefield’s study was false, the ingredients are perfectly safe, you don’t want your kids to get polio, etc.
I kept going back, because I was still intimidated by these diseases and wanted to believe that the vaccines worked. Then the winter of ’09 hit along with a huge H1N1 scare. We got to observe as a nation how this vaccine was not working and was actually making people sicker. There I sat in my Dr.’s waiting room, surrounded by sick people, with my healthy 8 month old waiting for his one shot.
As I sat there I could hear the receptionist calling people on the phone, requesting that they reschedule their appointment if it wasn’t an emergency. She would explain that their offices were swamped with so much sickness, it wasn’t worth the risk of coming in if it could wait. Wait a minute…? It wasn’t worth the risk of coming in, yet here I sat with my WELL baby who was not sick!?! He got that stupid shot and I left that day, determined we were done.
Yes folks, I completely lost my trust that day. I lost my trust in mainstream doctors, lost my trust in the CDC, lost my trust in the pharmaceutical companies and lost my trust in vaccines.
- This does NOT mean that I hate babies and want them all to catch polio and die.
- This does NOT mean that I have read one word from Jenny McCarthy. I haven’t. Really.
- This does NOT mean that I hope my kids get the measles or the whooping cough.
- This does NOT mean my unvaccinated child is dripping with measles and mumps and doing his best to spread it around the world.
- This does NOT mean that I enjoy being called uneducated or told that God will hold me accountable when others catch ‘vaccine preventable’ diseases.
- This does NOT mean that I appreciate being blamed for every outbreak of these ‘vaccine preventable’ diseases, especially when the majority of every outbreak are fully vaccinated people.
- This does NOT mean that I think parents who vaccinate are evil. I too vaccinated my children because I loved them dearly and believed, at that time, that vaccines were the best thing for their health.
- This does NOT mean that I promote the name calling, bashing or hatred that oozes out of this topic, from both sides.
- This does NOT mean that I think parents who think differently then me, should have their children taken away.
What does it mean?
- This DOES mean that I have spent 10 years of research, experience and prayer to reach the decision to stop trusting vaccines.
- This DOES mean that I have the advantage to observe my children’s health and compare my five vaccinated ones to my one unvaccinated one.
- This DOES mean that I believe the risks of long-term side effects from the vaccines are real and greater than the diseases, at this time.
- This DOES mean that I observe history and can see that these diseases were already on the decline before vaccines were even introduced.
- This DOES mean that I observe the present and can see that with the increase of vaccines there has been an increase in childhood: allergies, asthma, ADHD, ADD, autism, auto immune disorders, etc.
- This DOES mean that I would like to continue to have the freedom of parenting my children, including making health decisions.
- This DOES mean that at any moment I can change my decision and have my children vaccinated…though I doubt I would ever trust the vaccine manufacturers enough to do so.
In summary, my journey has taught me that health doesn’t come through needles and medicine prescribed by doctors. It has been a long road of learning, but now I can see clearly through the health of my children. I have 6 kids and one on the way.
- Oldest 3 were vaxed according to the CDC schedule and they all had tons of ear infections and it seemed we lived on antibiotics. Our oldest has a dairy allergy.
- The next 2 were vaxed one shot at a time. One has a dairy allergy and they have had a couple of ear infections between them, though nothing our chiropractor couldn’t handle.
- The baby is 2 1/2 years old and has never had one shot or been to a well baby visit. He has never had an ear infection or had any reason to go to a doctor other than our chiropractor. He has never been on antibiotics and rarely gets sick.
For me the proof is right before my eyes.