This past week has been an amazing week of media events surrounding the implications of Autism and Vaccine Injuries. I don’t Consider myself pro or con on the idea that Vaccines cause Autism. The reason why is basically due to my own gut instincts are very sensitive when it comes to my kids and my own health so the issue doesn’t pertain to me as it does to them, but I fully support the parents who do. We are lost in the Autism Epidemic and it has financially drained the education system to take care of these kids, which has led up to Congress hearing the issues on Autism.

However I am concerned for the parents of these injuries if they are not satisfied with the outcome with Congress on this issue. Where will that leave them and their Children? The resources are out there how to manage this epidemic, Parents just need the government’s assitance to help end this epidemic, and reverse the risks of our future generations in the World.          

     When my daughter was born 20 years ago on Mother’s Day in 1991, I was still active duty Air Force. My pregnancy with her was good i was bowling 200 games in my last trimester for being my 1st Child.  After a gruelling 29 hours of labor, She arrived, Happy healthy and Normal and a beautiful baby girl.

      After Returning to my job 6 weeks later I had found a home daycare that was close to my home. She was happy there, A first time mother I think is the scariest when you go back to work. About 8 weeks passed and when i went to pick Cassie up one day, the DayCare provider had taken in 2 news kids into her program that had ChickenPox. She said that these kids were well past the 10 day mark for being contagious.

      She was Wrong. Cassie contracted the Chickenpox at 4 months old. It was heartbreaking i had to use 10 days of my vacation to stay home with her until hers were gone. It is what happened with her health almost immediately after that i really started to see how contracting the Chickenpox had done to her. She started getting ear infections out the yin yang. I spent several nights up with her with fevers that had spiked up to 104, and 105 at one point. I always had cool bath running and fever reducer given to her right before i bathed her to cool her down before leaving for the ER if i had too. I had switched her healthcare over to Loma Linda University from the base doctors shortly after she was referred there for her ears.

      I just remember the countless doses of Antibiotics that she had to take to clear the infections, her body had built up a resistance over time to the lower end antibiotics, and the Dr’s informed me that she wont be able to have tubes placed in her ears till she is 1-year-old. We survived the infections and when the tube placement in the ears it cut down significantly on her infections. 

     I monitored her when she got her vaccines and i think maybe once she had a slight fever with a vaccine but nothing bad. As Cassie aged she started getting numerous strep throat infections, Scarlet Fever and i started to wonder where is all these illnesses coming from? The only thing that kept popping into my mind was the Chickenpox had compromised her health.   

      I was very blessed to have neighbors who worked at nurses at the hospital. Their knowledge was very helpful when it came to caring for my daughter. When Cassie turned 5, they had told me that removing her tonsils would solve the infections with the strep strain illnesses and they removed her 1st set of tubes that never fell out and replaced them with a 2nd set and removed her tonsils. They were right, She didn’t get strep again after that surgery. Although her adenoids were extremely huge some of them had grown back but she is healthy.

     The only thing that remained of her health that concerned me was car sickness and she out grew that with flying colors. Pregnancy 5 years later, was totally different i was working 12 hour days at the hospital in Banning, Ca. i was possibly exposed to hepatitis C from a employee’s nephew who had been in the office, and when i got to towards the end of my 2nd trimester, there was one night i had a dream of myself dying and my baby was at risk.

      It was so surreal to me that i really started paying attention to what was going on with my body from that point on. I felt it was a clear message from God. Work was understaffed in our department and i was the only person working in Data Processing for my last trimester. I was on call sometimes. Since Zach was due on the 31st of March, i stopped working on the 15th.

     It was my regular weekly checkup that changed everything. I had developed Pre-Eclampsia and the Dr. said i must get to the Hospital so that they could induce my labor. I had what i consider a good labor significantly shorter than having Cassie only 8 hours. I was on a sodium drip to keep me from having seizures or convulsion or slipping into coma for 2 days following delivery.

      Zach was born a normal birth just 10 days early is all in Spring of 1996, A very happy alert baby from the very beginning. What I noticed about his health from infancy was that he was very gaseous, I had to give him mylecon drops as needed when i would see him stressing and fussy. As he aged and monitored him during his Vaccinations there were no problems at all. Normal baby that i could tell.

       When Zach turned 6 months, i was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease aka Goiter, under active thyroid. It took me a year to get my body back to feeling somewhat normal,  It Wasn’t until Zach started walking and getting arround on his own that he was so hyperactive he was always on the go, always getting into the household cleaners and had learned to unlatch the safety locks on the cabinets by the time he was 2.

     I spent numerous visits to ER at Loma Linda for the next few years. By the time Zach turned 2 i was raising the kids on my own, self-employed with the kids dad, It wasnt until Zach was getting ready to start preschool that the Dr at Loma Linda suggested he be assessed for his language.

     They weren’t  overly concerned  with his overactivity or that it was very difficult to potty train a child, he took a while but i did get him potty trained. What happened after his dad taught him to stand and use the toilet to pee messed up his toilet training. People were judging me for the toilet training issues that weren’t medically addressed until 3 years later at the age of 8.

    Seven years later in 2002 arrives Loren.  I was very aware of the risks after having Zach.  I was working part-time as the beach patrol so i was hiking everyday and i had Cassie and Zach at the beach with me over the weekends. It was a very peaceful place to be with the whale migrations, dolphins, seals and of course protection of the western snowy plovers.

      Life was moving forward i was in good health and had a great pregnancy considering the odds. The Dr induced me on my due date, and Loren was with us 3 hours later with a normal delivery. He was the same as Zach a beautiful baby. It wasnt until maybe a few weeks later that he was tracking my every move with his eyes.

     As Loren aged i did notice a lapse in language, he had all of his vaccinations just like his siblings with no fever.  I knew from the time he was born there was something different about Loren . I could sense his smartness and at 2 months old i could have sworn i heard him repeat a word back to me. Loren’s first year noises bothered him. He would have huge meltdowns and take his socks and clothes off all the time. I had to wait till he was asleep before I vacuumed and made sure his door to his room was closed during his nap time.

     He didn’t vocalize a lot, it was his actions i was always watching, so I used visual cues a lot to teach him to interact with me. He had an excellent daycare provider when he was 1 and older, she used an excellent program  teaching the babies sign language to communicate what they wanted. Loren was very adaptive to her program.

     It was when he turned 3.5 when  i really noticed how noises affected him. I would start  up the weedwacker or the lawn mower he would run inside the house. The Vacuum cleaner the same effect. So when i enrolled him in pre-school it was discovered during reading he couldn’t sit still and the referral for the speech had begun and the way he therapists explained it to me what Loren was hearing was just like listening to the Teacher in the Peanuts Cartoons on TV.

     Loren went through 4 head start programs until they switched him over to a new program helping children with learning disabilities when his assessments and referrals with his intervention at home started. It didn’t take too terribly long to get Loren over the sensory overloads.

     Zach had been diagnosed earlier at age 6 or 7 with Severe ADHD, and placed on ridylin, and then started on Concerta and was on the medication for 2 years, before i removed him from the drug. Sleepless nights, couldn’t stay awake in class numerous days. I ended up in front of the School Board with Loren in tow explaining what is happening in my home for Zachary not sleeping, doing his homework. There was massive chaos and i had it all on my plate and handled it the best i could for being a single parent.

By the time we were done, Loren had been having a major meltdown and had removed his clothing and socks. The DA was present at this meeting which really made me aware of how this system works. She was the same DA that represented me in my child support case.

It wasnt until Loren started Kindergarten that he got his diagnosis and it was a few months later when Zach my oldest had his diagnosis and both boys started receiving services at school.

      When i pursued with the boys dr to get a referral to he neurologist in Santa Barbara for management of their diagnosis. It was then when the boys both had EEG that i learned from the dr that both boys were having seizures and needed to be on medication. It was then when she told me that ADHD Medications intensify Seizures that i got concerned about Zach and his ability to overcome this at age 12 didn’t know the odds it left a blank inside my head and the last thing i wanted to hear.

      It took a lot of time and patience on me and my family to get Loren where he is today. A bright communicative 8-year-old that has turned his situation arround to be the best he can be. Zach on the other hand being 15 and 3 years from the diagnosis of his absent epilepsy his focus in school has been extremely well this year.

     Once i got the school on board that Zachary due to his processing disorder is not  communicative to expressing his needs, he depends on me as his mother to start the process to obtain the services that work best for him. Zachary’s presence at his last IEP made a huge impact on him learning what he needed to do for himself at school. He has stepped up to plate and brought his grades up and does all of his work at school and raised his gpa from 1.4 to a 2.4 or higher. What a way to finish off the 8th grade.

      He doesn’t feel he is having seizures anymore so after seeing the dr this week, Zach is having a EEG done to check for seizures, and if it goes well we are weaning him off the drugs to see how he does. She said he may have outgrown the epilepsy. I have huge Hope for Zach. We will be monitoring him. He feels he doesn’t have Autism, He doesn’t want to be considered a Victim of Circumstance, He just wants to be well and enjoy life and see his dad who he is getting to spend more time with him this year, after a absence  with him since the age of 2. He is coming into his own independence and establishing who he is.  Life is what you make it.

     The Autism/Vaccine Injury issues is finally getting attention of Congress to look into this matter further. It is a very controversial issue when you have the pharmaceutical companies, releasing information that the Vaccines are safe when they have paid compensation for what they have said is rare cases of Vaccine Injury. 

      The pharmaceutical industry is biased for their own benefit. Which is What a lot of media has voiced about the Anti Vaccine parents because they have professionals who hold doctorates in their field and have children on the spectrum they are doing what they firmly believe is right. So how can they be so wrong when the pharmaceutical industry has manipulated congress and allowed them to manufacture and prescribe chemically mixed drugs that are not healthy for our genetics given the environments we live in.

      We can turn our health care problems arround as long as the FDA recognizes nutritional supplements so that physicians can prescribe them.    We owe it to ourselves to respect what the Grace of God has given us. Even though we are all Victims of Circumstance from the mistakes of the medical and pharmaceutical industries. We are strong and the law of large numbers will prevail. It is only apparent with all the toxins in our enviroment that our genetics cant hand any further manipulation. It is Mother Nature staring us back in the face of what is happening to our Nation’s Children.

     We brought these children into the world and take responsibility for raising them, but there is a fine line when the pharmaceutical industry, CDC, and other supporting governmental agencies is not concerned about the general health of the Children in schools to handle this healthcare epidemic before it gets way too out of  control. Vaccine Safety is vital for our existence to lead a healthy life.

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