Thursday, October 29, 2009


makes me happy.

I'm not going to ease into this post with a fuzzy intro, no I'm going to get right into it - H1N1... how we all feeling about that?

I have to say this is a very funny post for me to do considering everything I said yesterday BUT, I'm nothing if I'm not honest, and the whole decision whether to vaccinate or not has taken much longer then I would have ever imagined.

My reason why boils down to one thing - that precious little baby, wearing that awesome winter hat, in that photo above.

If I didn't have Byrdie my decision would have been made long ago - no vaccine. Done. I believe I take enough safety measures to prevent developing the flu and if I did proliferate the flu within myself I believe I am strong enough to fight it. This may or may not be true but it's what I believe.

Enter The Byrd, and specifically The Byrd's health, whom I'm currently 50% responsible to for making these decisions, and I that's when begin to waiver. Just because I believe I won't catch it and I believe I can fight it doesn't necessarily mean the same thing for Byrdie.

And then there's the 'what ifs.' What if I don't take the shot and something not so good happens to this little girl. Could I still live a life without regret?

That train of thought had me leaning toward getting the shot even though it still didn't feel like the right choice in my gut. Why doesn't it feel right?

Well this post gives a nice little summary of my main concerns. Here's an excerpt...

Without a doubt, there are serious concerns about the safety and efficacy of this vaccination, not to mention questions about the origins of the virus and the motivation for whipping up public fear and for the mass production of the vaccination itself. Conference Speaker Dr. Joe Mercola points out that, among other concerns, adjuvants in the vaccination include thimerosal (mercury), as well as squalene which has been associated with devastating autoimmune problems as well as with arthritis, memory loss, and neuropsychiatric problems. Conference speaker and Emmy award-winning investigative reporter Gary Matsumoto published a book on the dangerous toxic effects of squalene. The new H1N1 vaccination will contain both thimerosal and aluminum, in addition to squalene, increasing the toxicity of the shot. Each shot is reported to contain 25 mcg of mercury, 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) safety limit. Adding aluminum and formaldehyde to the mix complicates the possibility of adverse effects. According to an article published in the International Journal of Clinical Investigation (2005), those receiving regular flu shots for 3 to 5 years had a ten-fold increase in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to those receiving no flu shots.

I believe there are too many possible long term side effects of these vaccinations for me to risk taking them.

Still, whenever I think I've decided to just say no to the vaccine - I begin to feel powerless, for myself and The Byrd, which isn't cool either.

Which then got me thinking - if I don't take the shot what can I do to help prevent infection?

Well interestingly enough, just speaking to my dear friend Meghan, who happens to be a holistic nutritionist, about the all the ins and outs of the H1N1 virus and the vaccine, began to bring back my feeling of power. While she certainly didn't tell me one choice was better then the other she did provide me with a lot of information, and in my books - knowledge is power.

Then I received this email from another friend and although I have no idea if this doctor even exists, I do believe in the message...

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee Hospital , Tata Memorial etc.. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).

The following message given by him, I feel makes a lot of sense and is important for all to know

The only portals of e ntry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.

While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*

5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

and I thought, now I have knowledge and an actual arsenal of natural flu fighting weapons.

With a little more research I've also decided to add these to my Ways To Stay Healthy list...

* take vitamin D

* get as much sleep as possible

* continue to exercise and eat many fruits and veggies daily

* speak up and ask people to wash their hands before playing with The Byrd and give her kisses on the top of her head or the tip of her toes where it would be more difficult for her to transfer our germs to her mouth

My mind still isn't completely made up yet but, I'm certainly feeling like I have begun to balance the scale in terms of my knowledge for and against vaccination.

May you unearth all the knowledge you need to make the decision that's for you and yours.

Stay healthy my friends!

PS - special thanks to this funny lady for that awesome winter toque.


Kwil said...

Great post on the whole vaccination ordeal :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. We have been on the fence about this as well.

The Mocha Mom said...

I'm a mom who lost a child from an adverse reaction to vaccines. After reading your post, I decided to leave you a comment. I completely understand your concerns and fears for your baby. After our first daughter died, we had to really research the issue of vaccines before we had more children, because our future children are at a greater risk of suffering the same fatal reaction because they had a blood sibling die from them. After research- we opted against vaccines. Today my son is 13 and my daughter is almost 12- completely vaccine free. Neither of them have ever contracted a so-called "vaccine preventable disease". I also believe that the over use of vaccines do contribute to things like we are seeing with this H1N1 virus and the our ruining our own immune systems in the long haul. If you ever question your decision- please visit my web site at and read my daughter's story. Maybe reading her story will make you feel better about your choice. Educate before you vaccinate, that is all we can do as a parent. Know the risks and decide what is best for you and your child without the media hype or persuasion of physicians.

justme said...

this is a great post, very informative and really well written.

Meghan Ford said...

This is a perfect example of a situation where knowledge is power. Taking advice from someone else never feels as good as making in informed decision yourself. Good for you for doing your research Stac.