Thursday, June 21, 2012


One of the touchiest subjects I have come across as a “normal” parent and a parent of a special needs child is Vaccines. In the session at the UMDF Conference on vaccines there was clearly an air of distrust, frustration and emotions towards the whole conversation.
Dr. Pacheco point blank said, “all my patients will be vaccinated” – it seemed that this statement turned a lot of people off. What I kept thinking was, I wish she would have said, “all my patients will be vaccinated IF and only IF it’s done in a safe and controlled environment”
I met a delightful friend at the conference whose daughter has a suspected Mito disease and she also has a wide variety of other issues mostly related to food. Kristi is a chemist by trade and with her scientific background she is able to dissect and better share Mito related issues. She shared this blog post with me on her research related to vaccines,
So, after my own research and listening to my “mommy gut reaction” I have formed my opinion on vaccines for Will.
-He’s never had a bad reaction – before or after diagnosis of Mito
-We know he has a Mitochondrial disorder
-There is evidence that vaccine injury is real
-Why risk further neurological damage?
-Why risk a serious illness to an already compromised immune system?
-Net result: Vaccinate with care
I just saw this article on the number of parents delaying vaccines.
One of the statements is that it’s easy for parents to fall behind on a delayed schedule because you have to make multiple doctor visits. My response, if you care that much about putting your child on a delayed schedule, then you should be even more aggressive on achieving a successful outcome with that schedule.
Parents have to make a choice for their children’s health, if you are a parent to a normal healthy child that has no family history of problems and exhibits no health problems then one could assume there shouldn’t be a problem with a normal vaccine schedule. But, there’s always a but, what if you are one of those few vaccine injured families and you just don’t know until it happens. UG!
We take risks on behalf of our children daily. We strap them into poorly installed car seats, we shoot them up with Tylenol when they have a fever so we can get a few hours of work in before day care calls, we let them play in the street, we take them swimming in the deep end, we turn our back for one second on the changing table – everything is risky and could produce permanent damage to our children.
As a Mito Mom, I have realized we have very little control over what happens with Will’s body. I can’t keep him in a bubble, I can’t shoot him up with Tylenol to fix a fever and so on. BUT, I can control what goes into his body and how – vaccines included.
I guess my “mommy gut reaction” is that there is no good answer; this is just one problem I have put to rest in my head. That’s a nice feeling.


  1. Good post- the thing that makes me the most frustrated about Dr. P's statement is not that she wants all her patients vaccinated, but that she assumes that choice is hers. It's not. We as parents have the ultimate authority as to what goes in our kids' bodies- as well as the responsibility to research and make informed decisions. And yes, vaccine injury is real- as real as the diseases vaccines protect against. This issue is definitely the one I've lost (and continue to lose) the most sleep over. There's no easy answer, but I do know I won't be bullied by a doctor about it.

    I have LOVED reading all your posts about the conference- it sounds like it was a wonderful experience. Will sure is blessed to have a wonderful advocate and mommy. Hugs :)

  2. Dr P wasn't entirely truthful...because Reagan is a patient of hers...and Reagan is NOT vaccinated! Of course, she knows that I have a PhD in Immunology, so maybe that's why she doesn't fight me too much on the issue...but she does like to give me a hard time about it. Of course I totally agree with Elizabeth in that as parents that should be entirely our decision and not hers!! We choose to not vaccinate Reagsn for fear of aggravating her seizure disorder and we are delaying Ryan's vaccines just to be extra careful!!

  3. Somehow I knew this post would end up with some comments and I'm glad you gals posted what you did.

    Knowing a limited amount of info on each of your children (Reagan and Grayson) it seems to just further reinforce that there is simply no easy or cookie cutter answer especially because each child has such different and varying issues. Ug!

  4. Thanks for your post (and your link to my blog). Though that comment ruffled many feathers in the room... I believe it is good to open up these conversations and TALK about them OPENLY and HONESTLY ... we as parents to these fragile little ones have only their best interest in mind... and with that responsibility comes the added responsibility of research and having to make tough decisions on their behalf...
    I think you said it best.. there is no good answer... so for the meantime we can only go with our GUT! (and the little research we can find (

    You are such a great mommy! and Will is very lucky to have you looking out for him!
    So glad to have gotten to hang out with you in DC

  5. Dr. P. was very unhappy that I would not allow her to experiment on my mito son ( whose neuro suspects vaccine damage) with the pnuemoccocal vaccine to "see how his immune system responds". When my son had a documented adverse reaction to Pulmicort ( for his asthma), she refused to believe it or the bloodwork and insisted I give it to him even though the reaction might damage his kidneys irreversably. Needless to say, we moved on to more open-minded physician.