My mother is a nurse (an RN) at a local hospital, one of the only hospitals within the city. She is somewhat “antivaxx”, simply because of what she knows about the flu shot and her other training she gained from her nursing degree. She did not have me and my four siblings vaccinated, however she gave us the choice if we wanted to get them around our high school years. I declined because it can be expensive, and we weren’t really doing very well financially. I also had been just fine until then and hated going to the doctor. At this point in my high school years around 2012, my medical issues consisted of an inaccurate diagnosis of asthma, and something called pectus excavatum.
I had gotten the chickenpox when I was around four or five years old, which is relatively normal, and around this same time, my whole family caught some weird fever inducing illness. Everyone else got better within a week (without a vaccine), but I was the youngest and was having some symptoms a little worse. I started having trouble breathing and started heaving, so my mom took me to the ER. From what I remember, they gave me something to help me breath normal again (probably an oxygen mask), they gave me a shot for the fever, and then sent us home.
It was later that I found out something different. When I was about ten years old, I was going through our bathroom closet and found a bottle of liquid medicine for asthma in kids. It was about half-empty. My mom then told me that I was diagnosed with Asthma at that ER visit, but she knew that I didn’t have it so she stopped giving me the medicine. I couldn’t remember that fact, and I’ve never had any issues breathing since that visit to the ER. I was misdiagnosed.
Around the time I hit puberty, my mom noticed my chest dipped in more than the average child. She knew what the condition was; it’s hereditary. We went to a doctor who specialized in it and he confirmed that I have pectus excavatum. Pectus is a condition where your cartilage in your chest grows too much, causing your sternum to either cave in or poke out. This has never been something treatable by vaccine. I could have, however, gotten a “cosmetic surgery” that would have straightened out my sternum, but I declined that as well.
Growing up, my mother was steadfast on a healthy diet: whole foods and meat that was grass-fed, etc. But my parents were divorced and my dad didn’t think that was super important. He felt that feeding us was all that mattered. He fed us a typical diet most parents feed their kids, gave us chips and sandwiches. We ate frozen dinners at his house and got fast food when we didn’t have anything at home to cook. So one week it was all natural for me, the next could be all junk. I began noticing the difference this had on my body. I would get stomach issues and headaches when I was at my dad’s, but felt fine at my mom’s. This caused drama between both sides of the family, and caused stress.
In 2015, I graduated high school and began my process to attend college. Naturally I was given the standard papers to document the “mandatory” vaccines and medical treatments. I wrote off that I didn’t have them due to religious reasons, and sent that in. To this day I have never been vaccinated. The only medical issues I’ve had since 2012 is that I have a minor case of scoliosis. Something minor enough to not need any medical treatment or surgery.
There was an outbreak of the mumps at my college, and the president of the school sent out an email warning students to wash their hands, etc. One of the students in my English class had contracted the disease, but I did not. We go to the same building and same room. There were a number of other cases of it at the school too, but I, an unvaccinated child, never got the mumps.
Since I’ve been in college, I’ve not eaten the best; my diet resembles what I had at my dad’s as a child. I’ve been having minor stomach issues and noticing some pain during that time of the month. To me, this is obviously not because I lack a vaccine. It is evident that there are other factors involved, and vaccines would not even help with this, because I don’t have a disease. I’m lacking certain nutrients that my body needs to be healthy and am more stressed because I now have bills and am in college.
I am not anti-vaxx, but I do believe in the right to do what you will with your own body. I am reporting this because it’s the side unreported. The only vaccines I’ve considered getting is the measle/mumps and a tetanus shot. I believe vaccines are beneficial to those who have poor genetics or live a life with a poor diet and exercise, but those who live healthy with a healthy background will have the immune system to fight whatever disease they come in contact with. A question still remains what is the healthiest life to lead and is that something we can reasonably direct people towards instead of a one-time shot?