I’m a shy person. Soft spoken. I’ve been frequently described as a “soft soul.” I fumble with my words when I’m emotional. It’s OK I like it this way but today I’m feeling empowered and a little bold. I recently posted this on my Facebook status:
I don’t really post about anything controversial on my Facebook but I’m making an exception because I really do feel passionate about this and because I get a lot of questions from friends and family….
You should vaccinate your children and here’s why. We forget about the consequences of the diseases these vaccines protect against.
I had the opportunity to experience this first hand when I spent some time working as a nurse in Kathmandu Nepal at Kanti Pediatric Hospital in 2005. There I nursed a 12yr old girl with tetanus. Her body frequently went into back bending rigid spasms eventually causing a fracture in one of her arms from smashing into the bed rail so hard. I watched her parents work their prayer beads night and day looking at me with fear and anxiety whenever she would moan or cry out in pain. We did everything we could to relieve her suffering.
I also worked with a little fellow 5yrs old affected with polio whom was carried everywhere by his father as he will never be able to walk on his own. His parents, through an interpreter, worried about his life in the future. He was nothing in the Nepalese society, equivalent to garbage, seemingly not useful for anything but begging on the streets. They worried for his future should they die before him, no one would take care of him, help him. These parents would have given their lives to have the opportunity to vaccinate their children. So if you are a parent facing the decision to vaccinate or not I hope you do but if you don’t I will be there for your child to relieve the suffering as much as I can, to insert their IV, help them breathe, prep them for surgery if necessary and I won’t judge you, instead I promise to try and help you figure out how to live with the decision you’ve made because luckily for you, you have the ability to make the decision. I would also like to THANK all those Rotarians out there, here and around the world who recognize the need for vaccination in underdeveloped countries and fight tirelessly to provide access to vaccines around the world.
And I wondered about sharing it here because this is my travel blog but then on my rainy windy drive home with thoughts rattling around my head I decided I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and maybe, just maybe, because I don’t get up on the roof to shout that often, someone will listen. My commitment to vaccination was borne from my adventures traveling and volunteering abroad it’s been a quiet conviction of mine but today I’m letting you all know – I’M SHOUTING IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS – PLEASE VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN.