We have very strange habits. Like: refusing to wait in doctor's waiting rooms, unless we're the first there in the morning. Refusing to take our patently infectious sick children into waiting rooms, or doctor's surgeries and wait there. "What???" I hear you screech. "How irresponsible is that???" Quite the contrary. The current medical system which encourages sick people to sit in their waiting rooms has created a culture of contamination and complacency, which one day, might return to bite them. And you.
We learned this lesson very early in my first pregnancy, when we noticed that after prenatal visits to the doc, I'd come down with an infection within three days. By the third time, my husband murmured... "I wonder if you will get sick this time?" Sure enough, I did. We realised that waiting half an hour or longer, in a waiting room with coughing sick people was a pretty stupid idea.
It wouldn't be for another six years later, that we discovered I had an immunodeficiency which combined with the way the immune system is supressed in pregnancy, laid out a "welcome" mat to any bugs around. By the sixth month of my pregnancy, we had developed "strategies". I'd arrive at the surgery. My husband would go in and tell them I was outside in the car, and when they were ready, then I'd walk through into the doctors room.
Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. But boy, it got me thinking, both backwards and forwards!
I grew up in Scotland on a small island. The doctor there had been a director of what used to be known as an "infection hospital" before he became the Island GP. In those days, which hospital you went to, depended on what was wrong with you.
There were three layers of assessment. If we were obviously sick with something contagious, it was normal to be 'quarantined' in our bedrooms, and the doctor came to us. Late in the afternoon, if it wasn't urgent. If the doctor thought you were REALLY sick, then you went to the infection hospital. If you had a broken bone, you went to a different hospital. Sometimes they were two different hospitals separated, on the same grounds. Sometimes they were in different parts of the same town.
The staff from the infection hospital did NOT mingle with the staff in the other hospital during work hours. Injury patients etc and infectious patients were always kept well away from each other.
When we arrived in New Zealand, we were surprised to meet a uniquely "she'll be right" attitude, where most doctors looked upon such common sense with total scorn. Only once in my life in this country, did our doctor come to our house, and that was when I had glandular fever and hepatitis B. I was so seriously ill that the doctor decided that was the easiest course. It helped that he lived up the same road that we lived on, so he'd drop in regularly on the way home from work.
Back to the point of this blog.
By the time the children were born, we had decided that if possible, we would never clutter up a doctor's waiting room, or examination room, or their mental space as a result of trivial or infectious reasons. So what is trivial, and what is serious? To know that, we made it our business to educate ourselves about all diseases, common and not so common. We scoured the libraries, bought reference books, and became "responsible" for our children's health, as well as our own. We learned the incubation times, the symptoms, the complications, and most importantly, when NOT to take children into a doctor's waiting room.
We discussed this with our doctor and worked out from the beginning, what we would do when faced with a situation where we were uncertain. Plan B, in other words.
Our children started catching diseases like whooping cough, measles etc, from vaccinated children diagnosed with "something else". I noticed that these parents had no concept that when kids are sick, you keep them at home. We decided to take a different route for several reasons:
1) How infectious diseases were dealt with in my childhood, made sense to me. The compacency instilled by vaccines, and drugs supposedly to cure everything, did not made sense to me.
2) At that time, considerable media exposure made people aware that we were not immunising our children. The last thing we needed to be accused of, was being part of a chain of infection, thereby earning the tag of "those irresponsible non-vaxxers" who will "kill" everyone else's supposedly protected vaccinated children." (Never mind the illogic in that argument!)
If the children got sick, the first thing that would happen would be that paper would be magnetised to the side of the fridge. A log of dates, times and symptoms was compiled and these details were later transferred to their plunket books. This became standard procedure for every incident whether or not it might involve a visit to a future visit to a medical facility.
Here are three examples of how we handled infectious episodes:
The children caught this from the vaccinated children over the road, diagnosed with bronchial asthma. It was the running joke through town, that this bronchial asthma lasted around 100 days.
I already knew the symptoms of whooping cough, and the prodromal mild cold would never have been enough for me to take a child to a doctor. So I waited. The fridge chart started showing up the pattern quite clearly, so we knew that it was probably whooping cough within a few days of the cough starting. I charted it, and by the second week, when the cough was stronger, and coming hourly at night, out came the tape recorder, and the coughing fits were recorded onto tape. We instituted our own treatment protocols. I rang the surgery and made an appointment, on the understanding that it was a phone appointment only, and I would pay standard rates.
Around the designated time, the doctor rang; I read out the symptom pattern from the paper on the fridge, and the tape was played down the phone. The children were alongside me, and also duly coughed accidentally, on cue.
The doctor was pretty sure it was whooping cough, and we scheduled another phone appointment for two weeks time, by which time it was obvious it was whooping cough. He never saw the children. There was no need.
Think what would have happened had I taken the children to the doctors surgery at the start; or when the cough started, or repeatedly, until whooping cough was known. Think of the people who could have been serially exposed. Staff, babies, pregnant mothers, elderly.... is that sensible? Not to my way of thinking.
When it came to chickenpox, that was pretty obvious. I took good close up photos of the pox, and they were sent to the doctor afterwards. He never saw the children at all.
Mumps was the same. A detailed description of the symptoms, and a splendid photo of a mumpy neck, is all the proof that's needed.
We also figured that if, at any time, someone got stroppy about the children not being seen, the debate would be easily solved by a blood test looking at proof of immunity, or "titre" (levels of antibodies to that disease)
No doubt you will say, "But that's all very well. Your children didn't have complications. What would you do then?"
Our children didn't have any infectious disease serious complications, because firstly, they were healthy; never fed junk; got plenty of sleep, and we know how to look after them when they are sick. We've studied the diseases, what doctors have to offer, and what else there is to offer.
In terms of infection though, we also believe that our children are our first priority. No way would our children ever mingle with other children when we knew they were sick.
We're not "scared" of diseases. We don't avoid people who are sick, because we know how to keep ourselves healthy, and treat illnesses.
But we will not, knowingly, expose other people to infections which we know are developing, no matter how mild they might seem to be. Quite apart from that, the reality is that when you take a public stand on your right not to immunise, you also have a responsibility not to spread diseases. Common sense tells us, that the best place to catch an infectious disease, is either your doctor's surgery; the local hospital; daycare centres; kindergartens; schools; sports events where sick children are sent by their parents. Ironically, the best place to find evidence of that, is... the medical literature!
Yet the medical system completely ignores this in their thinking. Parents have been encouraged to go to the doctor's surgery for everything; to allow the doctor to think for them. Health officials, doctors and nurses believe that they and their facilities are squeeky clean. Dream on.
On a very basic common sense level, to knowingly put sick children with other children, or contaminate a doctor's waiting room when pathogen load is at the maximum level, ... and to knowingly expose others to infection does... not... make... sense.. to us. Why does it make sense to other people?
There is one thing you can be sure of. No doctor's waiting room is being constantly de-contaminated of all the various bacteria and viruses traipsing through every day. Fortunately for most people, if you are healthy, it's unlikely that the gazillions of bacteria, viruses, etc, you come in contact with, will make you sick. But you cannot be sure that everyone is as healthy as you are.
Infection restriction is a concept that has got completely "lost" in athe medical world where vaccines and antibiotics have lulled people into a false sense of impregnability. Right now, "quaranteen" only applies to a few teachers, school kids and airplane contacts, who might have a flu picked up in Mexico. Tell me. Why is there one rule for them, another tule for everyone else?
Medical people believe that vaccines create some unique force field around their bodies which means that they can't pass infections on to others, which is absolutely, totally wrong. Medical people also believe that vaccines create "herd immunity" whereby vaccinated people protect others. It's interesting for me to see, in the medical literature, that that concept is now coming under fire, as medical people discover that vaccinated people can be symptomless carriers, passing on and swapping germs happily along the infection chain...
"Herd Immunity" fictitious thinking, lies behind the stupid dictates by the medical profession, that all front line staff should have the flu vaccine. The "vaccinated", then assume that they can't get the flu, or pass the flu to anyone else. The doctor who thinks she's immune from the flu shot, and sees people with the flu, can easily pass the virus onto the pregnant woman who walks in straight after her. The fact is that hospitals; doctors surgeries; doctors clothes, breath, and hands are the ultimate in "pick up the latest bug" laboratories.
And here's another fact. Vaccinated people can culture the flu inside their brochials, have subclinical infections, with no symptoms, and pass them on to other people. Just like ordinary people in the street can. Many people get "immunity" to the flu, meningitis bacteria, common viruses... and never even know they had it.
It's the classic case of believing that myth that because you can't "see" something, it isn't there.
Talk about pulling the wool over people's eyes...
to be continued....