In the past few weeks I've been bombarded with misinformation and junk science links. Just today I got another one about how aspirin was the real cause of most of the Spanish Flu deaths, not the flu itself.
I posted on Facebook innocently that I had finally gotten my seasonal flu shot and got a bunch of responses about how dangerous vaccines are and of course the one person who always says "I got a flu shot once and got sick the next day so I'll never get one again." Um...you can't get symptoms that fast after exposure anyway. It has to incubate first. You were already incubating the flu if you got sick.
Then a pregnant woman who got the H1N1 vaccine was writing that all the information from the anti-vaccine crowd had her freaked out that she was hurting her fetus. That one put me over the edge because she had done the sensible thing but these people were scaring her with their junk science links and misinformation.
Get the vaccine or don't get the vaccine, I don't care, that's just more for me and my family. But please just stop with the hysteria over the vaccine and get your information from reputable sources.
I use natural medicine to some extent--I just read carefully before I do. I'm not anti-herbal medicine, acupuncture, or other natural therapies. I do believe that herbs are powerful enough to cause harm if you don't do your research and aren't careful about what you combine them with.
But I have seen natural medicine go horribly wrong. Here's just one example: a couple was staying with me and they'd been to Guatemala recently. The guy turned yellow and wasn't feeling well and went to a natural doc, a Chinese herbal medicine doc and acupuncturist. He was told that his liver had too many toxins and sent home with some herbs. He was cooking for our family in return for staying rent free. He gave my daughter and myself Hepatitis Type A, the kind you get from someone not washing their hands well after a bowel movement. We managed to get my son a gamma globulin shot and he didn't get it. We were as sick as dogs, and we fortunately just had a mild case. Hep A can kill in some cases. We could have avoided infection if he had been diagnosed correctly.
On the other hand, I had an acupuncturist cure something that a Western doc said it would take surgery to resolve. (Hardened matter in my tear duct after an infection, forming a huge lump--the herbs dissolved it.)
So I can see both sides of the natural/Western medicine debate, really I can. But science has done so much more for us than natural medicine had done in centuries. Our increased life spans is just one indicator of it's efficacy. Scientific method has given us every major advancement. My son would be dead without Western medicine.
In the area where I live, there are so many people not vaccinating their children that the old diseases have been making a comeback. When I was in college, not realizing that my immunity had worn off, I got whooping cough. I got to find out why it used to be so feared, in spite of the anti-vaccination folks saying it is a mild illness. That wasn't my experience or my daughter's. I didn't know there was an outbreak but she got it at school and brought it home.
With whooping cough the mucus is so thick it covers your throat until you can barely draw in breath to cough. There is just a tiny opening and it takes every ounce of strength to keep breathing in to get enough air to cough and try to clear your airway. You do this over and over again before you can breath easily, only to repeat the process later. All the usual things, expectorant, fluids, etc., don't seem to help.
I could imagine how the small children used to die just because they didn't have my adult strength to do this over and over and over again.
There's a reason we developed these vaccines. These diseases killed our children. Go to any cemetery and look at the many grave stones for young children of the past. (I walk through cemeteries just because I like them and I've seen.) People almost expected to lose a child pre-vaccine, pre-antibiotic, it happened so frequently. When we first got the vaccines, parents thought differently about the rare instances of bad reactions to them when compared to how many deaths they had seen before. Now, we've forgotten, and the rare reactions loom larger than the diseases we've never seen. So they're coming back. Maybe they need to in order to teach a whole new generation why they were feared.