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December 06, 2008

Nanny Statism

I love people who can't wait to protect me from things I have no wish to be protected from on no evidence but their own subjective wish to feel "safer":

It's slightly dicey business to compare data from Ontario with those of the provinces that didn't enact a universal-immunization policy. Researchers can't be sure that the differences in the rate of immunization actually caused the differences in influenza diagnoses, hospitalization rates, or excess deaths. In fact, during the seven-year period under study, there was improvement in flu-vaccination rates in all the provinces. As a result, influenza statistics everywhere in Canada improved—but they improved a lot more in Ontario than in the rest of Canada. Influenza-associated deaths dropped by 57 percent in the rest of Canada, but they fell by 74 percent in Ontario. Every other statistic about influenza in Canada—flu-related cases seen in emergency rooms, doctors' offices, or hospital admissions—showed exactly the same pattern: Things are significantly better in Ontario. We do need to be a bit skeptical—that difference might, indeed, be due to some other environmental, economic, or educational difference between Ontario and the rest of Canada. But this evidence is the best we have today, and it's probably good enough to serve as a basis for changes in public-health policy. The only Ontario patients who didn't get significant benefit from flu shots were the elderly. As other studies have also shown, it seems as if it's simply harder to give the elderly good protection against flu using our standard methods of immunization, and there is active ongoing research to develop new, more potent vaccines. Meanwhile, we keep giving older people the present vaccine, hoping that at least some will benefit.

Conclusion: The next question is, Can it be done? Judging by the results in Ontario, the answer seems to be "yes" but only by providing newer sites for immunization, more easily available to the public—for instance, schools, stores, airports, train stations, even election polling sites. Should we do it? People afraid of needles are going to hate me for saying this, but yes, I think so. Extrapolating from the Canadian results, I think it is very likely that a policy of universal influenza immunization will lower hospitalization and death rates and even be economically advantageous. But, of course, it's easy for me to say: As a health care provider, I've already gotten my shot this year.

It's also easier for you to say if you've never suffered an adverse reaction to a flu shot:

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which peripheral nerves are damaged and cannot transmit signals efficiently. The disease typically progresses from the legs up the body to the trunk and may even affect the respiratory system, causing almost complete paralysis.

In Guillain-Barre syndrome, the myelin sheath protecting the nerves are damaged, so signals traveling along the nerves are not transmitted properly. Because nerves cannot transmit signals to muscles, muscles will not function properly, thus causing paralysis.

It is extraordinarily painful, having your body chew up the lining to its own nerves. I happen to be married to one of those people who never recovered from the damage caused by the flu shot. The condition is relatively rare, but that is little comfort if you are one of the 'lucky' ones. It is only due to sheer determination on his part that he is able to use the surrounding muscles in the affected area.

So no thanks: don't "protect" me against my will. Especially when you can't even get doctors to take an active interest, much less admit that something is seriously wrong without aggressive advocacy. A patient shouldn't have to wait until irreparable damage sets in to get the attending physician's attention.

We're lucky he's not in a wheelchair. And not one mention of the side effects in this entire article.

Less than impressive.

Posted by Cassandra at December 6, 2008 09:49 AM

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Anybody else remember the swine-flu debacle in 1975? The vaccinations killed more people than swine flu did and caused severe enough Guillain-Barre in 3,500 people to paralyze them.

Dirty Little Secret (DLS) Number One: The vaccine makers have a 50-50 shot at guessing which version of influenze (avian-based or swine-based) will go on a tear.

Then, they have to decide which of twenty or so major strains will be the one to actually make its move.

Now, even if they guess correctly on the 50-50, they've still got 19 chances in 20 of guessing *wrong*.

DLS Number Two: The vaccine produces *systemic* antibodies in your bloodstream, but does not produce *local* antibodies in your lungs and nose.

And how does the flu infect you? Through your lungs and nose.

Posted by: BillT at December 6, 2008 10:51 AM

I have a vaccine-damamged child. My two youngest are NOT vaccinated, will NOT be vaccinated and when the Engineer had to get the anthrax shots, I went to the healthfood store and got the ingredients that would help sustain and balance his immune system afterward.

There are alternatives, and again, this is something that has nagged at me for years with regard to mental health/nutrition issues.

I dislike being told vaccines are 'mandatory.' They are not and all states have exemptions.
Unfortunately, the military does not have exemptions and I think those are done on a case-by-case basis.

Posted by: Cricket at December 6, 2008 12:17 PM

Tell them you are allergic to pork and eggs.

Posted by: Cricket at December 6, 2008 12:18 PM

Shots are always dangerous. Anyone who works animals knows that.

While the big things are worth an enforced vaccination policy-- polio, small pox (back when it was common), stuff that causes death or disabilities in healthy folks-- the FLU? The folks who die from that already have weakened systems. (I think it's something like 95% of flu deaths are in folks over 75-- from the radio, two days ago, so I can check the numbers. -.-)

My basic rule of thumb is "if I were managing a herd of cattle, would I do this?"

For the flu-- heck no. At risk folks should consider it, and if I, say, worked as an airline stewardess I probably would.

(Side note: I'm kinda tickled that I'm one of the small, small number of folks my age who have had a small pox shot-- both because it's unusual, and because it *can* be unusual.)

Posted by: Foxfier at December 6, 2008 01:30 PM

Figured someone would bring up anthrax.

The vaccine was developed for use on sheep -- they pick up the spores in their wool. Sheepshearers get the spores on their hands and clothing when they shear the sheep, but the spores wash off with soapy water, and don't pose a risk unless a number of them get into a cut. It's *cutaneous* anthrax, and the vaccine was developed to immunize sheep against the stuff because they don't bathe frequently.

Cutaneous anthrax doesn't make a good bioweapon, simply because it's too difficult to convince the targeted troops to cut themselves and then rub it into the cuts.

Inhalation anthrax makes a good bioweapon, because the spores lodge in the lungs until they sprout to do their work. All the targeted troops have to do is *breathe*.

The vaccine for cutaneous anthrax is useless against inhalation anthrax, but it's touted as being *effective* against weaponized -- inhalation -- anthrax. Using that line of reasoning, someone bitten by a cobra should be given an antivenin for rattlesnake poison.

Which brings up an interesting point -- if Saddam *didn't* have a biowar program, why does everyone coming into SWA *still* need to keep getting those four %$#@! shots?

Posted by: BillT at December 6, 2008 01:46 PM

I'm one of the small, small number of folks my age who have had a small pox shot.

I've had two.

First one when I was a kid and the second one a year ago before my gig in Pakistan.

The rationale was that the first one had been so long ago, my body probably forgot how to make the antibodies for it. Personally, I think the nurse just got turned on seeing me in a tee shirt.


Posted by: BillT at December 6, 2008 01:54 PM

I think she had the vapors when you unzipped.

FWIW, anthrax or no, I was more worried about the *&(% they put in the vaccines, not the like cures like or triggering the immune system to make antibodies. However, since viruses mutate, the ideal immunity would be to get the disease itself.

My grandmother, who lived to be 93, survived the Influenza Epidemic of 1918, and she was expecting my uncle, who just turned 90 yesterday.

Go figure.

Posted by: Cricket at December 6, 2008 06:27 PM

They supposedly stopped using squalene as an extender -- took a Federal Judge to issue a "cease and desist," though, because the Gen'rul-In-Charge of the program kept insisting squalene was benign.

Giggle was, even though the Gen'rul wore MSC insignia, he wasn't an MD -- he was a clinical psychologist.

Posted by: BillT at December 6, 2008 06:43 PM

I think she had the vapors when you unzipped.


If it was the vapors, it condensed at the side of her mouth.

First time in a long while I've had to wait a half hour while somebody prepped a needle...

Posted by: BillT at December 6, 2008 06:48 PM

The flu vaccine still contains thimerosol as a preservative, which is more than 49% mercury. I would rather eat ground glass than have or allow my family to have a flu shot. And I also have a vaccine-damaged child, and if I allow myself to think about what he could have been without the DPT shot, I run the risk of taking up drinking to excess.

I have immunized my family since 1997 using the homeopathic flu protocol, and have never had a case of the flu in family members who did the protocol. I have used the protocol every single year for MathMan, because he was at high risk for flu and complications due to his congestive heart failure, and now as an immune-suppressed heart transplant recipient. I have not used the protocol for the rest of us each year, mostly due to lack of organizational skills on my part.

Odd thing is, that MathMan's company provides flu shots free of charge, and every other person in his building gets the shot each year. Every year at least half of his office drops due to the flu, some of them right after they get the shot. One or two years of success for the protocol could be due to luck. But 11 years of flu-free winters in a highly susceptible individual? You can't convince me it's happenstance.

I recently read that Alzheimer's disease is on the increase, and striking people at younger and younger ages. This comes at a time when the flu vaccine is pushed on the general population with more urgency each year, and compliance with vaccine pressure is increasing. Correlation is not causation, I know. But who will fix all those cases of Alzheimer's if they are due to this practice of vaccination for everything?

You don't have to have a dangerous witch's brew jabbed into your muscle to avoid illness, and you don't have to suffer like Cass's husband with permanent disability, or brain damage like SpecialLad, if you just educate yourself.

Posted by: MathMom at December 6, 2008 09:03 PM

We'll make you work... for your own good, Cass.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 6, 2008 10:57 PM

I never did like shots or taking drugs.

I'm fortunate in that, due to whatever quirk of nature and nurture, I cover from the flu (or maybe it was just the fever) in 2 days.

Either that, or I've never gotten the flu, but that's unlikely over the past 10 years.

You may be too weak to get up and get some water, but at least your immune system's response won't kill you or make you disabled.

I've never gotten a flu shot, although I may have one time in elementary school where they were lining the kids up for some kind of shot. Although that could have been the measles thing.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 6, 2008 11:03 PM

I haven't had a flu shot since the swine flu debacle -- the Joisey Guard decided to be pro-active and be fit and prepared to provide the massive amount of support for the swine flu pandemic that the AMA screamed was coming.

No pandemic. No *swine* flu.

But 75% of us got knocked on our butts for more than a week. Two guys got permanently grounded because they flunked a subsequent equilibrium test.

I don't get the flu often, but when I do, I feel queasy for a few hours, then *poof* -- flu gone.

Posted by: BillT at December 7, 2008 01:09 AM

I am firmly in MathMom's camp for homeopathics because of the logic in like curing like. I became aware of the damage vaccines can cause after our two week old infant was injected with HiB... and to answer your question about the 'requirement' for the four shots is this: Someone makes money. Follow the trail. A clinical psychologist can make a recommendation for a course of medication or preventive measures, but cannot prescribe or administer the dose. It is CYA.

A half hour to prepare the shot? Toldja she had the vapors and your hot shirt prolly blew her mind.

I worked in health food stores long before the advent of 'Whole Foods,' and have kept up with the latest information. When my family gets sick, I turn to the soup pot and rummage through the local HF store. My old standbys are Alacer Corporation's EmergenC and Solaray's Silver Shield, a micro ionized preparation of colloidal silver. The *only* child who gets sick is the one who is in school...but he can knock it in a few days of home treatment.

Home treatment is lots of homemade chicken soup, lots of vitC complex therapy, and three doses a day of Silver Shield.

Posted by: Cricket at December 7, 2008 10:13 AM

Ymar, you are totally right, but there are things you can do besides drink water. MathMom sent me a bone healing protocol years ago, and when my second surgery failed and I had to have my third surgery last year to correct the second one, I followed her protocols and it HEALED FASTER than what the ortho doc expected it to. My second surgery could have been prevented had my local ortho doc referred me to the Hughston clinic in the first place. I don't like being the gift that keeps on giving and doctors are just...

BUT with MathMom's help, it was a huge success and I want to thank her now and publicly for her help in making my like a LOT easier because of her knowledge.

When I was following it after the second surgery didn't take (that was when I was crying and sniveling about how it wasn't working...she sent it to me), the pain was non existent. I went off the pain meds completely. After I had the third surgery, I had the pain meds for one month, and then I didn't get the prescriptions refilled.

Life is good.

Posted by: Cricket at December 7, 2008 10:28 AM

Got any homeopathic remedies I could try for an aggravated shoulder injury?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 7, 2008 12:29 PM

I'd be interested in that homeopathic flu protocol... A number of years ago, after a persistant cough, my doctor at the time (in AR) told me I had chronic bronchitis, and that I should get a flu shot every year, and a pneumonia shot every 5. I've gotten periodic flu shots since, but not another pneumonia one. I've gotten colds since, but I don't think I've gotten the flu. But, since I am a sometimes-substitute teacher, and hopefully (if I ever find a freakin' teaching position) someday classroom teacher, I need to be inoculated in some fashion against the germs and what-not from the little rugrats (who don't cover their mouths when they sneeze, or sneeze into their hands and don't immediately wash them, etc.). I will say I sometimes use Zicam, but I probably don't use it early enough - sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between allergy symptoms and a cold...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at December 7, 2008 12:53 PM

Over here, flu's small potatoes -- got any homeopathic preventions for cholera?

Posted by: BillT at December 7, 2008 01:27 PM

Cricket -

You make tears come to my eyes. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad it worked for you.

Posted by: MathMom at December 7, 2008 04:11 PM

Ymarsakar -

My email addr is easy enough to deduce. Shoot me an email, we can talk.

Posted by: MathMom at December 7, 2008 04:12 PM

Miss Ladybug -

You can buy a product called "Airborne", developed by a teacher who was always getting sick from her students. I've heard it works great.

Re the homeopathic flu protocol, you need to buy Influenzinum 9c at a really good health food store, or order it from a homeopathic pharmacy. You can order it from Homeopathic Educational Services and they'll ship it to you.

The protocol should (ideally) be started so that you have several doses of Infl. 9c in you before the first freeze. Flu season starts officially when it freezes. So, in Texas we start in October, further north you might want to start as early as August. Mark your calendar so you remember to take your doses.

Take one pellet weekly for 4 weeks, skip a week, then take one more pellet on the 6th week, and monthly thereafter until flu season is over. (Some people recommend a simple monthly dose throughout flu season, but the above is the way I use it in my practice.) That's it. The "unit dose tubes" offered by Homeopathic Educational Services are actually enough to take care of your family for about 50 years, and then you can will them to your children. They recommend you take a full tube of the sugar pellets, but truly a single pellet is plenty.

If you are getting a late start this year and have possibly been exposed to the flu or are coming down with flu-like symptoms, Oscillococcinum is a very good way to combat the actual illness. Again, the label instructions will tell you to take an entire vial as a dose, but a single pellet will suffice. I have had extremely dramatic cures with this, one of my neighbor and his wife who had been bed-ridden for nearly three weeks. I didn't know they were sick, called the house for something else. They sounded nearly dead. I took some Oscillo over, he took it immediately and gave some to her. About two hours later I saw him leave in the car. I called the house, she was improving, and he had gone to choir practice.

If this is confusing, my email address is easy enough to deduce.

Posted by: MathMom at December 7, 2008 04:30 PM

BillT -

I've had cholera - got it in Beirut. It's no picnic.

Here is a link (Warning: Lots of descriptions of bodily effluvia - not to be read unless you really want to know) to an article written by Clarke, an MD who was one of the homeopathic powerhouses. We still use his dictionary, published in 1901, as a standard in practice. He dealt with cholera on a daily basis in 19th and early 20th century America, using homeopathy.

You can read through that to see if any of the symptom states look familiar (he also outlines a homeopathic protocol for prophylaxis against cholera), and I can translate anything you don't understand. I can also assist you in obtaining the medicines if you would like to give it a go.

My email address is easy enough to deduce.

Posted by: MathMom at December 7, 2008 04:45 PM

Thanks, MathMom, not for me, for a couple of the cadets who picked it up on their last sojourn home.

The medic who's treating them is running low on antibiotics, and I was curious to see if there was a nutritional alternative.

Posted by: BillT at December 7, 2008 05:25 PM

Hmmm. I'll assume that the description of linseed tea being "very useful and shooting to the patient" is a typo, since "soothing" would be more in context.

We usually use AKs for *shooting*...

Posted by: BillT at December 7, 2008 05:32 PM

I sent you an email, Mathmom, hope I got the address right.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 7, 2008 06:14 PM

Eeew. Cholera is oogie, and isn't there still a fatality rate among the elderly and children? Just to add to MathMom's protocol, we have used Berkey Water Filters as part of our 72 hour kits; I have one for each of the CLU's water bottles. Those filters are cleanable, several times over, and will filter 1500 gallons of 'raw water.' I also keep lactobacillus acidopholus with the friendly bacteria around as well. If that isn't something you want to have or can't...eating Greek yogurt is the best way to get it. It tastes a LOT like German quark.

Oooh...tell 'em about Traumeel.

Best stuff in the world after a protocol.

MathMom, you are very welcome. It truly did work and I am so grateful for the time you took to help me with it.

Posted by: Cricket at December 7, 2008 06:52 PM

Cholera is oogie, and isn't there still a fatality rate among the elderly and children?

yeah, if you lose too much fluids and your body don't have any reserves, like kids and the elderly, then death results.

MathMom, you are very welcome. It truly did work and I am so grateful for the time you took to help me with it.

MathMom is brilliant, what can we say.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 7, 2008 06:57 PM

Ipecac? I thought that induced vomiting. Is there a way to dilute it in the field if that is all you have is syrup of ipecac?

Posted by: Cricket at December 7, 2008 07:00 PM

I was thinking in this country, since we do have access to good medical care, but over in a third world country or developing nation...that is scary.

The most excellent book 'Nourishing Traditions' has recipes for making things like mutton broth. Making soups like that is pretty much a lost art unless you are a chef and cook for a living.

Posted by: Cricket at December 7, 2008 07:07 PM

Thanks, MathMom!

I've tried Airborne, but I don't use it all the time. I have some left over from last year. The kids' version is easier for me to swallow - I just have to take two doses to equal an adult does. That's a problem I have sometimes - the stuff that is good for me I have a problem getting down sometimes... I'm busy with some crafting this evening, but I hope to take a closer look at what you suggested maybe tomorrow evening or so...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at December 7, 2008 07:20 PM

Ymarsakar -

Check your email.

Cricket - When you see Ipecac. in italics, it's referring to the homeopathic preparation from what we normally think of as ipecac. You'll see Ipecac 6c or Ipecac 30c, that means it's homeopathic and a completely different can of worms than the raw product. That is why, when you see Arsenicum, and you think, "can she really mean, like, Arsenic?", the answer is "yes", but homeopathically prepared White Arsenic, which is made totally safe by homeopathic preparation. I have given my children Arsenicum many times for really drippy colds.

In short, the medicine that will cause vomiting in it's pharmaceutical form (ipecac) will cure vomiting in it's homeopathic form (Ipecac 30c). Can't sleep because you have the jitters? That's right - Coffea (coffee) 30c.

Yes, you can prepare it in the field if you have to. Take 1 drop of the syrup and dilute it in 100 drops of water (of course estimates will do in an emergency). Shake it violently up and down, pounding the vial (a dropper bottle is perfect) on a firm surface, 100 times. I wad up a tea towel into a ball, and pound the remedy on that on the counter top. When you have done the above succussion, drain out most of the contents of the bottle, or if you have two bottles, take one drop of that, dilute it with 100 drops of water, and succuss it again. Repeat 3 to 50,000 times. (3-6 will probably do you fine.) Save the stuff, if you need more potency, dilute and succuss again. As you dilute and succuss more and more, the remedy becomes more and more potent.

Posted by: MathMom at December 7, 2008 07:42 PM

Hmmm. I'll assume that the description of linseed tea being "very useful and shooting to the patient" is a typo, since "soothing" would be more in context.

We usually use AKs for *shooting*...

BillT -

Yeah, maybe you should shoot with one thing, and soothe with another...

Cricket has a good suggestion there, too. Probiotics are essential after a serious case of the runs, and one made worse by antibiotic use. Just repopulating the colon with good bacteria can bring everything around very quickly.

I had a case where giving massive doses of probiotics was what brought the case to a successful conclusion.

Another case I had was of amoebic dysentery. The woman had nearly crapped herself to death, and got worse with each new antibiotic. She began to turn around when I gave her Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). It's extremely powerful, and you must not use it undiluted. But it can cure, and prevent, all the Mohammed's Revenge, Delhi Belly, whatever you want to call it, if you take it daily as a preventative. Nutribiotics has it in a tablet now, which is a real service to humanity, since the liquid tastes ghastly. (The liquid might be best in severe cases, though. Liquids act faster.) I would use only Nutribiotic brand. Have had bad luck with other brands.

Nutribiotic GSE has a lot of research behind it. It's wonderful stuff.

Posted by: MathMom at December 7, 2008 09:03 PM

I use that Grapefruit seed extract from Market America's isotonix products. They are most notable for their anti-oxygenating properties, I believe.

They taste pretty well. Each serving has 25 mg of grape seed extract, red wine extract, pine bark extract, bilberry extract, and citrus extract bioflavonoids: just reading off the label here.

Very fruity and sour if you don't use enough water to dilute it, but just like lemon or grape juice. It comes in powder form and you just add water. Very convenient.

I haven't been taking it recently but I am now.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 7, 2008 09:17 PM

Thank you very much! I have a small first aid kit that I rotate for our emergency supplies and I do keep witch hazel, Bach Flower remedies and a box of EmergenC in with the bottle of ipecac and some lactobacillus capsules.

I have to ask the question: I have noticed that while taking it orally is effective, some treatments can be oral as well as rubbed on to the skin. Which delivery method is faster? Oral or dermal? Traumeel, which is a fantastic topical homeopathic ointment is also in pill form. Would the formula be the same dilution in an oral form or would there be a difference in the strength of it, if not the ingredients?

Ymar, there is just no substitute for a good health food store. I find the irony of that interesting, as they were sort of a counterculture to the Establishment, beloved of liberals, but who will then tell you that socialized medicine with cutting, burning and poisoning is the best thing for everyone.

While I don't particularly care for the medical profession, it is because doctors are trained to intervene. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn wrote a book that turned Dr. Spock on his ear. The title of the book? "How To Have A Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor."

The medical community trashed this man because he turned on vaccines in 1983...as have other doctors. So, the medical profession has their share of heretics too.

Posted by: Cricket at December 8, 2008 01:21 AM

Cass, I am so sorry about your Unit having this side effect, but the medical community will put its collective head in the sand and say that something else caused it.

Have you tried a natural remedy to repair the sheath and minimize the scarring to the nerves? I suffer occasionally from sciatica, and it flares up during bouts of bad weather. The only thing that helped me was the Traumeel and a hot water bottle. I don't know what causes it, and the docs we have can't figure it out.

Posted by: Cricket at December 8, 2008 01:32 AM

Ymar, there is just no substitute for a good health food store. I find the irony of that interesting, as they were sort of a counterculture to the Establishment, beloved of liberals, but who will then tell you that socialized medicine with cutting, burning and poisoning is the best thing for everyone.

Hey. We all know East Asian has always been at war with Oceania, don't we.

The medical community trashed this man because he turned on vaccines in 1983...as have other doctors. So, the medical profession has their share of heretics too.

Every human hierarchy has their black sheep ; )

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 8, 2008 04:52 PM

The medical community trashed this man because he turned on vaccines in 1983

Heh. I wonder if the Sabin polio vaccine would ever have been accepted if they'd known it was tested on kids who'd already received the *Salk* vaccine...

Posted by: BillT at December 8, 2008 06:34 PM

Bill, you know too much. How did the Soviets ever miss you?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 9, 2008 02:44 PM

Defying family practice docs in the military with regard to vaccinations is dicey, as they are mandated reporters. The nanny state would have you believe that not vaccinating your offspring is tantamount to neglect, which is the flip side of abusive attention.

I went armed with research from doctors and nurses regarding vaccines, to include Salk's own 'but but but it is only effective 50% of the time' piece.

I got my way, but I was a marked woman from that time on. Fortunately, there was a family practice doc who was an osteopath and he was not only of my faith, he was on My Side with regard to vaccines. Needless to say, we went to him.

Posted by: Cricket at December 10, 2008 06:02 PM