August 26, 2005

quote me on that?

I was amused to find out today from a friend that Dan and I are quoted in a currently popular baby parenting book. Turns out it's written by our first pediatrician. Turns out I actually jotted something down back then, when he told us he was writing a book and asked for quotable material. I had no memory of it until Dan reminded me tonight. Then again, I'm amazed I remember anything of that sleep-deprived zombie time.

Hearing that our names are in this book amuses me because we switched pediatricians between the six month and nine month checkups. Not because the first one was bad – and I suspect his book is quite good – but because when we first interviewed him, he promised not to pressure us into vaccinations. But once Damian was born, what did the guy do? Pressure us into vaccinations. We agreed to the first one after he scared the bejebus out of us about pertussis and little ones. But we figured that was it.

It wasn't.

It became apparent he was gonna scare the bejebus out of us about every single serious disease you can be inoculated against. Listen, if that's what you the doctor believe, you the doctor have that obligation. But then you the doctor should not represent yourself one way to anxious prospective parents and then turn around and scare them into doing something against their instincts.

If we hadn't inoculated Damian, would he have been autistic? I suspect the answer is that he would still have some issues, yes. I think he was born that way. But did the thimerosal in the three vaccinations he got make it worse? And would his impairment have been more severe with more of it in his veins? That we'll never know.

I'm not wildly angry at that pediatrician, even in retrospect, probably because I never saw a clear connection between vaccination and regression in my child. He never regressed, he just developed differently. But I do think we made the right decision switching to a doctor who truly respects and understands our choice, our concerns. It's just odd now to be quoted by that first doc, an implicit approval of his entire practice as a physician. On the other hand, he did give us excellent advice about soothing a cranky baby, and I gather that’s what much of the book is about. So it's right and fair that we be quoted. It's just… odd.

Posted by Tamar at August 26, 2005 10:47 PM | TrackBack