There are a growing number of people who are refusing the science of vaccinations. They claim that vaccinations are ineffective and just a money-making conspiracy by the big pharmaceutical companies and that they are the source of many maladies like allergies, Autism, etc., etc. This started to have me question the science of vaccinations.
I am writing this blog as a warning and a personal expression of the evidence I have supporting the use of the science of vaccination.
Last April, my doctor recommended I get the new vaccination for “Shingles.” Shingles is a disease that anyone who has already had “chicken pox” is vulnerable to. My doctor handed me a flyer for the vaccination, it looked kind of farcical with a picture of a cartoon character, and when I asked it about it at my pharmacy I was told the vaccination cost $200.00. I decided to pass and discarded the flyer. I saw commercials on television for the vaccination for Shingles. Terry Bradshaw, the former Superbowl Quarterback cackling about his bout with Shingles. He was so comical, I didn’t take the commercial seriously. It seemed like it was just a money-making scheme to push a unneeded vaccination.
One week-end, I experienced a sharp pain on my left eye lid. I rubbed it, but there was no bump, bug bite, or blister in the place where the pain was located. I looked in the mirror and saw nothing. I passed it off as a pinched nerve or a symptom of my diabetes type 2. Four days later, the pain was spreading out across my eyebrow and forehead. On my forehead a white blister had begun to cluster. I tried anti-biotic ointments, and pain relief lotions, and it did nothing to ease the pain or blistering.
The pain was now so intense I had difficulty sleeping, or even thinking straight. I decided I needed to see a doctor. I didn’t call to make an appointment and just showed up at the office early that morning. The moment the doctor saw me, she exclaimed, “you have Shingles! Why didn’t you come in sooner?” She prescribed an anti-viral medicine to take orally twice a day. She said the left-upper quadrant of my face was infected. She retrieved a book from her office and showed me a ink-drawing of a human face, and how it was divided in quadrants, excluding the nose. Amazingly the drawing exactly matched the pattern of my infection. It contained the left forehead, left eyebrow and eye lid, and stopped at the eye. My doctor told me I needed to see an Ophthalmologist, and an infectious disease specialist. They made appointments for me. I saw the Ophthalmologist and she also was concerned the infection would spread to my eye, and asked me to return in a few days. I went home, and found the searing pain so intense it was difficult to sleep, or even lie down. If I propped myself up on two cushions on the couch I could adjust my position such that I wasn’t putting any pressure or strain on my face muscles. This reduced the pain and I could fall asleep. I had no appetite and didn’t eat much. I felt weak, and listless, and depressed. I lay in bed all day long, or slumped on the couch watching television. Soon my left eye swelled shut, and my eye lashes were glued together with a thick crust. I would have to take tissue with hot water to clean it off so my eye could open. The swelling kept pushing it close though.
I spent sleepless nights, due to the pain. I saw the infectious disease specialist, and he increased the dosage of the anti-viral medication, and added a medication to ease the nerve damage from the shingles virus. The anti-viral meds I was taking along with a medication for the nerve damage the Shingles left in it’s wake would reduce the pain, but make me drowsy and knock me out. I would sleep through the day, and not be able to sleep at night due to the pain. The infected areas of my face would swell up, and then cluster with blisters. The blisters would release a yellow pus, which was signs of my anti-bodies and the anti-viral medication fighting the Shingles virus. I was told to wash my blisters with soap and water, and cover them with bandages to keep me from spreading the virus to other areas of my body or other people. This was the most infectious time of the disease. The skin got thick and tough and thick scabs formed and then turned a dark brown. These began to flake off exposing the raw red skin, like a skinned knee. As the medication took effect, the pain started to subside, but it was replaced with a soreness like a strained muscle. This was the result of nerve damage from the disease.
As the scabs would dry up and flake off, the raw, red skin was lesser and lesser painful. The swelling was gone, and the thickened skin was slowly flaking off. My skin in the area had a roughness of sand paper. I was concerned I would lose my eyebrow in the process if the Shingles had attacked the hair follicles. The Ophthalmologist had prescribed an anti-viral eye drops to fight the virus which had infected my cornea. The drops worked and the cornea was clear again. I was now past the infectious stage, and able to return to work.
At the 18th day of the infection, the scabs are mostly gone. The infection is under control. My Ophthalmologist continued to examine we each week. The virus was gone from the surface of my cornea, but was now inside my eyes as little spots were visible when she used her scoping instruments. Now she had me discontinue the anti-viral drops, and switched me to an anti-inflammatory steroid drops to be taken 4-times a day. My forehead and side of my head was continue to throb from the nerve damage.
By day 21 (three weeks) the scabs are all gone, but the skin is a dark grey color. Touching my forehead it feels like a rhinoceros’s skin. My left, eye lid feels numb and thick and puffy. After three weeks my prescriptions ran out. I thought that was it, I could avoid popping these pills and would heal naturally. Not going to happen!
Not being on the medications that fight off the shingles virus and the medications which deal with the nerve damage my face was such a jumble of tightness, and tingling, and sharp pains, I could not sleep. I was forced awake the entire night. I had to stay home from work, and call the pharmacy for refills of my medications. Finally at 9:00 AM the next day they had my meds. Once I took them I fell into a deep sleep. At Day 33 I still am dependant on the nerve-damage medications. My scalp keeps tingling, tightening up, and have sharp spikes of pain. I worry that this damage is permanent.
These past three weeks had been horrible, wracked with searing, burning pain, I lost three weeks of work, and lost weight, and had been in pain and suffering for three weeks. The expense of having Shingles probably was now $2,000 adding up all of the co-pays for seeing three doctors, all of the other medications, and the two weeks of lost work. I now wish I had taken that $200 vaccination. The specialist visits charge a co-pay of $40 each time. The medications are $15.00 each refill. The $200 for the vaccination is nothing to what it has cost me so far. I thought about those parents who were petitioning for a boycott of all vaccinations. I read their materials, some of them written by medical doctors. They saw vaccination as a heartless pharmaceutical corporation plot to bilk the populace of money, and pump them full of contamination and mutated genes.
Abigail and President John Adams
It struck me, that to my recollection that the first vaccinations in the United States were not in the 1950’s, but actually in the 1770’s. I had read a non-fiction history book about the life of President John Adams. I also saw a televised HBO mini-series on the life of John Adams, 2nd president of the United States of America. In one scene, Abigail Adams and her children are threatened by “The Plague” which was killing thousands of colonists. The doctor took the pus from a blister on a dying 12-year-old boy, and placed it into on open cut on each of Abigail’s children and herself. This primitive form of vaccination would have their bodies recognize the dead bacteria and/or virus as a threat and then the body’s anti-bodies would be programmed to fight them. As a result, Abigail and each of her children were able to survive the plague. This was in 1778! If not for this procedure they would have all died. This procedure and methodology has been in practice for over 240 years! Vaccination is a breakthrough discovery which has virtually eliminated the Bubonic Plague, polio, small pox, measles, chicken pox, tetanus etc. etc. Because there are groups of people who boycott these vaccinations we are finding a return of these diseases. Why search for a cure for cancer and multiple sclerosis, and leukemia or HIV and AIDS if there are going to be people who refuse to use these cures, and protect themselves and those around them from these diseases? In my opinion it is backwards, and foolish to turn your back on the advances of science and medicine based on urban myths and unsubstantiated opinions against the proven treatments for the prevention of diseases before they strike.
It is now 17 weeks later. Unfortunately for me, the effects of my Shingles are still with me. On the upper, left quadrant of my face, the scabs are all gone, but in their place is some “hyper-pigmentation” or dark spots. This seems to be clearing up as I shed my outer epidermis of skin over the months. However what is not going away is the nerve damage. My left eye-lid is still numb, and now droops lower than my right eye lid, kind of like you’ll see in people with facial paralysis from strokes. Not as pronounced, but it is visible. So again, I personally stress, if you had the chicken pox it is truly worth it to spend the money and get the “Shingles Vaccine” lest you have to endure what I went through as you can read above. Luckily for me the doctors were able to keep the virus from infecting my left eye. I thank them for this, and again encourage people not to listen to the “anti-vaccine” naysayers who are talking without any personal experience or scientific or medical background.