What follows might shock a few people, especially those who only really got to know me post 2012 (see Note 1). I was not always the stone-hard pro-vaccine nurse that I am now. In fact, most people I know today would probably define me as anti-vaccine, I am not sure if I would. But then again I am looking at myself rather than judging someone else. This all also ties in with what I keep on saying regarding Education, Critical Thinking and Evidence.
I guess it all started with my fascination with herbal medicine and other alternative healing practices. I had a very nice and sizeable herbal remedy bookshelf. The pride of which was my ‘The Green Pharmacy‘ by Dr. James D. Duke. I’ll come back to that in a bit. I also used ‘Healing Foods‘ by Miriam Polunin, still, do when the occasion takes me.
I liked my herbal teas, I was especially a big fan of Celestial Seasonings, which has proved to be extremely hard to get hold of in the UK. I liked the whole alternative lifestyle, I was an active Buddhist practising Nichiren Buddhism, I did most of my shopping in a local Health Food Shop. I was living in a town which had a big Buddhist centre just outside of it. Though in my defence, I did not take to astrology, or reiki, or faith healers, and I had some serious doubts about Homeopathy. As well as Bach’s Remedies.
But I did use the phrase “Sometimes Science Doesn’t Know Everything”, and right now I want to slap my younger self. But I wouldn’t because as odd as it all sounds this is what made me who I am today. I didn’t trust medicine that much, and if I could help it I’d rather get a herbal remedy than go to my GP and then the pharmacy. I wanted things organic when possible. I wanted things local. I wanted things compostable. I wanted cloth nappies. I wanted whole wheat pasta. Continue reading “Pro-vaccine nurse tells the story about how his views changed”
I caught a cold the flu. And I don’t just write about infectious diseases because it’s some intellectual pursuit, but I hate viruses, bacteria, and parasites. I make the worst possible patient when I have a cold flu, calling and texting every healthcare worker I know for advice.
By the way, I know it’s not the flu a cold, not because I was vaccinated against the flu, but because my symptoms are for a cold. They are completely different diseases, but people conflate the two all the time. The flu knocks you out with much more severe symptoms that last for 2 weeks, sometimes more. The common cold lasts for a few days, and after a couple of days, you usually can get back to doing things.
One of the stupid myths of the vaccine deniers (specifically about the flu vaccine, because I’m shocked at how many people vaccinate for everything but invent stories about the flu vaccine) is that people claim they catch the flu AFTER the vaccine. Now, some tiny percentage of those claims might be true, especially if you contracted the flu prior to getting vaccinated. Also, the vaccine isn’t perfect (nor did I expect it is), so I caught the flu. I feel terrible, but I shall endure. And I still am 100% behind the flu vaccine.
Little intro might be handy for this. This post has been on my mind for a long time now and finally I decided to pull my finger out and actually write it. What is to follow will be a mixture of factual, scientific and anecdotal writings. Because that is the way I roll. I have been itching to write something, anything about vaccinations for a little bit now, but so far decided not to because there are so many out there who do it and do a better job of it then I would dream of, so I’ll list some. Skeptical Raptor, Respectful Insolence, Red Wine & Apple Sauce, Just The Vax and many many more.
Prior to starting my nursing course I was very much into my slightly alternative medicine. I was on the fence regarding vaccines, not just the flu vaccine but all vaccines. Now that I think back on it I’m not really sure why. It was never really something that I thought about properly until I started my university course. What was probably a turning point for me was the amount of patients over 70 I came across who had to use callipers and wheelchairs because they contracted polio when they were kids. I have never come across a patient under 70 who has had polio. Never. This sort of got me thinking about the importance of vaccination, and if there is one thing that I have learned since starting uni is that evidence is the key. Continue reading “Student Nurse Perspective: The Flu Vaccine.”