Friday, September 30, 2011

Get over yourselves

Forgive me if this is even more disjointed than usual- today I have a good excuse.  I'm feverish and exhausted.

There's an interesting story about this, but for now I'll keep it brief: my family was exposed to pertussis, which you might know as whooping cough.  The best part of the story is that we were exposed because another family does not believe in vaccinations. 

I do not object to people choosing what they will do for their own families or with their own bodies, but I don't think their personal beliefs should necessitate two of my children to take a course of antibiotics and my husband and I to suffer from sore throats, fever and fatigue.  I don't think it should have meant that I had to drag my two young sons to two doctor's appointments and a drug store today- that's a big part of the exhaustion.  Not to mention that it affected the way my family and I could observe Rosh Hashanah, that I haven't been able to see a good friend because of their compromised immune system, that my boys don't get to go to a playground for at least a few days or that I don't get to go to a conference on Sunday that I've been looking forward to.  Do whatever you want within the law, but then give people fair warning so they can make an informed decision.  I could have and should have been warned about this, and I wasn't.  It is the arrogance as much as the infection that is making me seethe.

Someone, somewhere, will read this and shrug.  It's my fault that my immunity is so weak; it's not the carrier's fault.  Of course they're right.  Because being a vegan isn't enough.  Practicing the deep breathing of yoga and Pilates and working my intrinsic muscles regularly isn't enough.  Walking an average 600 minutes per week isn't enough.  I must have a compromised immune system.  It must be that my mother didn't nurse me until I was five.  It's true- she didn't.  Having a sister arrive 17 months later would have made that difficult.  Well, there you go; if my parents had just listened to that [sensationalist idiot] Paul Ehrlich, this would never have happened.

I hope that hypothetical person knows exactly what I think about that line of would-be reasoning.  I dare them to make such comments to me in person.  Today, given how infectious I am, I double dare them.

I am incensed because I know for a fact that this parent is exposing other children to infectious diseases through their negligence (yes, I know what the proper pronoun is, but I'm not going to out anybody on a public site, so the grammarians will just have to live with it).  There is nothing I can do about the week my family has been through, but I can do something about future exposures.  I have and I will.  Enough said about that for now.

Excuse me, I think I need some juice.

Deb in the City

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