Yesterday I had to take Katie to the doctor. The pediatrician is in a nearby town so it requires a drive on the highway. We were running a few minutes late and then we got behind a couple of cars that were going under the speed limit. As much as I dislike it, I had to pass cars on the two-lane highway. Since I don’t like doing it I try to get it over with as quickly as possible. The problem is that Katie doesn’t like that.
Every time I would abruptly speed up, Katie would think that I was driving recklessly and start yelling from her booster seat in the back.
Katie- “Hey! Stop that!”
Me- “Katie, I’m just trying to pass a car.”
Katie- “Mommy! The police can see you!”
We made in to the doctor’s office just a few minutes late. Katie had her physical and we discussed which vaccines that Katie was going to receive. Claire had a neurological reaction to the MMR when she was 15 months old so I have postponed vaccines for everyone. Claire cannot have the MMR again and her sisters won’t either. They are at an increased risk of having reactions as well.
I cannot even begin to describe the horror of seeing your baby have this type of reaction. Within two days of getting the vaccine, Claire had episodes of staring followed by blinking hard. I was so afraid that we had damaged our perfect little baby. Her episodes of staring and blinking went away within a week or so. I think it was the longest week of my life.
Claire’s reaction was documented in her medical records at the time. I was aware that at some point there could be a problem with the school system. The school nurse sent a note that Katie’s vaccine record needed to be provided or she would no longer be allowed to attend. So it was time to come up with a plan for the girls with their pediatrician.
All three girls will be getting the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine as well as DTaP. The MMR is obviously not an option and polio is not a concern. The problem is that the state does not allow parents to make educated, informed decisions regarding immunizations and what is best for their children. Oddly enough, the state does allow a religious exemption. So if Jesus tells you not to do it then that’s totally different. Educated decision based on risk versus benefit? Nope. Jesus? Well, sure. Not a problem.
I have a note from Katie’s doctor that states that we are using the religious exemption, except for selected vaccines. We were discussing it as she was writing the note.
Me- “I really dislike being put in the position of being forced to lie.”
Dr. D.- “I know”
Me- “I mean we’re not even a member of anything.”
Dr. D. “I know.”
Me- “I mean I guess we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses now.”
We finished up at the pediatrician’s and were back in the car when Katie requested a stop at Taco Bell. Since Taco Bell always sounds good to me I agreed that a visit was in order. We went in to place our order and Katie quickly busied herself with collecting hot sauce thinking that it was ketchup. I was ordering and then handed over my debit card to the guy behind the counter.
Taco Bell guy- “You know, this other place I used to work at, I always told them that it was going to be this way. It was going to be the way of the world and no one believed me. They have a credit card machine now. They thought I was crazy but I was just ahead of the times. I’m just a visionary.”
I have seen the ads in the window at Subway saying that they are currently hiring “sandwich artists” but I really had no idea that I would meet a visionary at Taco Bell. The “visionary” called our number and we picked up our food and left.
We were back on the highway and soon had to slow to go through a town on our way home. Katie spotted a large Catholic church and started yelling, “Mommy! Look at that castle!”
I was pretty sure at that moment that we just might have some trouble pulling off the religious exemption.