TRUST

I was raised in a non-vaccinated home but I take my kids to the doctor, here’s why: 

I’m telling this story because I think it’s important. I’m telling this story because it’s ongoing, one that has changed and moved with me. I am not telling this story to advise, influence, or preach. I am not telling this story to spark conversation about medicine or religion. I am not telling this story to argue. This is MY story. 

My brother and I were raised in a Christian Science home. Our father fell into alcoholism and our mother was/is a dedicated Christian Scientist. Although I no longer practice it, I credit my morals, sentiment, and unconditional love to this religion. It backfired for my dad - you cannot pick and choose, go back and forth, doctor to scripture, as a cop-out for sickness. It doesn’t work. I learned the hard way too. Because you can’t blame selfishness on a belief system (one that has good intentions at least). We weren’t vaccinated growing up - due to my mom’s strong intuition and graceful approach to prayer, with my dad’s agreement, we thrived in a healthy, peaceful thought governed home. Fear was not allowed there, neither was disease, or sin. 

My dad and I brought plenty of that home with us though - disrespect, dishonesty, and boozy breath. I thought he was the “cool” one - the rebellion, the “normalcy”, the pills, the self-medicated, the “this is how everyone else does it”. No. Of course my mom responded to this behavior with love - she loved the sh*t out of us and she always won. Love always defeats error. 

In the house we had bandaids and some tea, but we didn’t get sick often. This was not “ignorance is bliss”, this was “I refuse to allow unease”. 

I got my first shot when I was 19, my now husband took me. I decided it was time. I had had over 20 unprotected-at-times sexual partners in ten years but never went to a Gynecologist (and because you’re wondering, no, I haven’t had an STD). I also fractured my hip figure skating when I was 11 and walked on it broken for over ten years. I was over it.

So when it came time to bare children, I had to decide, spiritual or medicinal. When they come to put your epidural in they say “you know one of the risks is being paralyzed?” or something like that. You have to sign paperwork. Then they stick the needle in your spine as you voluntarily but uncomfortably bend over on the side of the hospital bed, in labor, hoping for the best. Fright and discomfort. I was born on the living room carpet after putting my mom in labor for over 40 hours, and my brother was born in their bed 7 years later. At 5 am that morning I woke up, ran into my parents bedroom and asked to play “patty cake”. My mom said “okay! …but first I want to show you something!”.

Anyway, mom always reiterated that you have to have something to fall back on - whatever makes you feel safe, you have to practice it. I was kind of on the fence after having Isaac, but Chris felt strongly about taking our kids to the doctor, so we meet in the middle. I trust him about regular check ups and shots in a world that is foreign to me, and he trusts me when I don’t run to the pharmacy every time someone is slightly uncomfortable. It’s not about convenience or trends, it’s about intuition, mental peace, love, and sound thinking. Because thought is our most powerful aid.

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Samantha Eason