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DON’T PANIC

DON’T PANIC. 

Famous words from Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and, according to Arthur C. Clarke, “the best advice that could be given to humanity”.  It serves us well in these bizzarre times when we’re dealing with the controversy that is the swine flu pandemic, not to mention the vaccine promoted as the panacea that causes just as much anxiety as the disease it is purported to prevent.

 I woke up this morning with an urge to contribute my two cents to the debate.  I’ve been tossing around the notion of putting my opinion into print, but I’m not inclined to stick my neck out like that, and I also believe that everyone is entitled to make their own decisions on this.  I will do what I feel is the best choice for me, and I expect everyone else to do the same.

The problem with that is when people are basing their decisions on misinformation or a lack of information.  They are then not making a fully informed choice, and can’t move forward with confidence in their decision.  It’s this that tipped me over and made me decide to write this today—well, this, and reading the local newspaper, which was so obviously pushing the vaccine. 

Two things in the local paper in particular annoyed me.  One was an article by a woman whose four-month-old baby caught croup from another child who had not been vaccinated against croup.  The parents of the older child did not believe in vaccinations and apparently believed in exposing their sick kid to others; the mother of the baby did not believe in keeping her infant away from crowded places during flu season, and she apparently didn’t make herself aware of common childhood diseases or how to deal with them. 

She talked of spending days pacing with the baby while he coughed so hard he couldn’t breathe and vomited constantly.  Days.  An infant.  She at least got him to a hospital in time because her nurse-midwife heard the baby cough, suspected croup, and told her to get him to a hospital.  So she is now a hot and heavy proponent of vaccinating.   

Another article in the paper included an interview with a woman who commented while in line to shoot herself and her kids up with the vaccine that the choice was easy:  vaccination or death.  Vaccination or deathReally?  Aren’t we being just a little dramatic?  And how many of those people lining up are already infected and spreading it around in line? 

 DON’T PANIC.

That’s number one.  So, given that we’ve decided not to panic, what should we do next?  Well, take a deep breath and review your facts. 

If you are considering getting the vaccine (and I’m personally not), then make sure you know what they are injecting into your body:  thimerosol is a mercury based preservative that they add to vaccines, formaldehyde is also added to the vaccine, the adjuvant they add enhances the immune response, but that’s because it’s “dirt” that the body reacts to.  In the Canadian version of the vaccine, squalene from shark liver oil is used, and there is controversy over its safety (Wikipedia.org/Squalene).  Here in Canada, there is an adjuvant-free version of the vaccine, but it is apparently only available for pregnant women.  The vaccine also contains traces of eggs, so if you have an egg or chicken protein allergy, keep that in mind. 

Also note that the vaccine is not perfectly effective.  According to an article on the CTV News website (CTV News Article), trials of the vaccine we’re getting in Canada have shown “the vaccine produces antibodies in 85 to 98 per cent of adults aged 18 to 64”.  That’s rather a broad range.  And what about those under 18 and over 64???

If you are not going to take the vaccine, then the option is not death.  Really. 

The swine flu is just a flu and it only is fatal in a small percentage of cases.  So, you need to be aware of who are those at risk (people with chronic conditions, pregnant women, kids under five), why they are at risk (compromised, immature, or weakened immune systems), and what you can do to minimize your own risk, especially if you are in that at-risk group. 

For those of you who are freaking out about that 13-year-old hockey player who died of the swine flu, when I heard that news, my first questions were, did he have an underlying condition and how hard was he training?  I have since heard that he had asthma, and I don’t know how hard he trained, but athletes can have a tendency to compromise their immune systems by over-training.  You can have too much exercise.  It lowers your resistance to disease, especially respiratory tract infections. 

Another question is, did he get the seasonal flu shot previously?  There have been idications that those who have had the seasonal flu shot are at greater risk of contracting H1N1 and experiencing complications (CBC Article). 

This is where some knowledge can really help you.  A great book with practical advice on dealing with illness in kids (and it doesn’t hurt to have this knowledge for yourself) is Dr. Robert Mendelshohn’s How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of your Doctor (http://astore.amazon.ca/serennowgifts-20/detail/0345342763)  This book helped me to rationaly deal with any childhood illness that came along, and helped me to know when to take the kids to the walk-in clinic or the doctor.  It also gave me the knowledge I needed to deal with the doctor when I saw him/her. 

As for the flu (swine or otherwise) there are some really common-sense things you can do to protect yourself.  Make a conscious effort to not touch your face.  If you touch a surface that is infected, then rub your eyes, you can infect yourself.  If you shake someone’s hand and that person just picked his/her nose and he/she is contagious, and then you put your finger in your mouth, you can infect yourself.  You get the idea.

Another famous suggestion for prevention is to sneeze or cough into your sleeve.  That doesn’t so much protect you as it protects others, but it’s considerate to not be a party to spreading disease.  As well, wash your hands frequently (especially after picking your nose).  That protects you and others.

Keep yourself nutritionally balanced.  Seek out and maintain a nutritional program that fits your lifestyle and will provide you with the nutrients your body needs.  Ideally, you will also find a program that incorporates a cleansing regimen in order to remove impurities from your body.  Your body not only has to consume the correct nutrients, it needs to be able to absorb them once they’re in there.  You can take in the healthiest foods of the highest quality and the most optimum nutrients, but they won’t help you much if you end up excreting the good with the bad.  If your body is not functioning optimally, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.  Plus, if you cleanse, you release excess fat, which helps you to feel good and look great naked.

There are products available as well that help your body to maintain a healthy immune system.  What this means is that your body should respond correctly to the threat of the moment.  If it needs a boost, then it should increase the immune response.  If, however, the threat causes an autoimmune response, then your immune system needs to respond by tempering, not boosting.  What this is called is “modulation”.  This is where products such as bovine colostrum fit in.

According to Dr. Zoltan Rona in his book Supplements for Natural Body Building (http://astore.amazon.ca/serennowgifts-20/detail/1553120213), “Colostrum proline-rich poypeptides modulate immunity by acivating an underactive immune system through the thymus gland while suppressing an overactive immune system, such as is seen in autoimmune diseases” and “Its antiviral factors inhibit influenza, herpes, and other viruses.”  (Dr. Zoltan Rona, Supplements for Natural Body Building, (Alive Books:  Vancouver, Canada, 2000) p. 23)

Considering that the swine flu is viral, I’ve loaded up on a case of the colostrum product that my family uses, and I’m making sure that my loved ones are using it.  Even if you’ve been vaccinated, considering that the vaccine does not provide 100% protection, and can in some cases cause harm, it can’t hurt to take something like bovine colostrum which also, according to Dr. Rona, “provides safe, natural immunity for those at risk for damage by conventional vaccines”  (Rona, page 23)

There are other products out there that work in a similar fashion.  Ask your naturopath for suggestions and also consult with your naturopath about anything that you may want to take.  While the decision to take something is ultimately yours, you should keep your health care provider aprised of anything you are taking, so that he/she can make sure there is no conflict with anything else.  Taking certain heart medications can make even grapefruit dangerous for you.

But what if you’ve been really vigilant and looked after yourself, and you still get sick?  Well, first of all, make sure you know what you have.  There are colds, flus, and then there’s the swine flu.  Find a booklet that lists and compares all the symptoms, especially the ones that indicate severity and mean it’s time to seek medical aid.  For more information, see the fight flu website:  Fight Flu Website

Secondly, look after yourself.  Get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids, and consult your health care pracitioner.  I might verify what I’ve got with my GP, but I won’t use drugs or over the counter medications to deal with it.  I’ll consult my naturopath if my own knowledge and experience haven’t satisfied me as to what I should do. 

The correct diet is critical always, but especially when you’re sick so that’s the first place to look when you want to go from sick to healthy ASAP.   One of the best things you can take when you’re sick (or even when you’re healthy) is hot water with lemon.  It’s alkalizing and that is good for your body.  Another really great thing you can do is eliminate sugar.  For reasons why, read Lynne Melcombe’s Health Hazards of White Sugar also by Alive Books (http://astore.amazon.ca/serennowgifts-20/detail/1553120248).  Vitamin D is getting a lot of press lately as a disease preventer and fighter. 

For some really intelligently written articles on all kinds of health issues, including H1N1, subscribe to Dr. Mercola’s newsletter (Dr. Mercola Newsletter). 

The following is an article called “Common Links in Swine Flu Deaths” that you should read from one of Dr. Mercola’s newsletter offerings:

CDC-Says-Kids-That-Die-From-Swine-Flu-Have-Coexisting-Bacterial-Infections Article

On an intuitive level, I know that vaccines are not for me.  But I’m a tree-hugging granola-girl from way back.  The natural way always resonated with me.  The research I do seems to back that up.  But I believe that everyone should make up his/her own mind and if you choose to vaccinate then I don’t know that it is the wrong decision for you.  Each person and circumstance is different. 

I’m not at high risk for contracting H1N1.  I’m healthy, I don’t have any chronic conditions, I don’t tend to get sick, and when I do, I recover quickly.  I have not had any previous seasonal flu shots.  I’m not going to mess with my immune system or anything else in my body by injecting foreign substances into it.  But that may not be the right decision for you and yours.  Just make sure you arm yourself with the information, and not just what is presented by the pharmaceutical companies that is then regurgitated by the media, the government, and the medical industry. 

 Most of all, DON’T PANIC.

 Namaste,

 Val Tobin, ATP®

www.serenitynowgifts.com

Information for General Purposes Only

Information provided on this Web page is for general purposes only and designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or health-care professional.

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3 Responses

  1. WOW!!

    Beautifully written Val! both sides are well considered and fairly taken into consideration. Good for you for waking up and acting on your instinct:)

    Cheers!

  2. Good Article Mom!

    I am with you, you tree-hugging granola girl, can i call you that now?
    I will not get the vaccine either, but of course i was brought up to be a non-believer in vaccine’s. ; )

    Love you.

  3. Very useful post. I thought to let you know that you website wasn’tt getting displayed properly on blazer mobile web browser on my mobile phone.

    Have a nice time…sorry for typos

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