Breaking the Narrative Episode 32: To Vax or Not to Vax, Due your Diligence!


Well this is going to be off my beaten path by a long shot! Not only am I’m not going to approach this subject with my usual awkward attempts at humor but I’m going to actually get a little bit personal here. I’m talking childhood level personal. Now before you lose your collective shits I’m going to make this completely and succinctly clear: I’M NOT AN ANTI-VACCINE NUT! In fact I’m pretty on the ball when it comes to my reaction to the medical industry, which is take as little as humanly possible. Honestly the most I take on a regular basis is the occasional Tylenol for a migraine. I don’t even take the usually perscribed Haldol for my case of Tourette’s Syndrome because I’ve discovered that I have the mental capacity to keep it mostly under control through meditation, something that STILL baffles my neurologist. With that being said, I’m also going to leave this disclaimer – I’m in no way trained in medicine or medical biology. I’m a layman in how to comprehend chemical reactions in living tissue, and I would highly suggest you approach multiple accredited doctors on how your medicines actually work. They can explain it a hundred times better than I can. Or you can ask Bunny Blackwell some of these questions. I’m sure she might know about some of this! Alright, with that out of the way, Let’s Hammer This In!

Now, I bet you are wondering what argument am I going to make? Well its in the title, do your Due Diligence! Alright see ya….. just kidding. Had to get that out of my system so we can get serious here. What do I mean by this turn of phrase? Ask your doctors for the research on your differing medicines. This goes double for parents regarding their kids. I did this with mine. I asked the doctor before she even dreamed of shooting him up with his first vaccine for the batch  number and its history including how long has this been used, how many kids have been inoculated with this strain and the percentage ratio of side effects occurring. Do this with every single vaccine your doctors administer. They should have that data on hand with their order for said vaccine. My son’s doctor informed me that the ratio was in a more acceptable range. Of about 8,300 children at the time of a batch of 10,000 (her daughter being one of the children inoculated with this batch) only a very small handful had any signs of side effects and they were extremely minimal.  In short, the ones with side effects could live with them.  It was only when that assurance was shown to me (make sure you get shown the statistics) that I allowed them to vaccinate my son. Otherwise I would have told them to get a different batch, one more positively tested. Never go for a fresh batch if you can help it. Being in the last third is always the best situation, especially that early in life.

I’m sure you are curious at this point why I approached this subject and why I did that in relation to my son. The answer is simple yet somber. In the year of 1992-1993 there was a batch of Rubella vaccine that had failed. Before it was completely removed from circulation a few thousand children who had their first injection at 6 months ended up suffering severe side effects consisting of extreme epileptic seizures. Most were so extreme that these children died within the first small handful of instances. The one of this group who survived the longest, until four years of age, was my little half-brother Logan, who died September 3rd, 1997. He was born on January 29th 1993 so the Sunday before the publication of this article would have been his 24th birthday and this September the 20th anniversary of his passing. So I know personally the results of just blindly following what people tell you. I guess that might explain what gave me a more inquisitive nature as I grew older.

This is also one of the many reasons I gained an interest in the issues of boys and men, I have seen how the medical industry can gut a family. To afford the constant trips to Nashville and St. Louis to get my little brother treatments my stepfather who worked for TVA had to open a bird shop out of our home and a UPS store franchise with some heavy loans… loans he worked most of the rest of his life to pay back, and he never could. This situation led to him over-exerting his own flawed heart (one of the artery valves was malformed, a genetic condition) just so he could keep affording the treatments rather than working the much safer desk job and getting a pacemaker. By the time he finally got one he had to get a double pacemaker because his heart grew twice as large and the muscle tissue was all but shot. He was never the same after receiving it, as his disposability became apparent to him. My step-father died in 2011 from kidney failure due to his condition, about 8 years after he got that pacemaker. In essence in pushing himself to care for my mother so much after my brother’s death due to her guilt complex he died himself.

Take this lesson to heart, not just a lesson of due diligence to care for your offspring, but to care for yourself as well. Ask the doctors the same questions of your own medications and injections. Be sure you can understand them no matter what. Knowing that much about what you are going into will help you dodge bullets when you can, and help you measure your risks. Perhaps if we can keep this level of oversight in mind we can drive down the need for malpractice insurance, and by proxy drive down the need for medication to be unbelievably expensive to obtain. This is a practice that should be applied to other things as well; making deals, buying property, choosing political influences. Oh and before any troll tries, I am over this happening and I don’t need sympathy or pity for my family. Its been 20 years and while you never stop missing a sibling I’m not in pain nor is he. He died swiftly and peacefully without pain. My step-father wasn’t as lucky but again the purpose of this article is not pity. Its to serve as a warning about jumping blindly into extremes. There is always time to consider an alternative

In closing I do dedicate this article to my late brother and step-father who both have had a long lasting effect on me, and I hope their stories can save others from a blind decision.  So please everyone who gets this far make sure you get your doctor to be specific to you about everything, or get a better doctor if they can’t do that for you. At the same time you should apply this type of thinking to anything important in life. Do your research. Get multiple opinions and all the facts on anything important you are dealing with. You should always be as well informed as you can on important subjects related to livelihood. As always I want to suggest that everyone add to this in the comments and help ensure understanding of the subject. Next week though I’m going to hit on something near and dear to a lot of geeky hearts: Wordplay! Specifically the connotations of some very widely used terms in our political vernacular and how they are topsy turvy. Until then please remember to Game Freely.

Alex Tinsley
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About the author

Alex Tinsley

A student of Fine Arts and Japanese culture of six years at Murray State University. Having never graduated due to difficulties with a specific teacher has gained a unique perspective upon the issues being faced by men and boys. A father of a young boy and loving husband.

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="156398">2 comments</span>

  • Hi Alex,
    I appreciate your point of view. We need to look at issues on a case by case basis and not blindly support our side while ignoring all contradictory evidence. Could you please point out to me the specific evidence that vaccine caused injuries and deaths in 1992-1993 The study you linked to is a long read and I couldn’t find what you refered to.

    • I will as soon as I can get ahold of a copy of my late little brother’s medical information. That is a little more difficult due to the state of mine and my mother’s relationship as she has more of it than I personally have access to. My brother was the last one who died from the specific vaccine. I know this seems like a cop out but for the sake of transparency and honesty I will keep at this and appreciate your skepticism.

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