Aristillus

A large crater to dump my thoughts

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Despite my strong opinions one way, the whole vaccination debate has always been fairly alien to me. Like most children in the Netherlands, I was vaccinated when I was young. Besides that, neither the supposed side-effects nor the actual diseases they prevent were actually affecting anybody I knew. Until a few weeks ago.

Sometime in the late eighties, when I was four, I was treated for tonsillitis. On an afternoon roughly a month after I had returned from the hospital I suddenly refused to drink anything, and indicated I had a sore throat. My mom wasn’t sure what to think of this and so she took me to the my GP, who also had trouble finding out what the problem was. Her eventual conclusion was that I was probably just being a royal pain in the arse. So we returned home, undiagnosed and with an increasingly annoyed (and annoying) me.

Towards dinnertime I was getting more and more agitated and short-breathed. In a panic, my mom rushed me to the hospital with the help of a neighbour. When we arrived there – I was having trouble breathing at this point  – I was immediately rushed into the operating room and put on a respirator. Shortly later I was diagnosed with epiglottitis. If it hadn’t been for my paranoid mom and our neighbour-with-car who happened to be home (my parents are carless hippies) I might not have survived.

I have only recently become aware that epiglottitis is almost always caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B, for which a vaccine is available. Since the mid-nineties, children in the Netherlands have been vaccinated for it. My life-threatening conditions and extended hospital stay probably would not have been necessary if I had been vaccinated, too.

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Written by aristillus

March 9, 2013 at 21:00

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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