Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do You Flu? ....Vaccine, I Mean.

Before I get on with today's post, let me just say a couple things first:

1.  I'm preparing for, not one, but two speaking sessions next week.  And this from a person who doesn't ordinarily do much public speaking - I tend to leave that to the preacher in the family.  The first one is on nutrition and feeding kids on special diets, which will take place this coming Wednesday.  And the second will be for a Ladies Conference on the second of March and is on Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.   My head is spinning with Paleo and blessings and gluten-free and grace and trust and no dairy and joy and auto-immunity and...  well, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. 

2.  With all this stuff dominating my brain, there was no way I could get a blog post done this past Tuesday.  I'm just not that good.  Anytime I do this kind of thing, I gain a whole new respect for my husband, who has a "weekly speaking gig" as just one part of his job.  I would get nothing else done in life if I spoke on a weekly basis like he does.  It would be like, "sorry kids, mom is speaking Sunday morning - she can't possibly feed you or clean the toilets."

3.  Since no one in the family went for the no cooking/no cleaning thing, the blog was put on the back burner. 

4.  But I've got something for today.  I mean, it's short and sweet and mostly asking for help from you, my faithful followers, but hey, it's up here, posted on a Friday just like it's supposed to be, right?  And I really do need some advice from all of you.  So let's get on with it, shall we?

Most of you know that I got the flu this year.

And while I felt like it was touch and go there for a while, I did pull through.

OK.  Maybe that's a slight exaggeration but it was the sickest I have been since... oh.... EVER.

And I really don't want to have the flu ever again.  Or anyone in my family to have it.

But...... I am not a fan of the flu shot.

Well, actually, truth be told, I am not a fan of any vaccines, but that's a story for another time.

Now, I know for a fact that I have the smartest, most intelligent, and well-read followers of the entire interwebs.

So here's where I need some help from you.  

And mostly, I'm asking the following questions in regard to the Bird.  She is the main reason I do not like vaccines.  I also know it's too late for this year but I'm gathering information for next year's flu season.

What does a person do who does not want to get the flu but does not want to take the flu shot?  

Are there are alternatives to the flu vaccine that appear to be just as effective?

I know there are things we can do to boost our immune systems during flu season (and please tell me your ideas!), but I'm wondering about actual all-natural and safe treatments geared specifically toward flu prevention, like the flu shot is purported to be.

So maybe this is not even a real post after all.  Maybe it's a total cheat post.  

But I'd be so grateful for your help, suggestions, advice, links, or words of wisdom.  I really do want to keep my family healthy but in the safest way possible.

I look forward to hearing from you so fire away!


  1. Hmmm... I guess I am not of much help here because my son gets his flu shot every autumn. First, because he is very prone to infections and normal infections very often turn out to be harder on him than on other children, so we do not want to risk him getting the flu. Second, because tests show that children who get flu shots have fewer ear infections and since he is also very prone to ear infections that is a side effect I like about the flu shot, too. But I am curious if anyone else has good suggestions on your question.

  2. I LOVE coconut oil. Everything I've read shows that it kills virusessss. I caught something around Christmas and went down for the count. I started taking coconut oil and cinnamon (another virus killer) every 4 hours. I pushed vitamin c - 500mg every hour until upset stomach. (The upset stomach is your body's signal that you are saturated.) I also took huge doses of vitamin d. (I believe we're all deficient in "d".) I swallowed 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar twice daily. I took Calcium Lactate to get rid of the fever. I did not consume ANY sugar as that feeds viruseseseses. I got worse every hour for about 12 hours and then everything finally kicked in and I felt it start turning around. I don't know that I have any recommendations for an alternative to a flu vaccine (and you know you and I are going to be on the same page regarding vaccines). However, these are the things I've done when I've actually caught something and one of them or a combination of all of them worked.

  3. Lana,
    I am pretty anti-vaccine myself. But I did get the flu shot this year. I had the flu once in my life and yes, it is the sickest I ever felt. I felt like I had one foot in the grave. But that was 6 years ago, but since I was going to the dr anyway, I just got the vaccine. A young man from our church got the flu twice this winter already. So a second strain is already going around.

    I did see a lot of flu concoctions floating around on facebook. I'm sure if you google, you'll find them. I don't know if they work. I just know I wouldn't be able to drink them. (I can't handle garlic.) I have been a regular emergenc-c drinker, I don't know if that's what helps me or not. It's just a multi-vitamin. In addition to coconut oil, oregano oil is suppose to be one of the most powerful virus killers. Looking into oils might be worth it. Especially for Bird.


  4. This was in my email after I left you a comment. LOL

    I just could not bring myself to something like that. shudder gag you name it.

  5. I got absolutely nuthin to help you with the flu dilemma. I'm in a high-risk category (auto-immune disorder), so I pretty much just have to suck it up and take my flu shot :-(

    But I did want to tell you that my Erin Condren planner came this week and I am in love. Totally off topic, but still cool, right?

  6. I'm looking forward to reading the responses. My husband and I got our flu shot early on (he's a nurse and I have an autoimmune disorder or two), but I held out on the kids until seeing all the horrible, tragic news reports. I took them in for a flu shot in January. I cried. I felt like I was totally stuck between a rock and a hard place with no real options. So I'll be following along on the responses.

  7. Lana, I appreciate and admire you. Since I have had pneumonia,auto-immune disease, and chronic sinus infection, I have the flu shot every fall. Because Phil associates with so many people and groups everyday, he has the shot also. Neither of us has had any complications or side effects.
    I also double up on vitamin C, probiotic pills, and drink Emergen-C or Airborne although not everyday.
    Of course, drinking water and getting enough sleep helps (as if that is going to happen :).
    I'm not sure if this helps or if it is what you are looking for. I know we all pray for good health and protection for our families, but it also helps to be proactive.

  8. OK, first - good luck with your speaking gigs! How exciting! And also, terrifying! :)

    I wrote a post about the flu shot, so I'll share that, only because you asked and not because I am a self promotional spammer

    But also, the swine flu wiped out more young people than old people. Why? Because back in the day, when the old people were young people, there was a similar strain that went around. Even though they didn't get the flu themselves - being not vaccinated and exposed to the virus GAVE THEM FUTURE IMMUNITY to similar strains. So in 2025 when the next giant flu virus hits, all of the non-flu vaccinated kids will be the last ones standing. I tried to explain this to my pediatrician, who said that I was "interesting", but I still had to sign the I Am A Terrible Parent Forms anyway.

  9. Wow, speaking gigs now..go you! best of luck, you'll be fantastic.

    I'm wary of vaccines but get them, after research, as I'd rather have them than get a dose of what they're protecting me from. Thats my personal choice.

    As for other ways to avoid the flu? Let me know what your findings are! I am a great believer in echinacea though, if you get in there quick enough with it.

    xx Jazzy

  10. Y'all are awesome! So many great ideas and suggestions. I think this post will need a follow-up with everyone's suggestions in one place. Keep 'em coming!

  11. I wish I could offer suggestions. I've thought I would be less prone to the flu when I was eating right, exercising and taking vitamins but it's just not so. I've taken the flu shot (and I've got nothing really against it) but even when I've taken it, I've got a different strain of the flu. Toots is exposed to so many germs at school that it is impossible to avoid getting the flu when your kid is coughing, throwing up or elsewhere being sick... cuz you're the mama and you have to clean it! I wish there was something to get rid of it. I had laryngitis and a cough for a month, followed by stomach flu- ugh! But unless you are in a bubble... well, you know.

  12. My middle son and I have both had serious reactions to flu shots (his left him with epilepsy). So no flu shots for us, but my youngest has respiratory complications from his CP that make the flu life threatening. So we do what I call "extreme universal precautions". I require all my students to "scrub in" with hand sanitizer I keep duct taped to the door of my lecture hall. We do the same thing at the house and getting into the cars. We skip church and other crowded enclosed places during flu season, and politely decline handshakes then as well. I wear a long scarf that I use to open doors and touch other germs places (I have several and they get washed constantly). If we have to go to the dr, PT, OT,etc we take the first appt of the morning while everything is super sanitary and I politely request that if anyone has been sick or lives with someone who is/was sick that they not come visit until they've been symptom free for 5 days. Trips on airplanes get our family some unfashionable but effective medical grade face masks (the Peds pulmonologist even gave me a ton of the kiddie sized ones)
    It's kinda tough, I've gotten more than a few strange looks, but we have survived two flu seasons this way-despite having kids in preschool. So it works for us.

  13. Awesome on speaking gigs! After Max had a grand mal seizure triggered by a fever, I became very PRO flu vaccine. All of us get them. So sorry not to be much help, either. We still take some of the precautions Anon notes above, including lots of hand-washing and avoiding crowds and other sick kids when possible.

  14. I am also not much help as I am a HUGE vaccine advocate. My middle daughter had severe asthma as a baby and young child and wouldn't have been able to handle getting any type of major virus (chicken pox comes to mind) and now with Tessie, we ALL are required to get the flu shot along with pertussis boosters because of the threat to her health if one of us should get something like that.
    That being said, you just KNOW I had to google and pinterest this question and the overwhelming consensus on natural health remedies are vinegar, cinnamon, ginger and garlic (not necessarily taken together). I'm not sure in what quantity or how to take them but people swear by them for a large variety of ailments! Tessie's home health nurse also works in a hospital ER and says that hand washing with soap under HOT (or as warm as Lily could comfortably stand) water for at least 30 seconds including the nails ALONG with Purell after is the best defense. We also carry Purell EVERYWHERE we go and use it as soon as we are out of the store, doc's office, etc., BEFORE we get back to our car if possible. And daily (during flu season)washing down common area door handles, railings, and most importantly, bathroom area, helps stop the easy spread of germs.
    And way to go on the speaking gig!! How cool is that?!

  15. Lana,
    I am NOT a vaccine advocate and our family of 6 have never taken a flu shot and none of us have ever had it. I am a HUGE advocate of hand washing, hand washing and hand washing...we use regular soap at home and I always have a bottle of anitbacterial soap in both cars and my purse and our youngest, who still lives at home, keeps one with her all the time. We take Vita C, probiotics, MSM, and liquid silver. None of us have had the flu ever. We are extremely grateful to the Lord because we know we could get it but we do all we can humanly speaking to not get it and leave the rest to Him.

  16. As a woman who has an autoimmune disease, and the mother of an immune compromised child I will tell you I have done A LOT of research on the flu vaccine. We do not get the flu vaccine. 1. Because the science behind it is not sound. They predict the strains every year that they think will be most prevelent. They can miss the mark entirely, or at best hit one strain. 2. They are one of the only vaccines to allow aluminum. The amount in the vaccine is also well over the EPA's "safe" category when looking at body size for children and most adults. (Unless you are morbidly obese.) Even the aluminum free vaccines still contain trace amounts.3. There are NO clinical trials on children or the elderly for this vaccine. Yes, I am aware that there is no time from production until administration to afford such thing. However, do you really want to inject your child or yourself with something that has NOT been proven SAFE OR EFFECTIVE. If you read the product insert you will find this information. 4. There is also preliminary evidence that shows that the vaccine can actually make you more prone to catching the flu and magnify symptoms. 5. The side effects. Read the product insert and see if it is worth the risk. My oldest "typical" child had a horrific reaction to his first flu vaccine - which is what triggered me to research vaccines.

  17. I'm a little late chiming in. We all do flu vaccines in my family. I started before kids when my mom fragile with COPD. Mom died about 8 months before my oldest came home (from China) at age 8 months. That winter Olivia was diagnosed with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (the adrenals don't make corisol). Since the flu would be life threatening to her, the vaccine was mandatory (in my opinion) from then on. Olivia gets the shot since it is dead virus. Ruthie and Luke both get the nasal mist (live virus, no thrimasol).

    Luke was diagnosed with Autism BEFORE he had any vaccinations. So while I do believe it can be an environmental trigger with some, it wasn't in Luke's situation.

    I have greatly appreciated reading the other input.

  18. I'm also very, very late to this party, but wanted to mention what we do lots of during flu season: Thieves oil (internally, on the feet, and diffused), vitamin D, fermented cod liver oil, green smoothies, and Source Naturals wellness formula.


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