Looking for a Laugh?

February 28

Looking for a Laugh?

Well, you’re probably not going to find it here today.  I desperately need some sunshine and warm weather.  I think it will go a long way in helping me find some funny in life again.  Seasonal Affective Disorder?  Maybe.  Too many months of being cooped up in the house with four kids?  Absolutely!

Oh, a brief Tank Boy update:  He can now climb onto the counter tops without the aid of a chair, stool, or any other elevating device.  Gah! (shake, twitch, twitch, shake)

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, what with my son turning into a one-man circus act, A~ needing to go back to the nephrologist, and our being mere days away from waiting six full months for a referral, now The Great State in which I live is talking about legislating health care decisions for my daughters.

Maybe you’ve seen these commercials:

“Did you know that some types of cervical cancer can be caused by a virus?  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.  Why didn’t I know?  Tell someone.”

Good advice — tell someone.  My question is, why haven’t medical professionals and researchers been telling someone for years?  It’s not like this has been a medical unknown until the good lobbyists scientists at Merck just happened to develop a vaccine for said cancer-causing viruses.  Viri?  Whatever.  At least 6 or 7 years ago I remember reading about a test that can be done instead of the traditional pap test.  It basically involves a long Q-tip and some swabbing to check for the presence of the human papillomavirus since it was known even then to cause most cases of cervical cancer.  Good luck finding a doctor that will do it, however.

Anyway, back to the point:  it has been known for quite some time that the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which is transmitted sexually, is a leading cause of cervical cancer.  Why haven’t medical professionals been getting the word out so that, humm, I don’t know, maybe we could add that to the list of reasons “why not”  when we’re teaching our kids to save sex for marriage.

Oh, wait, that’s right, we don’t teach them that anymore, so why bother telling them about the danger of what is essentially sexually transmitted cancer?  They’re just going to do it anyway.  Instead, we’ll wait until some drug company develops a vaccine intended to protect against some forms of the virus and then start a scare campaign so that everyone will run right out, young daughters in tow, and get vaccinated at $360.00 per dose.  That’s a lot of surf and turf and big, big houses for many, many Merck & Co. lobbyists marketers scientists minions.

But just in case the scare campaign isn’t enough, let’s convince politicians to legislate it.  Yes folks, no less than 33 states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation to educate the public on the vaccine (as opposed to the virus), if not fund it and/or require it.  There is now some insane banshee misguided do-gooder Merck lap dog representative in our state planning to introduce legislation that would mandate the vaccine for all girls entering the sixth grade.  Maybe she’s good buddies with that guy in Texas.

“But why do you care, E.?  You Homeschool.”

Ah, good question.  And here is my answer:

First, the government has no business getting involved in my decision to vaccinate my daughters, or not, against the HPV.  They are the government.  I am the parent.  This is not some hugely communicable disease that all school children will be exposed to just by being thrown together in a school setting.  Sneeze, cough, hack and wheeze all you want, this virus isn’t going anywhere as long as everyone’s pants are on.  This virus is spread by behavior in which kids should not be engaged in the first place, and their parents should be teaching them that.  For the parents who don’t want to try teaching sexual responsibility and/or morals, fine, they can take their kids to be vaccinated.  Furthermore, this drug hasn’t even been approved and on the market for a full year yet.  By mandating the vaccination, they would be mandating that all mothers of girls use their daughters as medical guinea pigs.  Um, no thank you.

“Oh!” you say, “But the FDA approved it!”

Bully for the FDA.  Do you really think they have never approved a drug that has later been pulled from the market because, once it was being widely used, nasty side effects were discovered?  Have you ever heard of DES?  I don’t know, maybe there wasn’t an FDA back then, but how many pregnant women were given DES before they discovered that it later caused a rare form of vaginal cancer in many of the daughters born to these women?  Not to mention a whole host of other problems.

Second, we use a virtual charter school which means that, even though we do school at home, we are technically enrolled in a public school.  If this becomes law for all public schools in our state, we will not be exempt.  Should this happen we could just pull the kids out and homeschool completely independently, but someday they will go to high school.  I’m not doing that at home.  So then what?  Private school is expensive, and I shouldn’t have to be forced to make that choice because the government wants to shoot my kids full of a drug that hasn’t stood the test of time, and that I don’t feel is in their best interest.

Third, whatever happened to the old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Not sleeping around, and then having a monogamous relationship with somebody who has also not slept around, will protect against a lot more forms of HPV than the vaccine will.  Why don’t we, as a society, talk about that more?  A little more self-control, a little more self-respect and a little more common sense will go a long way in preventing a whole host of medical complications that we, as a society, are coming to accept as a common, everyday part of life; and are then turning around and expecting the government and the drug companies to fix for us.

Every time I see a Valtrex commercial I think, “This is how people live?  Enough of them that they do commercials for the stuff?”  I know the naysayers argue that no sex outside of marriage is prudish and old-fashioned and an unreasonable expectation, but, wow, there is so much stuff I’m not at risk for having to live with because McH and I both met that supposedly unreasonable expectation.* 

Guess I should have put a warning at the beginning of the post about sharing too much information.

So, yes, my secret is out:  I believe in teaching my children that sexually intimate relationships are sacred and are for marriage; I don’t believe in sending them mixed messages by providing condoms, birth control and questionable vaccines ‘just in case’; I don’t believe that teaching them this is burdening them with unrealistic expectations, because I know many, many people who have lived and do live up to that expectation; I believe if we set the bar high, our children will strive to reach it, if we set the bar low, they will schlep their way right down to it; I believe if they strive and reach it, their lives will be better for it and they will be better for it.

I know lots of very wonderful people, have some great friends, who do not share my view, nor have they lived their lives according to it.  I’m not one who thinks it makes them somehow bad, evil people.  Everybody has to  make their own choices, and I understand that.

How dare the government try to make mine for me?

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is too busy forming a protest right now to say anything.

*No, we do not howl at the moon.

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