The name of this story is Diphtheria.
My grandmother contracted diphtheria in 1919 at the age of 5.
Diphtheria causes a membrane to form in the throat. This membrane will cause a child to choke to death if not removed. My great-grandmother and her sisters took turns sitting at my grandmother’s bedside and physically removing the membrane from her throat as it formed and reformed and reformed. My grandmother was unconscious or semi-conscious from the high fever during this process and all the days and nights it took for the worst of the disease to run its course.
My grandmother survived, but she was so weak from the lengthy illness and side effects that she missed an entire year of school. And although she graduated from high school, married, had four children, helped raise me and my sisters when my mother had to work twelve hour shifts for years, made all her clothes, her children’s clothes, her drapes, baked and intricately decorated wedding cakes as a home business, gardened, taught me how to crochet and how to make slaw the way that her mother had made it . . . there was always something slightly off about her. She had to take OTC sedative “tonics” back in the days when those were still available. She got into irrational moods. I will go so far as to say she had episodes of paranoia, and these are things I remember from when she was in her early 60s. She never suffered from Alzheimer’s or dementia, oddly. But she always had “spells” and I believe these spells may have been the result of “mild” brain damage caused by the high fever that accompanies diphtheria.
My grandmother got lucky. Even with the care provided by my great-grandmother and her sisters, my grandmother could have died.
Do you really want to take that chance with your child’s life? Do you want your child to survive a devastating illness that could be avoided with vaccines but suffer disabling side effects? Do you want to sit by your child’s hospital bed while they suffer through diphtheria and you pray that they don’t choke to death due to your stupidity? Your willful stupidity, as a friend of mine said earlier tonight when we were discussing my grandmother’s bout with diphtheria?
I don’t believe that you have the right to play games with your child’s life. I sure as HELL don’t believe you have the right to play games with the lives of other people’s children. Because if your child gets diphtheria or whooping cough, they can spread it to children too young for the vaccines or children who can’t get the vaccines for various medical reasons, including allergies. See, there are parents who WANT to vaccinate their children but can’t because of things like allergies to the vaccines and if you can vaccinate your child and you don’t, well, if the kid who sits in the desk in front of them at school dies, I think that’s partially circumstances and partially your fault. I don’t care if that pisses you off. If you’re going to get in the anti-vaxxer clown car, you’re going to have to own ALL the repercussions.
I looked this up once and I could look it up again but I’m not going to because I don’t feel like it because I’m too pissed off at your criminal stupidity. I believe that the diphtheria vaccine was introduced in 1920, a year after my grandmother got sick.
Her parents didn’t have the choice, the option to vaccinate their children.