OK, I’m Probably Going to Live!

I was not at all sure that I was going to live when I posted last week’s very short blog posting. I’m not going into any details about it this week, other than to say that my doctor is on the case, and things are looking brighter.

In addition to some other physical matters, my vision had been deteriorating for several months; it still is deteriorating, but, hopefully, that may well be remedied over the next couple of months. I certainly hope so.

In the interests of true confessions, I am petrified of doctors’ offices. And I mean PETRIFIED. I hyperventilate; my heart rate just about doubles; and my blood pressure goes through the ceiling. It’s been this way since I was 6-years-old. It’s silly; I know! I can’t explain it, either.

Anyway, I survived the visit to my doctor’s office last week. I even survived my trip to have blood drawn. I would have preferred to have had it drawn under general anesthesia, but the technician would have no part of it. So I had to sit there while she shoved a 9-inch needle into one of my veins.

The woman wouldn’t even give me a leather strap to bite down on as she jammed that 9-incher into my vein.

For now, that’s enough about me. But as long as I’m talking about medical stuff, I’m going to include my two cents worth regarding the vaccinations, particularly the measles type, versus no vaccinations brew-ha-ha as it relates to autism.

I’m not a medical doctor, but I am a scientist. And the fact is that medical doctors are scientists as well.

Here’s the thing; hating to be wrong is a fundamental tenet of human nature. And scientists are not in the least bit immune to it, either. But the difference between legitimate scientists and your average non-scientist, is that the former get the facts first, then they theorize.

It’s downright dangerous to reverse this process. Theorizing first makes it mighty tempting to manipulate facts to support a theory.

Far too many non-science types have no understanding of inferential statistics. Intuitive logic rules in their minds. I heard a woman on a call-in radio show swear that she had her son vaccinated against measles, mumps, etc., and within two months he was diagnosed as autistic.

Correlation does not translate to cause; it has never so translated. And, in the case of vaccinations leading to autism, there has never been even the slightest correlation.

In fact, scientists list five other far more credible risks that lead to autism than vaccinations lead to it.

Genetics, pesticides, air pollution, medications (thalidomide—no longer on the market—and valproic acid, a medication prescribed to treat seizures or bipolar disorder), and parental age at conception are all fair game.

I’ve never been a Mitch McConnell cheerleader—the current Senate Majority Leader. But I applaud him for his stand on vaccinations. “I had polio; so I’m a big fan of vaccinations.”

As for myself, I never had a measles vaccination because there was no such thing when I was a child. I contracted virtually everything (measles, mumps, chicken pox, and even a vicious case of scarlet fever). I never had polio, but I remember a couple of childhood friends who spent time in iron lungs.

Don’t rely on intuitive logic. Counter-intuitive reality kicks its butt most of the time. Get your children vaccinated!

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