"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

05 January 2008

Teens and Vaccines

I did something this week that I vowed I would never do until my daughters were at least 18! I let my oldest (14) have her physical exam without me being in the room! I went in with her and the nurse took her blood pressure, asked the usual routine questions and then said C. would need to get undressed down to her underwear and tank top. C. looked at me and said "mom, could you leave?" The nurse said this was normal for teen girls and that I could wait in the lounge and when the actual exam was done, I could feel free to walk on back and meet with the pediatrician. (C. chose a new pediatrician, a female, as she no longer wanted to be seen by her male pediatrician...again, he had warned me last year that this was likely to happen and he would not be offended!). Now, I used to freak out about inappropriate touch, etc. (believe me, I have good reasons for this attitude!) but I knew that after many talks since age 4 about the whole "ok touch, not ok touch" thing and all the sexual abuse workshops I have had to attend because of my job, C. would be ok and would report immediately to me, anything that was NOT ok!
So, I go back in and the dr. was wonderfully pleasant. She is rather young but very cool according to my daughter. She said C would need 3 vaccines: it was time for her tetanus to be updated as well as the chicken pox, and they were highly suggesting the pertussis as our area has seen a rise in whooping cough in the last several years. I agreed to those 2 (tetanus and pertussis are given as 1). The other one, which I knew was coming, was the HPV. Last year the ped. had told me all about it, as did my own ob/gyn. Girls from ages 9-26 are eligible to receive it. My husband and I had discussed it. I was fine either way. My husband really felt like this is a vaccine he wanted both of our daughters to get. So....although it is a bit painful at the time of the injection (it stings!), she was fine by that evening. And no, she was not one of the ones who fainted! (if you have read the recent news articles, many teens are fainting upon receiving the vaccine.). My daughter is pretty thick skinned. I mean, she was thrown 100 yards from a galloping, feisty pony during a riding lesson, at age 11 and she climbed right back on to show him who was boss! So...although she winced and had some tears in her eyes from the burn of the vaccine, she was fine!
Now, I know there is lots of controversy regarding this vaccine. BUT....there are NO guarantees that my precious daughter is going to remain pure until marriage, nor are there any guarantees that she will marry a virgin guy. Do we EXPECT her to remain pure? you betcha! We are raising/training/teaching our children about purity, abstinence, what God says in His Word about the topic of sexual intercourse, marriage, etc. They are in a school district where abstinence only curriculum is being used as well as a course in how to protect themselves if they DO become sexually active. Our oldest has been through the first course and we will need to give the school permission for her to take the 2nd course next year. (we have already discussed this and scanned the curriculum and we are giving our permission for her to take it). We feel this is something she can handle and we want her to have the information. We are not letting the school district do all the teaching on this matter though! I believe as Christian parents, the instruction regarding purity, abstinence, protection, birth control, etc. must begin at home, with the Bible as our main guide. It also helps that she is in an excellent small group as part of her youth group at church and that she is in LIFE club (a Youth for Christ afterschool club at school). She has chosen good friends (so far) but....there really are no guarantees that once she leaves our nest, that she will stay true to Christ and a pure lifestyle. Do we encourage her to? Of course. Do we have dating guidelines, boundaries in place while she IS at home? Absolutely! (she is not allowed to "date" until at least age 16. She does attend events, movies, etc. with a group; sometimes it is a mixed group, other times just the girls). We are expecting and praying, that our daughters will keep Christ first in their lives. But, I also have seen other teens with parents just as dedicated to their children and the teachings of purity/abstinence, etc. as we are , and those girls have ended up with unplanned pregnancies before graduating from high school! AND..they even attended our old church with us. Yes! A charismatic, New Testament style church! The point? Kids will sometimes make the wrong choices even with parents who are teaching Godly values to their kids. Even born again kids make mistakes and wrong choices!! (or maybe we assumed they were Christ followers because they were raised in a Christian home?) At any rate: my daughter has just had her first dose of HPV. This is good. (unfortunately, it has to be given in 3 doses over a 6 month period!). This generation of girls have a great chance of not acquiring the virus that causes the various STD's that can lead to cervical cancer. That is great, in my opinion! But what is even greater is that we serve a Mighty Father, who has promised that if we train up a child in the way he/she should go, when she is old she will not depart from it. (see Prov. 22: 5-7). We thank God that He has given medical technology to mankind. He has given us wisdom when we have asked for it in regards to raising our children. Pray about every major decision regarding your kids. It sure does bring alot of peace. Even when your teen no longer wants you in the examination room!


Susanne said...

I'm glad you posted about this. In my area of Canada I don't think there is quite the push for this vaccine as there seems to be in the States.

Faith said...

Hi Susanne: Yeah, it seems to be highly recommended by pediatricians. Then again, there is SOOO much sexual activity amongst teens in our country, that at least the Gardisal will help to combat the STD's that can cause the viirus which in turn can lead to the cancer. I just wish it wasn't a series of 3 shots...yuck!