Yesterday was a great day for me.
(I realize most of this is boring and LONG - the last two paragraphs are about the fun I had!).
In the morning, I went for a first visit to a local (family) physician. I had a laundry list for myself, but the main reason for going was to see if I could get a medical excuse for my daughter to not have the MMR vaccine.
[Background story: I waited until last year to pick and choose which vaccines to give Anjoli. A year before she was born I researched and wrote a lenghty article on the cons of vaccination. I was always worried when we travelled to India, but I breast fed her for YEARS and gave her homeopathy and herbs, etc. Thank goodness, she never got that ill in India. Her pediatrician was adamant about her getting polio, DaPT and Hepatitis A before travelling to Taiwan last year (when we came the first time). So I did.
A few weeks ago, I received a letter from her school (the Taipei American School) stating the records show she is missing the MMR and must get one. I went to the nurse and explained that I was not planning on giving her this. About 6 years ago, Sujoy's cousin, who lives in Liverpool, gave her infant son an MMR and he became autistic shortly after receiving it. His doctor even warned her about the controversy surrounding the MMR and Hepatitis B shot. Both are preserved with mercury, and there is mounting evidence of a link between children who are "sensitive" to mercury and the onset of early childhood autism].
The doctor was WONDERFUL. So warm and friendly - he spoke perfect English. He was extremely compassionate - couldn't believe my brain surgery story. Oddly enough, while he was in graduate school at NYU, his wife (who was his fiance at the time) had a similar brain tumour. Her host family's "dad" happened to be a neurosurgeon and diagnosed her shortly after her stay with the family. We talked about how everything is in the hands of the Divine - and how it was NO ACCIDENT that I was diagnosed in Boston - where I had access to possibly the best medical doctors in the world.
I told him how upset I have been - how I was diagnosed when I was "homeless" en route to relocating to Taiwan. I started to cry a bit - he held my hands and said "OF COURSE YOU ARE UPSET! YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME!" Wow. A doctor who actually CARES and listens. I told him I needed a refill and higher dose for my anti-depressant - he checked on -line to see if he had the same type (the doctors here have their own pharmacies). He did - so he gave me a month's supply.
He asked me if I was comfortable with acupuncture - so I told him THAT story. Then he gave me the name of a local, top notch acupuncturist who cured him of temporary hearing loss. He explained that he was a professor of Chinese medicine and was once the head of the Dept. of Chinese Medicine for Taiwan's Dept. of Health. Cool! So now I can see someone locally (but I love my Buddhist Hospital - I still want those face massages). I am really looking forward to seeing this doctor (I hope he speaks English though- I forgot to ask).
Then, I nervously showed him the letter from Anjoli's school - and he explained that he was out of the vaccine at the moment. I told him that I didn't want her to have the vaccine and he said, "oh, I understand your concern." Then he pointed above my head to a certificate on the wall that said something like, Specialist in Heavy Metals and Toxicology.
"This is my specialty. I am going to a seminar in Singapore in November - and he showed me the brochure - and the main reason for going was to hear a doctor speak about the link between autism and mercury!
My mouth dropped. I couldn't believe it. It felt SO GOOD to be validated - because most people think I am nuts. He explained that in his 14 years of practice, he has seen a significant, steady increase in autism in children. We blabbed and blabbed about vaccines, bureaucracy,and chelation (removing heavy metals from the body). He has cured kids of mercury induced autism using chelation. I told him about our cousin's son, and he gave me his CELL NUMBER and email so Sujoy's cousin could speak to him about (possibly) curing her son. He explained that there are doctors in the UK who could help her son.
I finally said, "I better go- there are other patients waiting!" I could have chatted for hours with the man. We had so much in common. He was excited to hear I was from San Diego, as he attended a conference on autism there and - oddly enough, his wife's name is Susan too.
Then I came home and rested a bit before getting Anjoli. Around 5 o 'clock Sujoy and is friends Thomas and Alice (Thomas is his business partner too) came to pick us up to go shopping for BBQ food. Thomas and Alice invited us over to their condo to celebrate the Moon Festival (which is actually today). There is a legend behind the moon festival, which I was going to include but this post is already a mini novel, so I will just say that the moon festival is very much like our July 4th. Families and friends get together and BBQ (you MUST BBQ), light fireworks and eat very rich, sweet Mooncakes.
We had a great time barbaquing - Thomas and Alice have an adorable one year old girl, so that was a treat- playing with her. They have a "penthouse" - so we all hung out outside on the balcony which has a great view of the city. They live alongside a river - and loads of people were out partying along the banks. We watched a beautiful display of fire works - right outside the building - I've never been so close to them before. It was fun - the highlight was when I opened a bottle of champagne and let the cork fly over the balcony (I didn't hear them say "aim for the wall, Sue!" well, I am deaf in one ear). Thomas was worried about me damaging cars. Immediately after popping it I though to myself that was really stupid - I could have hurt someone. No cars or people were injured though! phew.!! We toasted the moon and went home. My first bit of fun in a LONG time!!