Archives for: December 2006, 16
I got a flu shot on Friday. I debated a long time, but in the end decided it was the right thing to do.
My history with flu shots goes back to the mid-70s when I first started working. My employer gave free flu shots to all employees who wanted them. Free sounded good. The shots were given on a Friday. On Saturday and Sunday ran fever and felt terrible. After 2 years, I thought, "Why am I doing this? I might as well get the flu if I'm going to run fever and feel terrible. No wonder they give their free shots on Friday. I lose my weekend with side effects and have to go back to work on Monday."
So I stopped taking flu shots for many years. Most years I did not get the flu, though occasionally I did. Five years ago - Darling Daughter was in 7th grade - the flu hit our community particularly hard. DD was sick for nearly a week. My son swam the regional qualifying swim meet with the flu. My husband and I both had it. The next year, we all got flu shots. It was another bad year for flu, but my family stayed healthy all winter. Not only that, I learned that the new vaccines only make your arm sore - no more fever and flu-like symptoms.
I was convinced. I would get a flu shot every year. Then came the winter of the flu vaccine shortages. We were made to feel guilty because if we got flu shots we would be depriving someone who needed them more. I didn't get the flu that year, and the pattern was broken. My husband went back to getting them, but I couldn't psyche myself up to volunteering for a needle stick. Besides, I was on the BTD by then, maybe that would protect me.
This year flu is ravaging our school already. Friday we put out the last issue of the newspaper before Christmas, and only half of my class was there to help with distribution. DD said, "They're dropping like flies!"
She began early in the week bugging me to get her a flu shot, saying "I don't have time to be sick!" It was a lesson in the inefficiency of bureaucracy, but at last I got her an appointment for Friday afternoon. On the way, she asked if I was going to get a shot, too. I said yes, I said no, I said yes, I said no. I finally decided to do it. If flu is bad in December, this could be another really bad year. We will be spending time with family in the next few weeks, which will include tiny babies and octogenarians (those at greatest risk) as well as toddlers (germ carrying machines). I don't want to catch it, and I don't want to spread it.
So I rolled up my sleeve and got the shot.