Rose: Flu shots

I think, finally, I am on the mend. I’ve heeded the advice of others to rest, rest, rest. I did so much of that I found myself legitimately bored. There are only so many TV shows to watch, so many books to read, before one goes stir crazy in a house. And so I forced myself back to work yesterday, got through the day and went to bed as early as possible. I came equipped with Halls and Lysol wipes, for protection.

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While I think my immune system is generally in tip-top shape, I’m not surprised this cold happened. These negative temps have been hard to manage, especially with a mile walk to and from my car each day. Since I can’t live a hermit life just yet, I have to be outside. And there are lots of germs and icky things floating through the air. I generally get one cold per year, similar to this one, where I have to stay home for a day or so. It’s usually knocked out of my system within a week or two. I’ve grown accustomed to this winter routine.

And so, I find myself surprised when people badger me about flu shots. When they see I’m sick, the first thing they ask is: “Did you get a flu shot?” No, I did not get a flu shot. Not once in my life have I received a flu shot. I’m okay with that decision. The flu shot is a only prediction of what flu strains may surface. You could technically be getting a shot for nothing, if they’ve predicted wrong. And I don’t like medicine. If I can get away from taking it, I will.

I might be overly sensitive about this matter, but I feel asking whether you got a flu shot is sort of a breach of privacy. I don’t ask my friends or coworkers what prescriptions they take. If someone is diagnosed with an illness, I don’t ask if xyz was the cause. I’m not sure when people started getting so worked up about the flu shot. My guess is that they fear it’ll spread to them. But wouldn’t they be safe if they got the flu shot?

This is more of a rant than a blog post. Do you see what being sick and stir crazy does to a woman? Godspeed, my fellow sickies.

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3 thoughts on “Rose: Flu shots

  1. Flu shot support or non-support aside – I get super irritated when people ask if I got the flu shot WHILE I’M SICK! What does it matter now? Are they asking to validate (if I answer ‘no’) or asking for statistical probability research (if I answer ‘yes’)? I already feel miserable, and asking that question either makes the person think, ‘Damn – Maybe I could have prevented this.’ or, ‘Damn, I got a shot for no reason.’. Either way, that question never ends well.

    Until this year, I’ve been a huge supporter of flu shots. I hate feeling nauseous and I (incorrectly) connected stomach bugs to the flu. I thought the 5-day high-fever colds were just bad colds. I just learned this year that the flu is all respiratory-type stuff. While it sucks to be down for the count for 3-5 days, my job offers sick time. I’m otherwise pretty dang healthy and figured this year I’d take my chances with the flu. Now that I know the shots won’t prevent me from stomach bugs (LOL), I don’t care about them anymore.

    Now – if they come out with a shot that immunizes against stomach bugs … I’m dosing up!

  2. The flu shot has much less to do with whether you, an individual, will get sick. It has much more to do with the fact that as someone who is healthy and has a good immune system, you can carry the flu virus and not get sick from it. Know who does get sick from the flu virus you carry but may not notice? Babies, toddlers, pregnant women, and other people you interact with who do not have strong immune systems. This topic is much larger than “I’m healthy and wont get sick, so who cares?” It has strong, real, consequences for the health of the people around you.

    Further reading: http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/10-flu-myths.htm

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