On the flu shot

Violent Metaphors has a post about getting the flu shot and why you should get it. It’s a good post on the science behind why you should get it.

I’ll add a personal side to it.

I get the flu shot every year. I happen to be a recovering needlephobe. I still really don’t like needles. But I make myself go get it anyway. Why?

The last time I caught the flu, it took me two years to fully recover. See, I have asthma. Asthma puts me in the “high risk” population – those who are far more likely to have severe illness when they catch the flu. And hooboy, I sure as heck did.

My lung function bottomed out at a third of normal. My asthma went from mild to severe and uncontrolled. I went from not going to the ER at all in the previous decade to making an ER trip twice a month. I couldn’t walk up stairs without stopping on a good day. On a bad day, I had trouble walking across a room.

Thanks to modern medicine, I eventually was able to recover, though it took two years and my asthma has never been the same. I’m now a moderate asthmatic.

When you get the flu shot, you’re helping to prevent someone going through what I did.

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5 thoughts on “On the flu shot

  1. Unfortunately, we tried, but couldn’t. Apparently they’re not supposed to give the current batch to those with latex allergies. But, fiancé/roomate got it. Either way we’ve the sinking suspicion that on our part it’s also too late.

    • ischemgeek says:

      A female relative (won’t say more to protect her privacy in case I ever go public with my identity here) of mine has an egg allergy and so can’t get flu shots. I get that.

      What bugs me aren’t those who have legit medical reasons not to – frankly, you all are the ones the rest of us should be protecting by getting the shot, eh? – but those who are all [insert bullshit pseudoscience here] about it. Vaccines weaken yer immune system (except they don’t), vaccines overload the immune system (nope), the flu shot will give you the flu (nope, not that either), etc. Those are the ones that tick me off – in addition to endangering both themselves and others, they also spread the misinformation virus and infest others with their ignorance.

      • Yeah. I mean, we kinda find vaccines in general to be cool, not just advisable. “This one” comments that it’s like getting injected with a superpower serum, where the super power is immunity.

        Still, we were fed a lot of crap when we first were all into the idea of flu shots by roommates long past and best forgotten. Mostly about how “useless” they are. That attitude of the group combined with the social pressures that made them best forgotten, resulted in it getting pushed so far back in our mind we couldn’t even remember when you were supposed to get it. (We still don’t and have to be reminded.)

        Anyway, we did our research after getting FLOORED by the flu a few years in a row. Then we found out about herd immunity. Shortly after that, we discovered our mother is immunocompromised. So. Yeah. Seriously. Imagine our irritation…

        That said, this was the first time we actually had the presence of mind, the knowledge, and timing (incidentally, thanks! you’re why, in this case.), to get the shot. Except we apparently don’t have the… uh… lack of allergy.

  2. (Uh, I apparently held the post button too long. Sorry.)

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