I once got the flu shot and then spent the entire winter, spring, summer and fall combatting sinusitis. The doctor said my problem was not caused by the flu shot and yet, I had never had sinusitis before. I can put two and two together and make it add up to whatever I want. I blamed the flu shot.
Since that time, I have avoided the flu shot. It makes me sick.
Fast forward to the fall of 2013. My place of employment provided flu shots for free. I said, “No and thank you!” That Friday, I ran a 101 degree temperature for a day. I told my husband it was lucky that I had not received the flu vaccination or I would have blamed the fever on the shot.
This past weekend I started to feel under the weather for a moment and then it felt like a sick train ran over me. Fever. Chills. Body aches. Cough. Headache. Sinus pain (no surprise). I went into action. Rest (check). Fluids (check). Cool air humidifier (check). Old home remedies involving honey, lemon and vinegar (check). Ibuprofen (check). Vicks VapoRub (check). Neti pot (check).
On day two, when I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow, I said to my husband, “Please drive me to the doctor’s office.”
Going to the doctor’s office involves telling a series of people the same information. First you talk to a receptionist who requires a brief description of why you are calling. Then you must describe the symptoms in greater detail to the scheduling clerk so they may judge the urgency of your situation. When you arrive at the clinic, you start all over again describing your aches and pains with the nurse, but now you field probing questions. This is about the time that my sense of humor collides with my delirium and I lose my filter.
Nurse: “Do you have any pain?”
Me: “Yes, I am over 50, something is always hurting.”
Nurse: “Any new pain?”
Me: “Yes, my whole body aches and my head is pounding.”
Nurse: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?”
Me: “I’ll say a 6 but I have a high pain tolerance so no clue if this is helpful.”
So when the doctor finally arrived, I was out of patience and just wished the doctor would read the copious notes that had already been written so I would not have to say a thing. But no such luck. The descriptions and interrogation started anew. And lo and behold, we end right where I could have predicted if they would just listen to me and skip the 45 minute question/answer session. It is either sinusitis or the influenza.
I headed to the lab to have my nose swabbed with something that will feel like “a feather tickling the inside of my nose”. It did.
Later, sitting in the waiting room with the other patients wearing masks and looking miserable and tired and sick, the nurse called my name and I went back to the examination room to wait for the doctor and the lab results. He walks in, frowns and says, “You have the flu.” Oh oh.
I am now one of the statistics of the 2013/2014 flu season.
I am on day 5 of the flu. A few hours ago, I wasn’t sure I was going to survive this thing but I am having my first spurt of energy in days so I wanted to start 2014 with my New Year’s Resolution.
From now on, I will always get the flu vaccination!
I know it might not prevent me from getting the flu in the future, but I owe it my grandchildren. You see, I was with them the day I became sick. I need to do whatever I can to take care of myself so that I take care of the important people in my life.