Saturday, October 10, 2009

Swine Flu

Piglet and Friends are circulating the Internet
(photographer unknown)
Decisions. Decisions.

Do I get the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine or not?

Every fall, I’m faced with the decision of “flu shot or no flu shot.” In the past, it’s been easy – many years, my answer was an immediate “no.” Other years, when I was pressured by the media, a friend or relative, I procrastinated long enough for the hoopla to die down, and the issue faded away on its own. I’ve never gotten one. My husband has never gotten one. Until this year, my children had never gotten the shot, but before school started, two of my daughters got the FluMist. I was convinced by the doctor to let them have it while they were getting physicals.

I do not like pain, so when faced with it I do not hesitate to take medicine, which fortunately is very seldom. So what is it about the flu shot, something that I put in the preventative medicine category? I get allergy shots which have been extremely beneficial with my sensitivity to grass, mold and pollen – do I have to get the flu and suffer the pain before I’m sold on the flu shot?

Most people eagerly or anxiously wait for its availability. My parents practically have a party when it’s flu shot time. There is excitement in the air. “I’m going to get my flu shot today!”

I asked my husband if he’s getting it. He answered, “I’ll wait and decide after all the priority people get theirs – children, pregnant women, health care professionals, and the elderly.”

“That’s us Dear,” I responded, “We’re the elderly. We’re over fifty.”

So…we’ll probably get in line with the masses and get our shots. Check back with me to see if I did it.

For up-to-date information on the H1N1 virus, click here to link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Are you getting the shot? What is your opinion on the virus and all the media attention it’s getting?


Abby said...

I'm going to throw caution to the wind and not get a shot. I've never gotten a flu shot before, so I've got a record to keep alive. Keep us posted.

Dorraine said...

I've never gotten the shot. The one time my husband did, he was sick as a dog! Fingers crossed we all, your family included, stay healthy.

Love love the picture of Piglet tied up and the gang steering clear. Made me laugh!

jt said...

I am getting the flu shot for H1N1 if I can find one (there are few available). I have already gotten the seasonal shot, as have all members of my family. I have gotten the flu twice in my life and got a secondary pneumonia both times, missing work and being miserable and bed-ridden for days, also passing the flu to my husband and son, who also got secondary infections. I get the flu shot to give me the best chance to not get sick and out of the desire to not give it to other people, especially children- this flu hurts them the most. The flu shot does not give you the flu (even the attenuated "live" flu mist-and that one only in rare circumstances when you are severely immuno-compromised).

Menopausal New Mom said...

Hi Anita, My family and I will ABSOLUTELY be getting the H1N1 vaccine plus the seasonal flu shot just as soon as available. Living in Canada with years of commuting to work on public transportation behind me, I know how important these flu shots are. With our vacation booked in January consisting of six separate flights, we will need all the help we can get to avoid getting sick while traveling. I know that many will become ill even with the flu shot, however, I can tell you from my own experience that my symptoms are much more severe during the seasons I don't get a flu shot. I have tried it both ways and for me, it's worth the time to get the vaccine.

Of course, everyone must make their own health decisions, just voicing what mine will be.

Good health to all,

Unknown said...

Hahahaha! That photo is priceless! BTW, I'm not getting the shot either.

I appreciate your kind words regarding my photos too.

Julie Magers Soulen Photography
Blog of Note

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I have no choice. I am allergic to eggs, which means no flu shot. However, I have had several friends now contract it and survive as if it were any other flu, so I have some skepticism (beyond my normal skepticism) about the hype in spite of the fact that the nurses in my life tell my I am wrong not to be more concerned. I guess everyone has to make that decision on his or her own.

Anita said...

ABBY, DORRAINE, JT, DEB, JULIE, ELIZABETH - all very interesting comments.

There may be others out there reading your comments which may be a factor in the decision they will make.

As always, thank you for reading and commenting.

Other readers - let us know what you think too!

Hilary said...

Like Dorraine, the only time I got a shot, I got sick. Not horribly sick but I'd never had the flu before that... or since. I've recently read this article which I find quite reasonable. I already believe and adopt a lot of what he has to say so that's how I'm leaning..

Anonymous said...

Hi Anita,

Thanks for the kind visit and the feedback about me keeping my posts easier to access. I took yoru words to heart and added a list of some of my posts.

The flu shot...So many children dying of the H1N1 this past month, it is scaring me into thinking I must get my daughter vaccinated, (though I had planned not to). It is not easy being a parent!

Anita said...

HILARY, I read the article in the Huffington Post link included in your comment.

I'm learning that people are very passionate about this issue - on both sides of the fence!

Thank you for sharing it with me and other readers.

OTHERS OUT THERE - we're very interested in hearing your opinions too.

Anita said...

THE THINGS WE CARRIED - I wish you well in making the decision for your daughter. I know that we all want the best for our children. Thanks for adding another comment to this conversation.

Anita said...

DORRAINE, JULIE, I forgot to tell you that I thought the Piglet pic was very funny too.

I realize this is a serious issue, but I couldn't resist using the pic. :)

andrea said...

I usually get the seasonal shot but have very mixed feeling about the H1N1 shot---is it really safe? I just don't know. I wish we could know if this flu will become more severe---in that case I probably would go ahead and do it.

Anita said...

ANDREA, I still haven't decided either.

Lee said...

I am NOT getting it and I am going to buck the flu system this year! HAH! Swine, come and get got my daughter but you can't get me!

Stephanie said...

Love this picture!
As for the shot. I will talk to my kids pediatrician. He hasn't led me wrong so far. I will bet he advocates for the shot as I have one little one who is prone to pneumonia!

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Great to "meet" you! Hope you don't mind a new follower:)

Anita said...

LEE, sounds like you've made up your mind.

Thanks for adding to the conversation.

Anita said...

MODERN MOM, sounds like a good plan to talk to your pediatrician to help you with the decision.

Welcome to my blog. I will tag on to yours too!

RANdom said...

I'm taking a pass on both the flu shot and the H1N1 shot. I was listening to a story on NPR the other day (which I can no longer find) which was saying that the effects of H1N1 thus far have been mild, except for people in the high risk groups. So since I'm not in a high risk group I'm taking my chances.

On another topic, sorry to be the bearer of bad news about salmon. Here's a link to a resource where you can get a pocket guide for sustainable seafood.

On another-nother topic, glad to hear that you know some folks to refer to the Call Me MISTER program.

Anita said...

RANDOM, Another tally mark in the "against" column.
Since writing this blog, I've begun to ask people if they are getting the shot and the answers are a few more in the "no" column. Initially, I was surprised. I thought more people were ready and waiting to get the shot. I'll keep asking - being the nosey/curious person that I am. :)

Thanks for the seafood pocket guide link. READERS AND FOLLOWERS, look at RANDOM'S comment for the link if you're interested in making better choices when buying seafood.

forever lost said...

nope no flu shot for me or family now or ever. I hate it that it is a LAW they have to have all the shots to go to school. It was motivation for me to homeschool my younger children.

Our son had a horrible seizure after the DPT shot at 18 months.

I certainly dont trust the panic over the swine flu... why arent they paying attention to the soldiers in the wars anymore and causing swine flu panic? hmmm?
nope dont trust the GOV a bit.

So did you get the shots?

Anita said...

BOOTS, I respect your feelings and I hope people will read your comment. Whether people agree with you or not, your statement and personal experiences are thought provoking.

As each day passes, I am less inclined to get the shot. A friend's 16 year old daughter has H1N1 and is having typical symptoms that are quickly disappearing. I am not afraid and see no reason to make myself afraid. I know many of you are getting the shot and don't categorize yourselves as afraid. For you, it is a wise decision.

Respectfully, to those that have experienced severe symptoms, or if you know of a loss of life, I am very sorry.


andrea said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I have decided my kids will be getting the vaccine after all. I talked to my brother, who works in health care, and what he told me really frightened me.

Anita said...

ANDREA, I'm glad you've been able to make the decision. Let me know how it all turns out.