Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Immunization FAIL, sort of

My friend Sarah sent out this email:

There are so many controversial topics, especially immunizations, and with being a first time mom, I enjoy asking others about their experiences and thoughts on different topics to get different points of view.

Have you or will you [for your baby/kid(s)] be getting the:
Seasonal Flu Shot
H1N1 Flu Shot

Do you normally get it as well?

Why or why not??

I'm not one to be political, and I'm not looking for an argument, but since this is NaBloPoMo, you get to hear me expound on things I wouldn't normally talk about.

I believe very strongly in routine immunizations. My kids get all the shots from MMR to their DipTep, I'm on board. What I do not have a testimony of is flu shots. This is probably due to the fact that I'm pretty sure the year I was pregnant with Lillian and my doctor FORCED me to get one was the first one I'd ever had. (This is the same doctor that argued with me for 20 minutes about whether or not I needed a RhoGam shot when both Tyler and I are O-.)

I don't know why we never got flu shots in our growing up years. If my mom had something against them, she never told me; it was simply a non-issue. Because I never got the shot, and rarely got sick, I began to regard them as completely unnecessary, and also, only for paranoid people.

Now that we go to the doctor's office for all of Nora's bazillion well checks, they're always pressuring me to get flu shots for my kids. For whatever reason, I can't bring myself to do it. Lillian has never had a flu shot, and she's never gotten the flu.

I feel the same about the H1N1 shot, except that I'm really probably not going to get it because I'd have to go to TEP stadium, and if the local news is to be believed, wait in line for hours and waiting in line for hours with two squirmy kids is really not my idea of a good time and something I don't think I could bring myself to do for something I have no testimony of.

Tyler got a flu shot every year of his life, and I think is a little baffled by my opinions, so this year, I decided to do an experiment. I got a flu shot, because they were handing them out in WalMart, a place I already was, and there was no line, and I made a deal with Tyler that if I didn't get sick, I would get the kids shots next year. But if I got the flu anyway, he could take his flu shot and... you know.

I was going to write about how vindicated I am that flu shots are useless because I woke up this morning with a sore throat, achy body, low-grade fever, and a headache. But, I happened to be chatting online (while writing this) with my friend Carrie, who is a doctor, and she told me that I probably have the same virus Nora has, which, I wasn't aware that adults could catch. She she said that yes, adults can get it, it just doesn't cause the same croupy cough. Huh. Who knew?

And, although I'm biased against the shot, I have to admit that it probably wasn't designed to protect me against whatever croup virus I have. Dang.


Emily said...

I feel the same you do about vaccines but I'm a bit more of a believer in flu shots. We didn't get them while growing up (I don't know why) but Tom is a HUGE believer in them and always pushes me to get them. We are definitely a flu-getting family and the years I do get (based on pregnancy and how young my babies are) are fabulous flu-free years. I don't get them every year though, but that's more of a money/laziness thing.

Jenna said...

My mom used to make us get them until we were in high school and I started refusing on the grounds that I would rather vomit for a week than get a shot. The same has stood for flu shots as an adult for me. I've been going back and forth on getting an H1N1 shot because it seems to be a bit more common around the Bay Area, I'm taking classes at the local community college, I work in a doctor's office and could get it pretty easily, and a friend of mine just got it, but...the fear of the needle keeps me from doing it. My friend said it was the worst five days of her life, so maybe I'll catch it and then change my opinion later. I sort of hope not, though. :-)

Bridget said...

Yeah, we didn't get flu shots growing up and I never got sick. The two times I've gotten the flu shot in adulthood, I've gotten sick anyway.

I do have my girls get it, though, because why not? And I got H1N1 this year because I know a lot of pregnant ladies and I didn't want to be the one who passed it on.

Allison said...

The only years I've gotten flu shots were the years I worked in the ER. So... 4 out of 34 years. I can't remember having the flu, so I'm guessing here, but I think I've had it once in the last 10-15 years. The flu seems to be omnipresent here in Utah, so I did breakdown and call today about the flu mist. (See... it's taken me this long to call about it.) They're out. So... I guess I'll wait until they have it.
It only protects against the "flu" and so far this year we've had 2 viruses that caused fever, sore throat, etc... not the flu.

Anonymous said...

I took my girls to get the H1N1 flu shot yesterday at TEP. We got there just before 2pm and there was no line at all. However long it takes for you to fill out the paperwork is as long as you have to wait. Just a heads up.

heidi nielsen said...

Do you love that I comment on your blog even though you don't know me? Your posts just always draw me in. Anyway, I don't think I've ever gotten the flu shot, but last year both of my boys got it (we were at the Dr. for other things, so why not), and my husband got one at a hospital he was rotating at. I was pregnant, and decided not to get one. So, 8 months pregnant, and I had a nasty case of the flu. Thank goodness everyone else got vaccinated and didn't catch it. Being REALLY sick is bad enough, but having to take care of 2 sick kids at the same time is unbearable. My kids already got H1N1 so I'm glad I don't have to deal with worrying about whether the vaccine is worth getting. I suppose they'll get the seasonal flu shot, if I get around to it.

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