The Pig Flu

This flu shot thing has me in a quandary. My philosophy is that the farther you stay from doctors and hospitals, the less likely you are to get sick. We are generally a pretty healthy family.

When my children were small, I did take them for the mandatory vaccines, but while the oldest saw the pediatrician on a fairly regular schedule (he was the first child and weighed only four pounds when he was born,) the youngest got her shots from the health department (where they were free,) and didn’t see the doctor until she went for her school-ordered Kindergarten checkup. (Please don’t call Childrens’ Services. She’s 16 now, and she’s fine.)

I personally have not had a shot of any kind since I was 12. I’m…..older than that now, and it doesn’t seem to have hurt me. I get the occasional cold and I probably had the flu about five years ago, but that’s life. I’m way more afraid of getting Guillian-Barre Syndrome that of getting any kind of flu. I logically believe that it is very unlikely that any of us would have complications that would result in hospitalization, much less death.

But a friend of mine died. Not just someone far away on the news, an actual person who had been as healthy as the average middle-aged adult and thought he was going to stay home from work and play around on Facebook for a few days. I thought hard about that. My son called from college to say he had a fever and flu symptoms. He knew people who had H1N1. I tried not to worry about it, knowing that he would almost surely be fine even if he had it, but he is in Boston and I am in Ohio. What if he got really sick?

I finally decided that I won’t get a flu shot. There is a shortage, and there are people who will be seriously worried if they are denied a flu shot. I’m okay with taking my chances.

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