Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Great And Ongoing Flu Shot Debate

So here I am, wrapped in a lovely red chenille throw and surrounded by meds, Kleenex, an economy-sized bottle of Acetaminophen, two-and-a-quarter packages of Halls cough drops, Vicks Vapo-Rub, Benylin Extra Strength Chest Congestion and Sore Throat with Menthactin (Fast Acting For Relief Of: Chest Congestion and Sore Throat), and NeoCitran Extra Strength Nighttime Total Symptom Relief Hot Liquid Medicine for Cough and Fever and Body Aches and Headache and Nasal Congestion and Sneezing and Runny Nose and Sore Throat with Soothing Lemon Flavour that is neither soothing nor can I taste or smell because I didn’t get the flu shot. Not that it would’ve mattered.

Every year my family makes a big deal out of the flu shot, or rather, to get it or not to get it—that’s the debate. One sister pleads the fifth (coward); the other adamantly refuses to get it, saying she got the flu from it before and there’s no way in hell… ; my mother gets the shot every year, and every year her arm swells to a size rivalling Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in his pro-bodybuilding heyday. Me? I’m a hit-n-misser—I’ll get it if I’m guilted into it or there’s no other way around it.

So I didn’t get the flu shot this year. So I was driving to the mall a little over a week ago when Savage, of Savage and T-Bo’s 106.7 FM The Drive, said there was a mess up with this year’s flu shot—apparently the government guessed wrong (imagine that) so the shot wouldn’t protect against the strain currently sweeping the province.

“Ah-ha!” I yelled, my fist in the air. The driver beside me gave me the look.

Two or so days later, I got the flu. Three or so days after that, I got pneumonia. Now I wonder if I shouldn’t sue the government. Surely they had a hand in this; them and their huge wages and years of university and ten-thousand-dollars-for-a-hammer funding and previous shots that gave you the flu so bad it scared you off ever getting another one, and this year with their bureaucratic mumbo-jumboed TV adds showing beautiful nurses jabbing cherub-cheeked kids in the arm with a yard-long needle while their mommies, smiling and nodding like drugged out teens at a Grateful Dead concert, look on. And they were wrong!

Yeah, I should.

Maybe tomorrow.
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