Flu Shot

I am afraid of needles. Not just your ordinary “oh I don’t want to be pricked” kind of afraid, but the irrational, terrifying “get that thing away from me or I will kick you and run away” kind of afraid. I can’t even be in the same room with my cats at the vet when they get shots, or I have a massive panic attack complete with shakes, sweats and tears.

As a result, I usually avoid getting shots of any kind if I can possibly manage it. I don’t get any shot that I convince myself is optional. I have, for example, never had a flu shot. I’ve even had influenza before, and that has not been enough to convince me to get the shot, in spite of how sick I was.

However, this year’s flu outbreak, and ominous indications from Asia & the Netherlands about next year’s flu have convinced me that next year I must get the flu vaccine. I think it will be increasingly important to get vaccinated next year, and over the next few years, as epidemiologists of all stripes are saying that conditions are ripe for another flu pandemic.

If I can do it, anyone can do it. If you have doubts about how bad a flu pandemic would be, do a little reading about the 1918 epidemic of Spanish flu, and remember — the flu is a virus, which means that antibiotics can’t help you if you get it. There are no wonder drugs to treat the flu — only wonder vaccines to prevent it.

Posted on January 14th, 2004 by Katxena

5 Comments a “Flu Shot”

  1. eric says:

    Sounds like you’re the perfect candidate for the slightly more expensive but much less needlely nasal inhalent vaccine.

  2. watrfae says:

    the image of you kicking and running away from a dr/nurse holding a needle is hilarious.

  3. Medley says:

    I started getting flu shots after moving here — figured that I’m much more exposed riding the Metro every day than I was in my small graduate school town.

    However, I missed it this year due to scheduling problems (I was out of town both days when my company was distributing them) and I’ve been crossing my fingers and dosing on vitamin C, zinc, and multi-vitamins much more rigorously this winter than in previous years. (So far, so good — just a mild sniffle.)

    I agree with you that increased diligence is probably the right strategy and if I can’t make the date when work does it next year, I’m going to immediately make an appt with my doctor to get one.

  4. Katxena says:

    Thanks for the tip Eric — I’m going to look into that.

    I wrote this post mostly to make myself accountable. I’ll really feel foolish next year about not getting vaccinated after writing this.

  5. Addie says:

    I hate needles too!