Monday, November 23, 2009

Have YOU scheduled YOUR H1N1 vaccination?

I didn't realize it until just now, but NO ONE, not on this board or in private, has said to me they received or scheduled their vaccination for the H1N1 flu. Not that this flu is a taboo subject, in fact, I've had more than several discussions with friends and family members. But, I know of no adult who has had theirs. Odd little side bar note.

Which leads me to the topic of this thread.

I've finally made it (without catching the flu) to the date selected for my H1N1 shot soon to be delivered courtesy of the state of Pennsylvania.

I think I've read enough about the pros and cons of this vaccination to make the decision to have it administered, and on the plus side for you, you can read about the bureaucratic process later today as I experienced it in West Chester.

Many of you are probably getting a good chuckle over me writing about a simple shot, but I'm going to share, publicly, the fact that I am tending to the fears of a little girl who sometimes reminds me she still lives in me!

Taking me to an office visit at the doctor or dentist must have been a nightmare for my parents. They learned early not to tell me when they scheduled a visit to either office. I actually feel sorry for what they must have gone through.

My parents would simply take my siblings and me directly to the office with no prior explanation as to where we were going. Once I saw either building, I would immediately start to cry. Then I would sob, wail, and on at least two occasions, I fainted.

Doctors Hunter, Marez, and Lee would probably have total recall of my behavior.

I would refuse to get out of the car. As the eldest child with 5 other siblings, I had no problem staying out of reach in the back of my Father's station wagon. I would find the farthest point away from any door and plant myself there. However, my brothers and sisters, still too young to completely comprehend where we were and what was to happen, promtly took their cue from me and started to cry, too.

The cacophany and din were awesome and I was always grateful for their participation in the delay tactics.

Despite all the theatrics, eventually my brothers and sisters were all carried or escorted into which ever office we were due to be received, until I was the last in the car.

In complete exasperation, I'm certain, my Father would patiently climb into the car and take hold of any appendage of mine he could reach. Slowly, I would be extracted, with me literally holding on to an arm rest, door handle, whatever would slow my entrance in for the dreaded visit.

Arms and legs flailing I was carried into the office, and usually the door from the waiting room into the inner sanctum was already held open by a nurse. Did I imagine those vaugely remembered stern looks from the staff? Holding my breath until I turned purple and my ability to claw at and glue myself to available door jambs did not impress the nurses at all.

More times than I can count, I escaped in the confusion of trying to administer shots to 6 crying kids and ran screaming back into the waiting room (they soon learned to lock the door after we came in). In desperation, I hid under chairs, the table, where ever I could find a cubby hole to escape that impending needle.

Often, the doctors would finally just leave the examination room and give me the shot while I was under the chair. :(

Sometimes after I was caught, I'd barf....figuring, so it goes....that'll teach 'em.

I always lost the battle.

Oh, and the horrors of the dental visits?


Just think, similar experience.

Since that time much more than needle pricks have come my way, and at one point in my life I felt I had evolved so much I even decided to donate plasma for hemophiliacs! Months and months, maybe a year passed until one day I fainted. And, then barfed....sigh. That was the end of that.

My flu shot will be no big deal.

FYI..(I did a quick meditative check on that little girl inside me. Her heart beat is a little fast but she's not hyperventillating...yet.)

I just wonder if the docs in West Chester are prepared, perhaps, to see a grown woman trying to crouch under a chair.


Ed Naratil said...

Good morning Karen - Nope I haven't received the H1N1 - I've been told old-farts like me don't need it.

Just found out that our two grandkids (2 and 5 yrs old) have a mild case of the swine flue and not to worry. 'Tamiflu' will fix them right up.

But we did manage to get our annual flu shots. They weren't easy to find. Don't know if that was the flu manufacturers problem or because the government got involved.

Karen said...

Good morning to you, Ed!

You must be so relieved your grandchildren have only a mild case of this flu. I hope they get well quickly!

My personal physician apparently had an ample supply of the annual flu shots, so we're all covered, too.

Have a good day, Ed!

Karen said...

For a state bureaucratic operation in West Chester, I'm thrilled to report that the process was seamless and F~A~S~T.

Those interested in future clinics for the H1N1 flu shots will be delighted to know the Westtown Road facility even had a seperate section for parking for clinic visitors.

In the front door, we were asked our names and directed to another table after they checked their lists confirming our appointment.

A short questionare was completed in minutes, and we were told to proceed into another room where the shot was administered promptly.

The staff was competent and very pleasant.

We were in and out in less than 10 minutes!

It was all over so quickly I never had time to let out a whimper, hide under a table, or faint!

I even got a sticker to proudly wear home! :)

Go get YOUR flu shot!

Anonymous said...

What are the side effects? How many have died from them.

Anonymous said...

I got mine at Penn State Delaware County Campus in Media last week. It was well organized and shots were given by paramedics. Delaware County does not have a formal Health County. I think they should - but they don't. Appointments were available on line and I found out about it from the TV. I was in the first bunch and did wait about 45", but I did get there early. There was a line, but it went quickly.

I had a slight allergic reaction (but I have fairly severe allergies). I was told to tzke Benedryl and it did the job, but also knocked me out for the weekend. But I think it was probably worth the price.

Marcia Eldred

Anonymous said...

What are the side effects? How many have died from them.

Died from the flu shot itself?
I had mine about a month ago. I know there are at least an easy 600 co-workers who have had theirs as well. No side effects and no one died.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about the side effects. The state statistics can be found on the State H1N1 website. It seems to affect children the most and especially teens. People are dying and even well children. Older people seem to probably have an immunity if over 65, but even those people should consider getting an immunization if there is an underlying medical problem such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, or immune deficiency. These are the people who can end up in intensive care if they get H1N1. This info is from what I have read on credible sites on line.

Marcia Eldred