Get your damn Flu shot - A horror story

I was 34 when they were taken out. Mainly I needed my adenoids out, because I had perpetually stopped up ears, the adenoids were so swollen, that even just a tiny bit of an allergy or infection would cause them to completely block off my Eustachian tubes.

Now, I had also had a doctor recommend a tonsillectomy years earlier, but I didn’t have insurance. My tonsils looked terrible. One was sort of blown out, and kind of hung down, and the other was about 1.5 times the size it should be, and produced tonsilliths like crazy. I used to get really bad colds and tonsillitis several times a year. The big tonsil would get pus on it, and the small one would bleed. I had terrible breath whenever I got sick, and I didn’t normally have halitosis (DH confirms this). These were really bad colds where I’d run fevers and get a lingering bronchitis afterwards. But I’d get several a year, so while one of them could have been a flu, they all doubtfully were.

My point was just that someone who is plagued by bad colds and sinus infections may not notice a flu in the mix if the flu happens to be mild that year. I really could get some nasty stuff. Don’t get me started on the sinus infections. I still get those, but not as often. I’m sure having raw tonsils didn’t help. Mine weren’t fighting infection like they were supposed to, and they would cause me to mouth-breathe at night, which makes a person wide-open for infections.

So it was probably a combination of the two. I just hope I didn’t give the flu to anyone vulnerable. I gave a cold to my elderly grandmother once, because I didn’t know I was sick yet when I went to visit, and it took her three weeks to shake it. I felt terrible.

ETA: I still have never had a flu; I don’t even get fatigue or anything from the shot, so I may have a little natural immunity. My mother got a terrible flu when I was three-- it caused her to have a 5th month miscarriage-- and I didn’t catch it, and back then, children weren’t vaccinated for the flu.

Whoa… I completely missed the anaphylaxis. Crap. By all means, no, DON’T get a flu shot. I am so fucking sorry, but please, don’t get a flu shot. I just broke my own cardinal rule there. I didn’t listen properly. I’m a nurse and I hate when doctors do that.

But me being me, I got to ask, are you allergic to eggs or poultry?

As a general rule, I’m against taking tonsils out. But those things, and your adenoids, were doing you no good. The tonsils are designed to be a trap for bacteria. Not an ambush type trap, but a trap meant to catch a few and examine them to fight them better later. But if that trap starts becoming their home, well… fuck. Those tonsils have to come out.

And you are the reason I get my flu shot every year. (Well, you and that co-worker with little kids, who ends up bringing every virus going around into work.)

I see you already apologized, so I’ll try to be civil, but that attitude, that the patient is clueless, ignorant, and untrustworthy, and the medical professional knows everything is probably responsible for more non-compliance that actual ignorance on the part of the patient.

People don’t trust the medical industry as it is; let’s not work harder at driving them away.

The only difference in my family was that the widow could speak English, but she was blind as a bat, so call it even. Yeah, the flu kills.

It’s a pitfall all of us need to be wary of. There’s a famous line in the TV show “House” where Dr House says, “Patients lie”. He’s right. They do.

Except when they don’t.

It can be a real bitch sorting out the truth some times, and unfortunately, we’re human.

The wife a couple of days ago got the latest flu-shot version as part of her immunization package for her US Immigrant Visa application. The CDC is strict about all immigrants having the latest version. I can’t remember ever having had a flu shot myself though.

One horror story doesn’t persuade me to do anything.

Roald Dahl, Who Lost His Daughter to Measles, Writes a Heartbreaking Letter about Vaccinations

Until the next horror story . . . yours.

This year, in addition to a flu shot, it was time for my pneumonia shot. That one hurt for days.

When I was a kid back in the '50s, I don’t remember how many times I had the flu, often bringing down the whole family. No flu shots back then. I don’t ever want to go through that again.

But it should. There are no good numbers on Flu related mortality because it gets classified as something else. Think about my OP for a second. She’s alive, but if she had died, the cause of death would have been listed as “MI”. Myocardial Infarction. She would have been listed as a heart attack death. It’s an odd thing. The flu kills more people than most realize because the listed death is what failed - rather than the first domino that started the series of events that caused the thing to fail.

Influenza is a killer hiding in plain sight.

I got my flu shots at Target’s pharmacy for the last couple years. They offer a bunch of different versions - standard, extra-strain, nasal mist, and one option for people with allergies. I just get the standard, usually. I don’t have allergies and I’ve never bothered to inquire about the allergy version. I’m not sure what it does, exactly.

So I don’t know. Maybe this new allergy version might work for you? It might be worth asking your doctor about, anyway.

What will?

You just made the same mistake I made earlier. As a rule, I want every everybody to have the flu shot. But… there are very valid exceptions to that rule. A true allergy to the shot is definitely one. Now, a few sniffles afterward I’ll probably scoff at, because well, training the immune system etc, etc. But hives and shortness of breath are not normal.

So Broomstick should in no way get a flu shot. She doesn’t sound like an antivaxer to me, or even something as simple as someone too lazy to take it. She sounds like somebody who is probably truly allergic to it.

I have enough to deal with in my ICU. I don’t want to have to deal with a woman with anaphylactic shock over something like this.

A verifiable and consistent pattern reflecting a high enough statistical risk to offset the cost. Same as any of the other hundreds of diseases and casualties that I am hypothetically exposed to. I refuse to live in fear of every threat I’m warned about, real or imagined, without making my own evaluation of the risk.

What cost, exactly?

Actually, the mistake you’ve made again is not reading peoples’ posts carefully. I’m aware that Broomstick talked about being allergic and having an anaphylactic reaction.

My point was that the place where I get my shot apparently sells a version that is made for people who are allergic. I’m not allergic, and don’t know anything about the allergy-free version of the flu shot. I’ve just seen the ads for it.

I didn’t tell Broomstick to go get that shot or any other shot. I told her that it might be worth asking her doctor about this allergy-free version. I stand by that. What the hell - the flu shot for people who are allergic to flu shots might not be right for her, but talking to her doctor is not going to send her to the ICU.

Holy shit. You’re talking about FluBlok, aren’t you? Yes! yes yes yes!


I admit, I forgot about that thing. However, actually getting it, in practical terms is probably problematic. Your local Wallgreens is not going to carry it, and even your local hospital might not have it either. There’s the rub.

I cheat and do medical guinea piggery for cash at a place over in Rhodes Island called Omega … great people [nonpaid plug for anybody near enough to get involved with them] and every fall I do whatever flu vaccination they are testing [sometimes it is the variety, sometimes it is how it is delivered, ranging over the years as regular injection, to some funky different style injection, to airgun though usually it is in the blend of bugs vaccinated against] though the one year I oopsed and missed out on getting paid to get vaccinated I hit up the local doc in a box and got vaccinated. I have picked up a case of the flu twice, I figured either I got the placebo or the bug blend wasn’t the right one. I do know that the effects were drastically less than the one time I got hospitalized when the flu rolled into pneumonia back when I was in college - I was sidelined for almost 2 months of feeling like utter shite. Been guinea pigging for almost 11 years, my roomie got us into doing it, she found an advertisement somewhere that got us started.

I’m sorry, but when I look at that site I’m half expecting it to try to sell me herbal viagra. In case anybody doesn’t want to click on it, this is what it says (capitilazation included):

Stop Smoking! A New Year …A New You!

Do you or your child SUFFER from UNSIGHTLY Cold Sores?

Living with unsightly age spots on your scalp, face, or extremities?
I also find it a bit hilarious that if you navigate to “View Our Track Record” you see a list of studies. But they’re all dead links.

Wait, I’m sorry, I just realized that they’re not dead links. What they do is give you a phone number to call “to learn more about our past study experience”. Somehow I find that even funnier.