I’m not a good PWD, because when I’m told to get a flu shot, I do whatever it takes to skirt the issue.
“I already don’t feel well.”
“I don’t like needles.”
“I think flu shots give you the flu?”
“They never help me avoid getting sick.”
“Your mom should get a flu shot.”
“No one likes flu shots and they smell.”
But a few weeks ago, I was at Joslin and they were prepping me for the worst that winter has to offer, namely the Regular Flu and then the ever-looming Swine Flu. I have to be honest – even though I have a lot of faith in my medical doctors and I believe firmly in their fine training (especially at Joslin), I always second-guess these vaccines.
But this year, with my health under careful watch by the Joslin Clinic and my eye on the prize of good control and good health, I let them coerce me.
“Do I have to get this shot?”
The nurse wrinkled her nose. “Yes. But I can’t force you. But yes.”
“You mean you can’t make me get it but you can guilt the hell out of me until I get it, citing all kinds of studies and risk groups and the benefits of vaccination?”
“Yeah, that’s about the bulk of it.”
So I rolled my eyes and then my sleeve, letting her inject the flu shot into my shoulder.
“Next time you’re here, you’ll want to get the swine flu vaccine, okay?”
“Seriously? Isn’t it the first round of that?”
“Yes, but people with diabetes are on the high risk list, so it’s going to be the same recommendation from your doctor as this one.”
My response: “Grumble, grumble.”
Last year, I skipped my flu shot because I felt a little under the weather that day and they advised me to wait. And I didn’t go out of my way to follow-up. The two years prior, I ended up in the line at work on “flu shot day” and received the vaccine, but reluctantly. I don’t like the idea of injecting myself with a dormant virus in efforts to make antibodies. (If that’s how it really works … don’t quote me on that. I’m sort of making this up as I go along. See also: not a doctor.) I don’t like going out of my way to expose myself to different illnesses. It just seems counter-intuative.
Am I the only diabetic who is reluctant to get their flu shot?