So, the news is we're all going to get the H1N1 flu bug this season. Well, ok, at least half of us will. And of that half, like a gazillion of us will die from it. (Aren't you glad you clicked over to read this cheery-ness and joy this morning??)
My doctor "highly recommends" two things:
1. Get a pneumonia shot.
2. Get an H1N1 shot.
His reasoning is that most people don't actually die of the flu. When they get a particularly nasty strain of the flu, they often develop a secondary infection which kills them. That secondary infection is often pneumonia.
The pneumonia shot has been around, oh, forever.
I got a pneumonia shot.
H1N1 vaccine, ON THE OTHER HAND, has been around like 10 minutes. My doctor's statement was that "we're basically experimenting on the Europeans because they are all getting it months before the US does. We'll see how they do with it."
NOW. Do NOT place me among the folks who refuse all vaccines and/or innoculations. I am personally full of needle holes where I have gotten flu shots, vaccines, tetanus, etc. And my poor kid might spring a leak from all of the shots he's gotten in his nearly 12 years on this big blue marble.
BUT. I cannot get past the fact that doctors used to think thalidomide was a good idea. And Phen-Fen. And leeches, for heaven's sake. And whatever drug-du-jour came along that everybody just had to have. I figure my odds are pretty good. If people will be standing in line for hours to get the H1N1 shot, then lots of people around me won't get it. Statistically, that cuts my odds of getting it some. AND we're healthy, in general. That greatly lessens my odds of the worst happening, even if I do get it. My plan, if I sneeze twice in a row this winter, is to check myself into the hospital and put myself on a drip of some kind while eating bon bons and generally enjoying the solitude an iron lung affords you.
There's my soap box. If all of the poor experimented-on Europeans (and those of you who are braver than I) survive the vaccine, I may get the shot next year. But I don't like being anybody's guinea pig and with my general lack of confidence in the US government these days, I'm gonna get the regular flu shot, eat 12 oranges every day, pop lots of zinc, hold my breath around people who are coughing and hope for the best.
You can smugly refuse to feel sorry for me if I get the swine flu...I give you my permission now.