flu shot season is here, rejoice.

Medicine is my god.

I love all medicines. I will take any medicine that is given to me and I will follow the instructions and maybe I’ll take like a LITTLE BIT more if my symptoms are really bad because I’m also a doctor so I feel okay prescribing myself a little extra medicine. JK I’m not a doctor but I should be. My point is I will never refuse a medicine. I feel fully confident that it will heal me and any side effects it may cause will never be worse than the actual ailment.

I have a very intense aversion to people that are like, “look at me, I’m so tough but also holistic and I don’t need medicine to feel better I just need to take deep breaths and drink water and look at unicorns to cure this cold.” It’s like, get over yourself. Just like with anything else you can do what you want with your body and I will allow it but I will NOT stand by silently while you act smug AF about not taking Advil. I’m sorry. You don’t get a trophy. Bye. Still drink the water though. Hydration nation.

Have you heard of Vioxx? You probably haven’t. This was a miracle drug. It was a pain killer but it was pre doctors throwing opiates at you for everything so I’m not even sure how it even worked and I guess I’ll google it right now but it was prescribed to me in high school because I would get The Worst Cramps of All Time (TM) (these cramps were MENSTRUAL, gentlemen) and it was the only thing that would help out of all the things. I used to miss like, full days of school (I still had to go to cheerleading practice though, holler if ya hear me) because I was in a great deal of pain. I would pace around my room and just scream. The more I live life the more I understand how in olden times before modern medicines women were throwing themselves off cliffs into the sea all the time. There was literally nothing that could help them feel better besides the deep dark deathly depths of the sea and that is frightening to imagine.

Anyway they cancelled Vioxx because it gave people heart attacks or some shit and I was like well it never gave ME a heart attack so what’s the problem here? And this was before the golden age of finding shit you need on the internet and maybe that was a good thing because I would have found that Vioxx and taken that Vioxx until my heart failed because it was just too good.

Anyway again, my mind started on this path because I went to get a flu shot today. Woo! Flu shot! Oh you don’t get a flu shot? Well that’s okay that’s your decish, let’s talk about this other thing then- oh, oh okay you’re going to ELABORATE ON WHY YOU DON’T get a flu shot because it’s some GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY and it’s also going to GIVE YOU THE FULL ON FLU and like WHY ARE ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES MAKING IT FREE, SOMETHING MUST BE UP?! PANIC!

Okay. Everyone calm down. As usual I can only speak from personal experience and I have done zero peer reviewed studies about this but I think the flu shot is fine. It’s just fine. I’ve been getting them for 10 years. Because 11 years ago in the winter I got the flu and I was delirious and half dead for at least a week and I didn’t even know what day it was and I built a blanket fort in my living room in some kind of fevered hallucinogenic state and I don’t even REMEMBER DOING THAT and my dad found me there. I thought I was going to die. I have never been so close to death. I cannot handle the flu again. I CANNOT RISK IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

In the New York metro area everyone is constantly coughing on you, sneezing on you, BREATHING on you, and doing disgusting bullshit like spitting on the ground. We need to defend ourselves.

I started getting flu shots when I worked at MTV and they were like $5 and you KNOW none of us freelance folks had health insurance so THAT line was out the door of the conference room and down the hall, and now I get them at Duane Reade because they are free with my insurance. And free is beautiful. If I haven’t mentioned that already.

Duane Reade and its big sister Walgreens and CVS and RiteAid have all been repping the flu shot HARD since the end of August. Is the end of August too soon? It might be but I don’t know. When I asked they said “no” so I’m gonna go with that.

NOW MEANS RIGHT NOW!

So this morning I went and everyone was friendly and I filled out a form and it moved along quickly AND IT WAS FREE SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

I also mentioned to the shot giver that my doctor keeps telling me to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and I keep meaning to. The last time I told a shot giver at Duane Reade I wanted a Hepatitis A shot she said “you don’t need a Hep A shot unless you’re having sex with Europeans” and I was like BITCH YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE. But this young male shot giver was much kinder and asked if I was traveling and was that why I was getting it now? To which I replied, “no I’m getting this now because I want to write about it in my blog today!” Because I thought he was talking about the flu shot. So after he shot me up I awkwardly found my way out while sweating in shame.

Private health room? SEXY.

But now I am FULLY vaccinated for whatever flu they have estimated to be the main flu this year. And that’s a good feeling. I’m a flu fighter y’all.

Fighting the good fight.

I haven’t gotten the flu for 10 years. 10 full years of a flu free lifestyle. Sure I’ve gotten colds, I’ve gotten things where I barfed, maybe had some “flu like symptoms” but none of them were the straight up DEATH I experienced in 2009. If this living death can be avoided why not avoid it?

Of course my arm is sore. That’s what happens when you get shots. It’s a thing. Deal with it. Have any of you gotten Gardasil, the “HPV shot” the shot that protects against ACTUAL LITERAL CANCER. THIS IS A SHOT THAT PREVENTS STRAIGHT UP CANCER YOU BETTER BE EXCITED. Have some RESPECT in Gardasil’s presence, dammit! My point is that particular shot hurt REAL BAD and it was a series of 3. But I RAN to Hurtado Health Center for each of the 3 rounds of this shot and asked no questions because it PREVENTS CANCER. I felt that receiving this beautiful medicine ordained by science into my body was an honor and a privilege. Maybe I should have asked questions, you should always ask questions, but luckily this time it worked out.

This whole anti vaccine movement thing is super terrifying to me. I can see how, from their side, a comparison could be made to something like abortion, their bodies their choice, right? Or like, their kids’ bodies but their choice until the kids are old enough to make a choice. Which seems like a good argument in theory (you almost got me with that one!) but vaccines work so well and so many diseases have (had?) been eradicated because of a little something called herd immunity. The majority of us need to get vaccinated for this scientific concept to work and if more and more people are starting to cop out it’s eventually going to STOP WORKING. I know a big argument against me is like “you don’t have kids so you don’t know” but I do have kids that are related to me that I care a lot about and I worry about them when they’re sick and I’m relieved their parents aren’t anti vaxxers is all I’m saying. That shit is ridiculous.

In conclusion, stay healthy in the best ways you know how. I think that’s fine. Stay happy too.

Do you get a flu shot? Why do you think they’re important? When do you usually get it? When is too late? When is too early? If you don’t get one I don’t want to hear about it. That’s not what this is about.

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