The last time I had the flu was in 11th grade, many many moons ago. I’m not even sure Nighthawk and I were dating yet. I was sick for at least three days and had to get a shot in the rump to kill the nausea. (This convinced me that you know you’re truly sick when getting a shot in the rump sounds like a good plan.)
I haven’t had the flu since. I also haven’t had the flu shot. Ever. Partially because there’s been shortages every year that I thought about it, and I wouldn’t have gotten it anyway, and partially because I figured I didn’t need a shot for something I never get.
Nighthawk gets the shot every year, regardless of shortages, because he’s in that high-risk category that guarantees it. Technically, that means I need to get one every year, because we kiss and stuff, and if I get I he could get it too, regardless of his shot. So this year when they started offering them at work, I volunteered to get one, and then spent three weeks trying to weasel out of it.
Yesterday, I got the flu shot over lunch, and felt fine. A few friends tried to convince me that I’d be sick later, because it’s the flu shot, and I laughed at them. Why would anyone sane take a medicine that would make them sick to prevent getting sick? It was all in their heads, I said.
This morning, I woke up feeling like I’d been repeatedly run over by a locomotive. It’s in my head now too, as well as all my joints, my throat, and my chest. I went right back to bed and slept until after 11, at which point I crawled out of bed to find out why the dog wanted to tear the door off the hinges. (Answer: mailman.)
As I got a shower, I continued to be quite pissed at this whole turn of events. Why did I take a shot for a disease I never get? Obviously, my immune system’s a finely-tuned machine of flu-destruction, or I’d’ve caught it from someone by now.
Then, apparently, the logical part of my brain finally woke up. “Dumbass, if your immune system was such a flu-killing machine, you wouldn’t be reacting to the shot, because your antibodies would’ve wiped it out by now. Imagine if you hadn’t gotten it and then you got the flu.”
I humbly yield to my husband’s better judgement – getting the flu shot is definitely worth it. I don’t want to imagine what I’d be feeling like right now if this was the true full-blown flu. Next year, though, I’m getting it on a Friday, so I don’t have to sacrifice the last of my unscheduled vacation to the immunization gods.