It’s that time of year where every member of the health field takes on the persona of the overly aggressive mall sales rep, but rather than trying to oversell a fancy dropper of Aqua de Faucet, the pitch is all about a virus housed in a syringe. That’s right, its flu season.
You have your highly Pro Vaccines parents, you know the one’s I’m talking about: they’re the ones who sign up a year before waiting in line for it as if they are about to gain entrance to the fountain of youth, its usually followed up with a storm of social media post’s secretly shaming all of the mediocre parents who haven’t yet taken care of the deed. Than you have the extremely Against parents who roll their eyes at the mere sighting of a poster boasting “Have you gotten your Flu Shot yet?” You thought the “Pro-vaccine’s” had the argument locked down and seized, these parents come armed and ready, they even have statistics memorized, and not just the era relevant ones either they will take you all the way back to the 80’s. Finally, you have the slacker parent’s, much like myself. We are the in-betweener’s we’re not so much for it nor are we completely against it, we just don’t necessarily make an impromptu trip for the sole purpose of it but heck if we find ourselves at the doc’s office and they have it, shoot away.
I never felt conveyed enough by the thought of the flu to take an actual stance. I have worked in healthcare for a greater part of my life, I have even gone toe to toe with the Swine flu once before. My encounter with said flu left me thinking “really was that it”, sure I had a longer relationship with the toilet bowl than one would like, and it felt as if I had taken up the hobby of swallowing knives, but I bounced back quickly. Mind you, I was also twenty years old and let’s be honest our youthful years should just be considered as the equivalent to Cat’s nine lives theory. At this stage in the game I can’t even step on a Lego without managing to throw my back out, so how I survived the swine flu and lived to talk about it is a wonder. Yet, is the exact reason of why I was never convinced that the shot against it was completely necessary, that was until recent.
The past few years I have opted for the nasal spray option of the flu vaccine, in my opinion it’s a harmless spray, and my child isn’t taking a needle for it so no harm, no foul. As life has its funny way of allowing nothing to go as planned, the opportunity of the flu vaccine has not knocked on our door this year as of yet. Rather than making visits to our so loved family doctor for fun things such as annual physicals, and well visits, it has been nothing but rashes with unknown origins, allergic reactions, and the common cold.
When my one year old started up with the sniffling and coughing which is ever so similar to the lovely thing we like to call the common cold, I thought nothing of it besides “yay” another visit to our favorite Doctor. Until those little symptoms manifested within hours into raging fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. After hours of not being able to break her fever between medicine, lukewarm baths, cool compresses, and every other home remedy I decided to take a trip with her to the hospital. A 204 pulse rate, 93 pulse ox, and 103.5 fever is what the hospital had to work with. They were running all the right tests, working as quickly as they could. Unfortunately, my little peanut’s body had other plans and went into a full blown seizure, much more than a febrile seizure. From start to finish it lasted close to 10 minutes. After rushing her to trauma, getting the seizure to stop, lowering her pulse, and trying to maintain her temp it was discovered that my munchkin had the flu. While sitting in the trauma room with my daughter held tight in my arms as she regained consciousness from the hell she just endured, I was overwhelmed with the health warnings posted everywhere, and that the NY state commissioner of health declared the flu is now prevalent.
I left the trauma room when all was done and munchkin received the clear to go not only feeling as if I too had experienced a trauma, but that my mind was made. You will now find me with all of those other mom’s at the beginning of flu season battling for the first appointment. And yes, it took me having to experience the wrath of the flu to feel so dignified in my decision, which is why I share with you, so my experience does not have to be yours.