Each and every fall I find myself pondering the same dilemma. Should we get flu shots? Dennis is easy, there is no way he will ever subject himself to any kind of shot on purpose. Seriously, I've never seen a grown man with such a little girl attitude about needles. He has to close his eyes and look away, and when he has dental work he has to get prescribed Valium. You should have seen him when we got our blood tests to get married. I almost thought he was going to call the whole marriage off just to avoid it. Sometimes I just want to hit him and yell "toughen up you wuss!" but I don't (well, OK, I have). But the rest of us, should we get flu shots? The problem is that the kids never have. They didn't get them when they were babies because, well I don't know why but they never did. I think it has something to do with the timing that they have their well-child visits in the year. Jack is in April so way too early to be thinking about the flu shot and they are not available then, and Abbey is at the very end of November, really to late to worry about getting one and probably all gone by then. So I would have had to make separate appointments just for this. And why I never did? Hmmmm, not too sure. Another factor is that the first year kids get one they have to have 2, like 6 weeks apart. So now it wouldn't just be 1 shot I was subjecting them to, but 2. Of course, now they are older and know about shots and can scream and fight and kick and try to run away. Two years ago I actually had appointments for the kids but Jack had gotten himself into such a state about getting the shot that at the last minute I just cancelled. I could have still taken Abbey but that would have seemed wrong, like I loved only her enough to get the shot. That didn't seem right. That same year my mother-in-law "treated" me to a flu shot at Walmart which might have been my first flu shot ever in my whole life, and three days later I came down with some illness that had me flat on my back sicker than I've ever been for a week. I know, I know, it was just a coincidence I'm sure and had nothing to do with the shot, but still. I'm apprehensive. Maybe it was the location? Perhaps you shouldn't be getting a shot 6 feet away from where you can pick up your dog food?
I guess its not really a dilemma. We haven't gotten flu shots in the past and won't this year, but I will continue to have this nagging thought of "should I be doing this?" The American Academy of Pediatrics sure as hell thinks I should, but lets be honest, they think I should be doing a lot of stuff I'm probably not. About December when people start getting sick and my in-laws who watch CNN constantly start hearing about all these kids that have DIED from the flu and start questioning me just like they do every year "Did you get flu shots for the kids? You did, right? Because they could die so I hope you did" and I have to say that no, yet again I slacked off in the fall and didn't get them so now we'll just cross our fingers and hope we don't get too sick.
Maybe its because I was never raised getting a flu shot every year. My mother (who works in a PRESCHOOL) still does not get a flu shot. (At least I don't think she does but maybe she's been getting one for years and not telling me, wouldn't that be a kicker). My father always DOES but he's a little bit of a hypocondriach anyway. My 86 year old grandmother who SHOULD won't because she's sick of getting shots and lets face it, you don't argue with an 86 year old. My brother barely goes to the doctor for regular visits so I don't see him jumping on this one. So we won't and maybe we will get the flu, but maybe we won't. Probably in 2 months I will have another post entitled "Flu Shmoo" in which I am typing in ALL CAPS about how we are all sick and why oh why didn't I get us those damn flu shots.
So I have a little poll for you all. Do you readers out there get flu shots? What are your thoughts? Could it be construed as child abuse that I don't?