I came home early today as I was under the weather. Some (my brother) may call me a hypochondriac but the reality is that I seem to be the type where once someone around me is sick, I’m sure to get it in record time. That appears to be the case now. I think that my immune system is just really bad. Granted it’s cold and flu season I am horrible at being sick. Yes, I know, no one enjoys being sick. But in my case my already annoying neediness at home becomes worse. It’s like I’m making up for not getting enough attention as a child. I assure you, I was well loved.
Yesterday everything was fine. I went to work feeling like my usual un-cheerful self. By midday I was feeling ill. My throat repeatedly filled with phlegm and my head started to ache. By the time my alarm went off this morning my body was almost in full rebellion. The warm shower this morning did help as well as the soothing cup of Caramel Creme from Starbucks but it wasn’t long before the initial dose of azithromycin (commonly called a Z-pack) seemed to be wearing off and my symptoms were returning. I sat infront of my computer monitor and frowned. Why is there never a convenient time to get sick? And why was I sick only a week after getting my controversial flu shot?
Last week’s flu shot was my second time getting one. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to think that because I have the flu shot I’m somehow super immune to getting whatever it is that people may pass along this season. However, I’d like to believe that it offers some protection. So should I be happy that what I think I may have at present isn’t the flu and that maybe the vaccine is in fact working? You must not know me very well if you think that. The whole flu shot thing is kind of interesting. For years I too said that I wasn’t interested in getting one due to the many rumors or misconceptions about the shot. When getting my first shot last year I too said, “Don’t you often get sick after you get the shot and aren’t you injecting me with the flu virus?”
In a recent article in Scientific American it includes the following points: “It’s odd that patients typically accept that other vaccines will cause a slight fever, and even take that as a sign that they are working correctly with the immune system. But when it comes to the flu shot, at any sign of sickness, many people assume the shot has given them the full-blown flu.” It continues by addressing the issue of getting sick even after getting the flu shot. “In the past, we may have oversold how well the vaccine do work. We have, as I categorize it, a good vaccine—not a great vaccine.” Lastly, “even though the strains to put in the vaccine for the northern hemisphere’s flu season have to be selected in advance, in February, so far researchers have done a pretty good job of predicting correctly which strains will circulate some eight months later.”
Another document found on the University of Florida’s website that paraphrases information from the CDC says this of whether or not someone can actually get the flu from the flu shot, “A flu shot CANNOT cause flu illness. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection.” But even with the flu shot, “some people can remain unprotected from flu despite getting the vaccine. This is more likely to occur among people that have weakened immune systems or the elderly.” I’m beginning to think that I fit into both categories.
So what does all of this mean to me? At present, absolutely nothing. I’m at home, under the weather, and hating the pain in my head, sinuses, ears and throat. Add to that my odd, persistent, must have craving for dairy items. Even though it’s said that one should stay away from dairy while taking antibiotics I don’t care. I feel horrible and the Chick-fil-A milkshake that I drank as I drove myself home made me feel a great deal better!