Thursday, December 3, 2009

H1N1 adventures

I have never been a huge fan of flu shots but then after chemo, I was told I should get them. I have also pondered the H1N1 option. I work part time in a high school (a/k/a germ factory) and I work part time in another office. My husband works in a third office. So germs galore. I got a seasonal flu shot a few weeks ago at the hospital's clinic. I have also heard the stories of people waiting in line for hours for H1N1 shots. I can't stand in line for hours (without whimpering in pain) so I have been patient and waiting until they are more available and no big lines and perhaps beg from one of my doctors when I see them.

From what I have heard of H1N1 (couldn't they pick an easier name? Shift, h, release shift, 1, shift, n, release shift, 1 is a PITA to type. Swine sounds so slimy too) flu it includes all kinds of nastiness - fever, aches, nausea, vomiting, all the unenjoyable things in life that I can really live without. I do want to avoid it and with my medical history blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I should get the shot.

Yesterday I got to work about 115 pm at the high school. A co-worker went down the hall to run an errand and came back to report that they had set up an H1N1 clinic and didn't I want to get a shot? No line so yes indeedy I wanted one. I went down and the two somewhat uninformed ladies at the desk told me yes I was eligible if I wanted one and worked at the school. Just fill out the form and go down the hall. I filled out the form (no allergies to eggs, had flu shots before, etc) and went down the hall.

The next table of two ladies told me students only so I wasn't eligible but if I had health issues perhaps the nurse could clarify when I could expect to be able to get a shot. The nurse said no, not today, students only but maybe the director of health could tell me when the shots would be available. I tore up my form as I walked with the nurse to see the director of health and threw it in the trash. He said 'oh, they just opened it up to everyone who wants it'. So I filled out another form and went back down to see the second set of ladies again who said no again and we went through the whole thing again but the health director came over and clarified (I love bureaucracy when they communicate well).

Finally, I get my shot and was told I have to sit in the back of the room for 5-10 minutes. Apparently this is the case to make sure no one gets dizzy and passes out. I will confess that in sitting there for 5 minutes I felt a tiny bit of dizziness that went away so I left and went back to work at five of 2. By that time, there were several employees getting their flu shots.

Later, the janitor reported to me that shortly after 2 pm the line was approximately 45 minutes long. As I left at 530 pm, there were hundreds of people in line. Lucky me sneaked in at the beginning. And so far I feel fine, no reaction, no more dizziness so today is just another day - go to the gym (because of downpours), work late, and then home.

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