Monday, October 24, 2011
Flu Shots.. dun, dun, DUUUNNN!!!
OK, so I know everyone says there are no such things as stupid questions, but this one is kind of silly.
Today I was watching Sid the Science Kid. (OK, so this show happened to be on right after Sesame Street. Joe watches Sesame Street, not me. And if you accuse me of being a horrible parent because I let my child watch TV on rare occasions so help me I will go all kinds of Chuck Norris on you.) The reason this episode jumped out to me was because the topic stressed the importance of getting a flu shot.
I see commercials and news stories all over the place for flu shots. I see raging debates regarding flu shots. Flu shots are a big deal.
I will admit that I am somewhat confused and not very well-educated on the matter.
Here are my thoughts.
I'm pretty sure the flu shot has been around for a long time, but it seems to me that just in the past five years or so there has been a big push for getting one. Last year was my first time getting a flu shot. The last time I had the flu was in college and it wasn't too terribly bad. I can't even tell you the time before that when I had the flu. I don't remember. I obviously survived. However last year during one of Joe's well-child checks the doctor strongly suggested I get a flu shot to protect Joe. He was too young at the time to even be considered to get one so the doctor said Ryan and I should get one to create a bubble of protection for Joe, so I did. I had no adverse reactions and that was that.
This year I will probably get a flu shot. If I don't get one I won't be concerned. If I do get one I won't worry that my arm will fall off. It's really no big deal for me. The thing I am slightly concerned about is getting the flu shot for Joe.
At his one year check up he got some shots. The doctor suggested waiting about a month before I come back in to get his flu shot. I am supposed to call and set up a time to go in and get it done. I am a big time procrastinator so I keep putting it off. But deep down inside I have this uncomfortable gut feeling about Joe getting the flu shot.
So my question is- what is so terrible about actually getting the flu? Yes, I know some people can die from the flu. But some people can die from catching a cold, too. I mean, it's not that common, right? It's just the flu. It's not like small pox where it wipes out multitudes of people. But like I said, I am not very educated about this topic.
But on the other hand I think,"Well, if we are blessed with modern medicine that can create a substance that can prevent one from getting the flu, then why not take advantage of that?" Getting the flu is no fun, so if you can prevent all the horrible things that come with getting the flu, then why not get the shot? Plus, if it can prevent one from dying then it it's a great thing, right?
But then I get to thinking again. What if there are some long-term effects regarding the contents of the flu shot that we won't know about for years to come? What if I gave my son the shot and he developed some complication that would be much worse than just getting the plain ol' flu?
I'm just not sure what to do. My gut goes with getting Ryan and I immunized and using common sense. (i.e. lots of hand washing, Vitamin D, not taking Joe out when he is sick or exposing him to lots of sick people, not letting him lick toilet seats, etc.) However, I might change my mind, so don't think I am the worst mother in the world if I do decide to give Joe the flu shot.
I have a feeling I am opening up a can of worms with this post. I am open to people's thoughts on the flu shot and ONLY the flu shot. If anyone whips this conversation around to other vaccines I will promptly delete those comments. I am set in my decision to vaccinate Joe and do not tolerate extreme arguments from either side. I will whip out both my Chuck Norris AND Jackie Chan if I have to!