Flu Shot Trauma

Public ‘service’ announcements are airing, encouraging or demanding we get flu shots. They say this is especially important this year, in The Time of the Covid.

That got me thinking. We are all practicing social distancing and masking, and many businesses are shut and many activities are forbidden, to stop the spread of Covid. Don’t these measures also stop the spread of the flu virus? If these measures are effective, why do I need a flu shot? And if these measures are not effective, why are they mandated by our health experts and governors?

Do It, Or Else!

When confronted by such questions, authorities usually accuse the person asking of being a ‘science denier’. Well, I certainly do not want anyone to think that of me. So I went in to get a flu shot last week. I went to my local Raley’s, as I have for the last decade or so. The process did not go well.

I arrived, masked up and social distanced, and was in line behind a single other person. Unfortunately there was a language barrier and an insurance issue, so I had quite a wait. But I finally got to the clerk. He said I had to fill out a form, but he couldn’t find it. He consulted with the pharmacist and eventually they handed me some paperwork. I filled it out and sat down to wait.

And wait…and wait. Despite having that single person in front of me, by the time her issue was resolved and my paperwork found, a long line had formed. And for some reason, I had to wait until everyone else was served. That did not seem fair, but I don’t complain to people who are about to stick sharp needles into my arm, so I kept quiet and waited.

One hour after I arrived, and 50 minutes after I completed the form, they were ready for me. The shot was nearly painless, but as the pharmacist withdrew the needle I felt a sharp prick, followed by a gasp and the pharmacist’s exclaiming, “You’re a bleeder!” I looked at my arm and there was a flow of blood heading toward my elbow, not a river but not a trickle either.

One Week Later

I have had countless blood draws and flu shots and vaccinations in my 64 years of dealing with health care professionals, and this is the first time I have been accused of having non-coagulating blood.

Between the long wait and the compress she had to put on to try to stop the flow, by the time I left I was steaming. The next day my arm was quite sore and now, almost a week later I’m sporting a significant hematoma.

So after a really irritating episode, I have now done my duty and helped stop the spread of everything that is spreading. Although I remember the last time I got the flu, many years ago. My fever was so high Diane thought I was burning up. I got a flu shot that year, specifically because Stoker asked me to do so. And what Stoker wants…

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