I just got my first Big Girl pneumonia shot. Evidently I have reached the magic age at which it is assumed I can’t afford a full-price movie ticket, and I’m likely to keel over in the presence of a microbe. I do tip over easily.
I woke up the next day feeling a little off, though. For instance, I got up at the usual time and took a dump but instead of getting dressed I went back to bed, just because. Long about mid-morning it occurred to me to take my temperature, and sure enough, it was up to 99.9. Right in the dreaded stinkhole! No, I took it orally. My shoulder was sore where I’d gotten the shot, too.
So, awesome. I have a case of miniature shoulder pneumonia. My bicep is hard at work fending off disabled microbes and frankly, I couldn’t be prouder. It’s like the Attack Of The Dead Huns! This would be a practice run. Somebody has dumped off a shipment of Dead Huns and all my personal warriors have run out to stab them with daggers just to get the feel of it so they’re not squeamish when the real thing arrives.
This is the sort of scenario you cook up when you’re running a fever and need to feel okay with it. You want to feel ready for the Huns.
So because there was laundry to hang out and dishes to put away, I spent the morning looking up the Huns. Huns are supposed to be fierce, like pneumonia. Turns out one of the first peoples the Huns attacked were the Alans. The Alans. How hard could it be to beat up the Alans? Clearly, I needed a different visualization.
So. My shoulder is full of highly excited plasma cells. The little girl plasma cells are off somewhere trying to read and the little boy plasma cells are in my shoulder with a set of G.I. Joe antibodies, lining them up and going pew pew pew at the invading dead pneumonia microbes and getting all steeped in the culture of violence so that some day when they grow up they can go to war for real, and the girl plasma cells can get some reading done. Everybody’s yelling at them to keep it down in there, but that shoulder is going to be sore until they run out of G.I. Joes.
By the next day my fever is back to normal. The plasma cells have been instructed to put away their toy soldiers and register for Selective Service, and peace has returned to the body.
What a wonderful thing is the vaccine. Most of us remember that the first one was developed by an 18th-century physician who’d heard that milkmaids didn’t come down with smallpox, possibly because they’d been exposed to cowpox, but it’s not true. For one thing, it was probably horsepox all along. Also, the Chinese had him beat by 800 years. They did it old-school. They scraped smallpox scabs off of dead people and ground them into powder and made people snort it.
I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about modern vaccines again. Roll up your sleeves and your kids’ sleeves. We’ll come up with a cure for imaginary autism later.
Many years ago my husband spent a year at a military college (then got out because bad decision ugh) and they had to have a lot of shots all at once. They were told to try an keep moving their arms to disperse the vaccines instead having them remain concentrated at the injection site. So I've tried that whenever my shots have made my arm sore and it seems to work. Too late for you, I know, for this time at least. Maybe for the future.
Your imagination certainly didn't suffer like the rest of you did!
If anything, my imagination soars when I'm having a fever. Unfortunately, on those rare occasions I write something down that I think of, it turns out to be not that bright at all, on sober reflection.
Last week I had my first Medicare physical. I enjoyed the part where the doc asked me stuff like, "Do you run with scissors?" and "Are you afraid of falling down stairs?" (Yes, so I always carry scissors when going up or down, so that in case of a stumble, I can stab the point right into the wall as I go by, stopping my fall, like an icepick in the side of Everest.)I got the pneumonia shot in one shoulder and the flu shot in the other. It's taken about a week for the soreness to go away. Later I go back for the shingles shot, if it ever becomes available. They say it's really good stuff if you can get it. Immunity is quite exhilarating, I find. I feel a bit giddy today.
Yup, I got the flu shot the same day! No problem with that arm. I got the shingles shot when I volunteered for a study to see if people in their fifties do well with it. I had to be medically certified Hormone Free; I told them I was pretty sure menopause was behind me, but when they blood-tested me they came back and said emphatically I had no remaining feminine wiles. It was a double-blind study so I didn't know until two years later that I had the real shot.
But Shingrex is a new shot (in two parts) because your shot was a slacker or because they needed more money. New shot (in short supply) is supposed to be 80-90% effective. And it hurts like a tetanus shot, but not as bad as Shingles.
Ah. Yes. I think they're going to wring a few more years out of my initial shot before they send in the Huns.
Then again, I had the shingles vaccine last year with no ill effects whatsoever.
Shingles immunization is hard to come by in a Walgreen’s for some reason. CVS never ran out of them. This, told to me by my student Pharmacist who intered at both and shot me up last week. I guess I could take my name off the Walgreen’s waiting list now, I am about 250th down the line.
You could put in for next year's shot.
I haven't asked about the pneumonia vaccine and I'm not sure if I should. With my asthma I suppose it might be a good idea. I can probably wait a few more years though. I'm only 66.
YOU DON'T WANT PNEUMONIA. Dave had it. Holy shit. I had the flu at the same time. That, there, was one lost month.
Indeed, no one should fool around with pneumonia. Back here in the east, we were trying to believe that we were forever 21 (well, maybe forever 27), until my James got it, insisted that it was just 'a bad flu', and then ended up in the hospital for about 5 days. As if that part wasn't bad enough, the recovery period goes on for weeks and weeks. So I, too, say "Holy Shit", let's all avoid it!
Right then. I'm die for a doctor visit next week, I'll ask him about it then.
Nasty little typo there, Riv! And Ed? Five days in a hospital is over the top. I know pneumonia is called "Old man's friend" but y'all ain't there yet!
Wait for the 2-part shingles vaccination – hoo-boy those hurt but not as much as shingles! Isn't getting old fun? (I have no idea why people object to vaccines of any and every type – I thought avoiding death was a human instinct.)
That might be the new shingles shot? I got the old one, ten years ago, and don't remember it being a double or painful.
Yep, it's a new one in 2 parts. I just had the other one a couple years ago and now I need the newfangled one.
Yes the new one is 2 shots, 3 to 6 months apart. We have had the old one and the new ones – the pharmacy keeps tabs on us and reminds us when something new and wonderful is available then we get it from them – for free.
The way it should be. I've got Kaiser and you can't walk in the joint without the optician telling you you're due for your colonoscopy.
I used to think I didn't need to bother with vaccines, then I read a book about the 1918 flu epidemic and learned how viruses work. I am now the first in line.
Unfortunately the pneumonia shots are for bacterial pneumonia, not viral. But yeah.
And when I say vaccines, I mean annual flu shots. My kids were absolutely vaccinated on schedule.
Because I am only an idiot when it comes to my own health.
You done yet?
Well…. maybe…for now anyway.
Yes, wait until you get the shingles vaccination—broken bone type pain for a few days, although my husband had no reaction at all. I know a couple of people who have had shingles, and apparently the pain of the shot pales by comparison to shingles itself. One friend had it in her eye. Don't want to even imagine that.
Sure do know a lot of shingles victims, including the eye kind. No thanks!
A quote from Conan comes to mind, when asked what the best thing in life was: "To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women."
Anyway, everyone should get their shots.
Ah, Should. You're a treasure.
…I didn't know Conan O'Brien was such a hard-ass. Jeeze… it's just late-night TV, dude! 😉
I put on my best dumb country boy accent (not much of a stretch) and asked the young woman administering the vaccinations if she thought it would give me the autism. Fortunately, she didn't take me seriously.
Made me laugh. And then laugh some more!
I do things like that too. Sometimes it really doesn't work out. The person doesn't laugh at all and then all of a sudden YOU'RE the dumb one.
Mainly at my kids incessant scolding, I got a flu shot today. Within 5 minutes I thought I felt feverish, nauseated, tinnitus, you name it. They called me a 'big baby' on messenger.
That had to chap your pull-ups.
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