I just got some FluMist squirted up my nose today, so excuse the odd faces I make as I struggle not to sneeze.
The flu is a serious thing in our household. It could be lethal for Max. As a result we have all been getting vaccinated against the flu for the past three years. Before Max’s diagnosis of CF I had a rather indifferent attitude towards the flu.
I don’t recall ever getting the flu shot before I moved to Wisconsin. The only reason I got the flu shot was that I was paid to do so. It was a very sweet deal. At some point in the summer paid volunteers were needed to test the new vaccine. A bunch of us from the lab would go in, fill out the paperwork, get a shot and then come back two weeks later for a blood draw to have our titers checked. It usually worked out to be five bucks for each visit, so you would end up being paid a grand total of $10. The nifty part was in addition to getting the shot you would also get to know how well your immune system responded to the shot from the results of the titer.
After we moved away I stopped getting an annual flu shot. I was spoiled by getting paid and it felt wrong for me to pay someone to give me the shot. All this changed in 2003. Now it is my yearly obsession to get my family immunized. 2003 was not a big deal. Larry got his a work, I got it at a supermarket flu shot clinic and the kids were done by our pediatrician. The only bad part was that since it was the first time for the kids they had to have two shots. At least in future years they would only have to have one.
Then there was 2004, as y’all remember it was a disaster. One of the manufacturers had a major problem and as a result there were shortages. Before it all hit the fan I had scheduled an appointment for the boys through their pediatrician. Max and Rebecca would get theirs at their 3 year check up in October. Unfortunately the pediatrician did not get theirs in time for Max and Rebecca and their shot clinics were already overbooked. If fact there was no guaranteeing that these who had scheduled would get any at all. I tried to get one through the CF clinic for Max, but I was initially rebuffed. As I obsessed over what to do, I remembered that there was FluMist. It was available for ages 5 through 49, I could at least get Larry, myself, Jake and Nate inoculated. All I had to do was get a prescription for Jake and Nate. Even if I couldn’t get Max done I could get all the people in our family who were most likely to bring it home. Our pediatrician was game, but wanted me to clear it with the CF clinic. As I dutifully called the CF clinic I was informed that they now had the flu shot and I could bring Max in if I wanted. I practically tossed Max into the car and flew up to Richmond. I inquired if they could do Rebecca too, but their stocks were only for CF patients. At this point I had everybody in our family covered except for Rebecca. Admittedly she was not a likely source for Max, but it would be nice to have her done as well. A few weeks later the pediatrician’s office called about Jake and Nate’s appointment. They now had the vaccine, but they wanted to limit to only those who truly needed it. Ah-ha! I now had an ace in the hole for Rebecca. I could turn the two shots into just one for Rebecca. She easily fell into the category of those needing it and I had two reserved. It all worked out and in the end we were all covered.
This year it is more of a distribution problem. I booked all four children this for a shot clinic in early December. In the meantime the CF clinic got its act together and actually offered to inoculate Max at his last CF appointment. I jumped on it and got Max squared away. It is much easier for me to wrangle three kids at a shot clinic than to deal with all four. Then, while discussing the whole flu shot thing with Larry, Jake and Nate informed us that they would rather have FluMist than a shot. OK, FluMist it is. I understand how much more appealing a squirt is over a shot and I think it is an overall better option than the shot. So I called the pediatrician’s office for a prescription for the boys. It turns out that this year they are offering FluMist. We could come in and skip the whole shot clinic thing. Woo-Hoo! Three kids are done. Larry got his at work so it’s just the female portion of the family left. All throughout this I have been trying to go to a flu clinic, but I was either prevented by other stuff or it got cancelled. Finally I pulled up my socks and got all misty this morning. Once again little Miss Rebecca will be the last one done. I just wish it didn’t take so much effort.