Have you had your flu shot?

Cynthia Clark, Editor

This is a common question by any medical professional during any type of check-in procedure. If you go to your local pharmacy, there are signs for flu shots all over. I didn’t get one. I honestly didn’t think it was going to make a difference. I haven’t had a flu shot since I retired from the Navy in 2014. This year, it was a big deal and it made a difference.

I tested positive for the A strain on Sunday, Feb. 17. For the next two weeks I was miserable. Even with the oseltamivir, or Tamiflu, the most common flu remedy on the market, I was miserable. I lost 10 pounds because all I wanted to eat was watermelon and apple slices. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t even look at a screen because my head felt like it was on fire.

My body was not the only thing suffering. Since I couldn’t look at a screen, I couldn’t do schoolwork.  I could barely even pick up my phone to message my professors I was going to be out of class. I missed exams. I missed production night for the newspaper. My grades took a huge hit; I’m not going to go into detail about how bad.

I know people don’t get the flu shot because it makes them “sick.” Trust me, a few sniffles are nothing compared to the headache, body aches, stomach issues, etc., associated with influenza.

Others will say, “oh I got the flu shot and I still got the flu.” One of my professor’s children was diagnosed with strand A as well. However, they received the flu shot, and were back to themselves in less than two days. I was down for almost three weeks. The flu shot makes a difference, and you can bet I’m not going to skip it next year.

Today most of the world is shut down because of the coronavirus. Everyone is thinking about this and wondering about vaccines and testing for the new virus. Just remember the flu is still here, it still puts your life on hold for a couple weeks, and you can die. Flu vaccines are easy to get. Trust me, and get yours. I wish I did.