28 October 2012

Humanity Restored?

Bastard! One year I'll learn not to put anything in my diary for at least two days after I have my 'flu jab. Yep it always gets me, usually for only 24 hours.

This year it hit me hard. GOK why it should.

I had the injection about 9.30 on Friday morning. By 9.30 that evening I was huddled under the duvet feeling like death — the full 'flu symptoms: fever, aching bones, crashing headache, don't like bright lights, unable to stay awake but sleeping fitfully and just so depressed.

Saturday's plans had to be abandoned. But heroically Noreen managed to mop up the couple of bits we couldn't entirely avoid. Meanwhile I slept the day away. And although I felt rather better by the evening I then couldn't sleep last night. That's pretty normal for me when I'm ill: sleep well all day and badly at night.

Humanity is present again today, but only just. I'm still weary and aching; still depressed. Still not functioning properly in the brain department. (Yeah! OK!)

Hopefully normal service will be fully restored tomorrow; there's too much to do for it not to be.

It's true what they say about 'flu, even the after-effects of the injection: it hits you fast and hard, and floors you. If the symptoms come on gradually and you can still function at all, then what you have isn't 'flu. If you get hit by a train and can't function even if you need to, it is 'flu.

Yes, I usually get some reaction to the injection. I never expect it! But it isn't usually as bad as this. The only previous year I remember it as bad as this was two years ago when the inoculation contained swine 'flu (or was it bird 'flu?) vaccine. That knocked me out for a week! Clearly my body hadn't seen that before.

What's interesting though is that not everyone reacts the same. On Friday morning in the supermarket we met a couple who also go to our doctors and who had their jabs several weeks ago: they both said they had had no after-effects at all; not even a sore arm. And my mother says she never gets any after-effects. But I do, and I know several others who do.

Lesson: In future keep at least a couple of days clear after the 'flu jab, and be prepared to be hit hard. I did neither this year and have only myself to blame. Even Noreen tried to warn me! But did I listen?

But the after-effects of the inoculation, however horrid, are way better than actually having 'flu properly. One really doesn't need that, especially if you're at all immune-compromised (elderly or with a long term condition like diabetes, respiratory problems, etc.) or a carer because 'flu can really knock you out, possibly even terminally.

So if you're offered a 'flu shot by your doctor, I'd say take it. Yes, it may make you feel rough for a day or so, but that's better than the 1-2 weeks real 'flu will last.

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