And no, this is NOT a post about the “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” your baby debate, this is a post about whether or not to vaccinate my family against flu next winter. And when I say flu, I’m not talking about the common cold that so many of us refer to as flu, where we sneeze, snot & cough and feel rotten.
I’m talking about influenza. I’m talking about the kind of flu that I’ve only had about 4 times in my life, including this week. The kind of flu that saw me fight a 39 degree fever for 3 days. The kind of flu that made everything hurt, my eyes burned, I was light headed and had dizzy spells, I was weak and couldn’t get out of bed, my skin hurt and my joints pained. I’m talking about the kind of flu that saw Walter rushing Ava to the emergency room on Tuesday evening after 2 solid days of having her temperature hover between 40.1 & 40.8 degrees and NO meds having any effect on it.
Ava stopped eating and had two days & two nights of vomiting and has lost weight, today, her first “well” day in a week, I can see how her clothes are hanging off her body from how sick she’s been.
I only ever recall feeling this sick a couple of times previously, once was when I got chicken pox at age 21 & I literally thought I was dying and once just after the 1995 Rugby World Cup when all the foreigners visiting SA bought all those funny strains of flu virus into the country.
We’ve never had the flu vaccine before, to be honest, it’s been such a long time since I had proper flu, that I didn’t really see the point in having it. But after this past week, that saw Walter having to take time off work to look after Ava & I as I was too weak to even get out of bed or cook a meal, I am very seriously considering having us all vaccinated at the start of next winter. I don’t want to be this sick again. I don’t ever want to see Ava be so sick ever again. In her almost 4 years of life, I have never seen my child so ill. For two days, Walter set his alarm every 3 hours, day and night, so that he could take Ava’s temps and administer fever meds to her in a desperate attempt at breaking her fever. I’ve never seen Ava look like that, she didn’t even look like my child, her eyes were totally glossed over and she was delirious. It was very scary and we were both terrified she was going to have a seizure with such prolonged elevated temps.
Have you had the flu vaccine? Did you find it beneficial? Did you have a flu *not cold* free winter? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts? I’m very seriously considering the flu vaccine for next year, I really would like to at all costs, avoid feeling this way for another 10 years!
Image Source: The Daily Telegraph.