It was a late day in September, (but early in the 2017-18 flu season) that I made the decision to go get a flu shot. I got it early for the reason that there had been reports of a variant of the swine flu called H2N3 that was quite severe in parts of the southern hemisphere and the thinking was that it was likely to move north with the coming of winter…
So, off to the local Health Department I went where I received the high dose quadrivalent shot that is recommend for us older folks. That was on a Friday and lo and behold, by Sunday morning I awoke with a slightly sore throat. That throat got progressively worse during the day, such that by the time I went to bed, I knew I was in for a tough night. Just the act of swallowing was a real chore. Monday morning dawned and found me the victim of a sleepless night and not in the best of moods. My symptoms now included the aforementioned sore throat, extreme fatigue, painful joints, a cough, runny nose and eyes that hurt whenever I blinked! Swell, I thought. Perhaps it was some kind of reaction to that damn shot….
Monday’s misery stretched into Tuesday and then Wednesday with little let up of symptoms. It was only on the morning of the fifth day that I began to feel a return normal. Quite an ordeal for someone who had not had a cold for much of the past decade! And now, as I’m posting this, my train of thought went something like this.
Possibility one; perhaps the virus in that shot wasn’t properly deactivated… not likely. Possibility two; Since I’d gone to a public health department where people go when they’re sick, maybe the flu was hanging out in the air there too. Finally, possibility three was that the introduction of the flu vaccine temporarily lowered my immune system (which was busy fighting the recently introduced dead flu viruses), and which left me open to catch what ever happened to be circulating in the area!
It was the third possibility that I think was the most likely, and so next year when I trot off to get my shot, I plan to make sure to have enough supplies stored at my place to allow me to not inter react with crowds in public places like grocery stores, banks and bar for a few days while my immune system charges back to normal… Does that sound like a good plan, or am I just being paranoid?