Friday, March 11, 2016

Getting My Shingles Shot


Years ago, my mother got Shingles, and she suffered greatly.

I remember it vividly; it was the only time my dear, sweet mother complained about her health or anything else for that matter. 


As I've aged, I've thought often about Shingles and worried about getting the painful rash, as well. When I found out a vaccine for Shingles was available, I couldn't wait to get it.

On the appointed day, I showed up at Kelsey-Seybold to get the shot. My son, Matt, drove me over and promised to hang out in the waiting room while I connected with the nurse with the loaded syringe. 

I had asked Matt to tag along - just in case I had a negative reaction to the vaccine. I worried, because that is what I do, about having a major allergy attack, breaking out in hives, not being able to breathe, dying of a heart attack! 

Matt was nice about taking me, but he did express an opinion.

He said, "I am happy to take you, Mom, if it makes you feel better, but I really don't think it's necessary. You'll be in a major medical facility, with a nurse and doctors nearby. If anything goes wrong, you'll be with people who can help you - much better than I can."

Still, I wanted him to be there.

Eventually, the nurse and I finally meet. She pulls out a needle (one much smaller than expected) and, does the deed. She was so good at the task; I really didn't feel anything. Not the prick of the skin, not the sting of the vaccine.

"Wow," I said. "That was easy!"

But, before I could rejoice in that and rejoin Matt in the waiting room, the nurse stopped me.

"Here," she said, handing me a white sheet of paper. "This is an instruction sheet - in case you have a negative reaction to the shot. Take this with you and look it over. Then, sit in the waiting room for the next 20 minutes - until you're sure you are going to be OK."

Okay, so much for me worrying for nothing!

Walking back towards Matt, I handed him the instruction sheet and asked him to read it for the both of us.

First, he reads the symptoms of a bad reaction. They pretty much reflected my fears. Then, as he gets to the "steps to take if a reaction occurs," he begins to shake his head.

"What are you doing that for, Matt," I asked.

"Look," he replied, "It tells you right here: If you experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately."

Then, with a smile, he added, "It does not say: If you experience any of these symptoms, call your SON immediately!"

Ha ha ha!

The good news is nothing bad happened. I got the shot (which should be effective for the next six years) and I got to spend time with my son. 

And, thanks to Matt, 9-1-1 has since been programmed into my iPhone!







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