How I Made My Flu Shot Unnecessarily Stressful

In an effort to shield Oliver from this year’s media boogey-man, the N1H1 virus, Das Piper and I got our N1H1 vaccinations last week. After hearing constant discussions about it in my mom’s group, and on the radio (btw CBC, could you maybe find something else to talk about soon?) Das Piper and I decided that when it comes to our son safe is definitely better than sorry.

Oliver being 4 months away from the 6 month eligibility mark did not get one, and for that I am kind of glad because his regular 2 month vaccinations are only days away and I am having a hard enough time gearing up for that. But as the parents of a child under 6 months, we became eligible for the vaccination shot on Thursday the 12th.

Now, I have never been afraid, or even a little nervous of needles. In fact, I remember as a child wanting to go have blood taken at the doctor’s office because I remembered getting to pick a toy out of the prize box, and clearly a super bouncy ball was worth the momentary slight discomfort of a needle in the arm. But being ushered through the dark dank abandoned hallways of an old high school, my anxiety level went from none at all, to damn near terror.

Something about the check in desk and releases and forms, and holding room, followed by an awkwardly quiet queue room the atmosphere reminded me of the dirty hazy hue of every apocalyptic movie I've ever seen. At first in a way that I could joke and be sarcastic about.

Of course, anyone who knows me knows that I am really good at joking and being sarcastic to the point where I really freak myself out. Like the one time I tried to tell my sister that there was a little undead man with no legs living under the basement stairs and that he was waiting for her to walk by so he could cannibalize her, and ended up terrified of the room myself I was so convincing. Or the time I was so excited about participating in a zombie walk that I talked about zombies for days and days to the point where I made someone walk with me anywhere I was going to act as my ‘zombie decoy’, ya know, just in case.

In this case, sensing that Das Piper was feeling a little nervous, I started making ridiculous comments about N1H1 being developed and spread by ‘Purel’ and the government injecting computer chips into our arms to that they could track us, or maybe it’s like that episode of the X-Files where Mulder find out that small pox vaccinations were actually alien DNA experiments to try and create an alien-human hybrid. And of coarse I just kept talking because Das Piper was smiling in amusement until a tiny irrational part of my brain started to buy what the sarcastic part of my brain was coming up with and by the time I got to the chair, my heart was racing.

The shot itself was incredibly anti climactic. I barley felt it. And aside from a bit of stiffness in my left arm for an hour or so afterwards there was no lasting effect at all.

All in all it was a minor inconvenience that will give me peace of mind. While the chances of me or Oliver catching this flu was small considering that neither of us spends too much time outside of the house, it was still enough of a worry that I was nervous about going to our mom’s group, and swim classes. Now we can go out without any worry at all.

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