Saturday, October 10, 2009


I've been going around and around for weeks about whether to get the H1N1 vaccine for G. I'm not a big proponent of flu shots in general and have never had one in my life. On the other hand, I'm also not terribly prone to viral infections: I usually get a cold at some point every winter, but I've only had honest-to-goodness influenza twice in the last 20 years, once in 1996 and once in 2003. Both those times were complete and utter shit, but you know, it's the flu, not a pony ride with ice-cream cones. It's miserable, and then you get better and your immune system is stronger for it.

Anyway, after a lot of reading and agonizing, I started to think about the fact that G and I live by ourselves, and I imagined all the things that could go wrong if we were both severely ill with H1N1 at the same time. What if she needed to go to the doctor, or worse, the hospital, and I was too sick to take her? What if I got so sick that I needed medical treatment, and G was the only one here with me? I'm a pretty tough person, and I was brought up to handle things on my own (P once said that if you could sum up my philosophy of life, it would be Look after yourself, because no one else will do it for you), but that idea really worried me. The only thing that frightens me more than something happening to her is something happening to me and her finding my dead body - having experienced that myself, I know it isn't something you get over easily, or at all. Obviously that's the worst-case scenario and things very likely wouldn't reach that point, but they could.

So in the end, I decided that I'm going to get G vaccinated as soon as our doctor's office has it, and I'll get the vaccine myself if it ever becomes available to people in my age group. Is it the same decision I would make if P were still alive? Maybe not (although P would probably have wanted her to have the vaccine, and I took that into account as well), but it's the best decision for the situation we're in now. You've got to adapt to your circumstances to survive, right?

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