Tag Archives: Flu

Operation Procrastination

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So, it’s exactly one week until Christmas and I have only bought 1 Christmas gift.  And everywhere around me is getting snow while I’m getting copious amounts of rain mixed with snow and sleet.  Which I fear may freeze tonight.  Why am I so scared?  Is it because I live in a really old neighborhood with massive trees everywhere that like to fall during ice?  NO! I’m on edge because I have spent the last few days deciding who I will buy what for, mapping out what is at which store, and determining most efficient routes to each.  I then put together a firm itinerary beginning at 7:30 am tomorrow.  Estimated duration of holiday shopping expedition? 2 hours.  Which would put me home to laze around right about when shopping conditions begin to deteriorate.

So yes, I’M SCREWED!!!

You see, Christmas shopping this year is about as appealing to me as having lunch with Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, and Kate Gosselin.  Ugh.  The thought of that invokes serious cringing.  I’ll have a vodka tonic, hold the tonic, side of Valium please.

Is it the waiting in long lines on my oh so comfortable RA eroded feet?

Is it the lingering discomfort of carrying around lots of bags on a still extremely sore shoulder?

Is it the close proximity to hordes of people who let their children run wild? (Note: many of my friends have children.  There is “active normal kid bored in a store” behavior and then there is “he was whining because he missed his nap so I gave him a Red Bull, fruit roll-up, and cookies” behavior.  It is this second type to which I am referring.)

Is it the close proximity  of my suppressed immune system to hordes of people who are hacking, coughing, and generally spraying colds, flu, and swine flu in my path?

Is it because it’s extremely cold and I’m extremely tired/worn down and worrying that it might throw me into a flare?

Maybe it’s all, maybe it’s none.  Maybe I’m just a Grinch!

H1N1 Vaccine

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I laugh that I can keep up with the world by simply looking at my friends’ Facebook status updates.  A few recent favorites include “Jeff intercepted a memo reminding Delhomme that he plays for the Panthers” and “Megan is beginning week 3 of (f)unemployment.”  

Today, I noticed probably 8 updates about the H1N1 vaccine.  They ranged from the funny (Jack SAYS GET VACCINATED DAMMIT) to the mundane (Rebecca is going to her 24 week OB appt and getting her H1N1 shot).  It is the latter which really upset me.  I am upset because, within 20 minutes, she had 4 nasty comments from people berating her for putting her child at risk, implying that she’s a bad mother, and then it quickly spiraled into a discussion about vaccinating children.  No, discussion is not the term. Virtual flogging is probably more appropriate.  It was cruel and I can’t imagine how she felt coming home from her appointment to read that.

Then I thought about some of the reactions I’ve had from people without RA to  the medications I’ve taken.  My favorite was when someone asked me what I took and then, in front of people, shook his head and said “poisons!”

To medicate or not to medicate: that is the loaded rheumatoid arthritis question.  And a very personal one at that.

I will be the first to say that I’ve been on some pretty hardcore medication for over 3 years.  I have also tried going med free and using alternatives.  At the end of the day, I simply have more success on the medication.

Do I read RA blogs that advocate little to no medication?  Yes.  Do I find value in them?  Absolutely. To be completely honest,  I’m quite jealous of people who are successfully med free.  But after reading the research on the long term effects of uncontrolled rheumatoid arthritis (uncontrolled by meds OR uncontrolled by alternatives),  I have decided that, for me and me alone, I need to take the medication and supplement with alternatives.  

Same concept with the H1N1 vaccine. For me (and obviously for my friend), benefits outweigh risks.  I’m not telling anyone what to do (although I have made the blanket statement at work that anyone who doesn’t get the vaccine, comes to work sick and gives it to me, if it kills me, I will come back and haunt you.  Poltergeist style. I say this even though I am getting it.  I just have luck like that.)  

I will say that I think everyone in the at risk groups should seriously consider getting the H1N1 vaccine.  That’s my opinion.  Doesn’t mean it’s right. If you choose not to, that’s your decision and I respect that we are all different people.  

But, at the risk of hateful comments, I ask that you make an informed decision.  That’s all. RA Guy has some great links explaining more.