A Good Way to Avoid Spending Time in Bed

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By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®

Yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to the doctor's office for my flu shot.  I sure hope this year's batch offers quite a bit better defense than what the makers of the vaccine concocted last year. Knock on wood. You might recall that in late March despite my vaccination last year, I succumbed to the flu (see Flapjacks and Flounder) and as a direct result of the virus, I subsequently contracted pneumonia about four weeks later, which had never happened to me. I can assure you, I spent a lot of quiet time in bed with a very warm thermometer in my mouth. Even the chicken soup couldn't help me.

I never used to get a flu shot. Like a lot of folks, I never had a serious bout of the flu growing up, and wasn't particularly concerned about the consequences. About 15 years ago however, I was visiting my pre-wife for Christmas (and meeting her parents for the first time.) The next thing I knew, I was flat on my back with a steady 102+ degree temperature. All alone. In New York City. At the Helmsley Palace Hotel. Away from my family. It wouldn't be fair to compare it to The Shining, but that's what it felt like to me.  Other than room service (who understandably wanted nothing to do with me), there didn't seem to be any other hotel guests around. Thank goodness that Jack Nicholson and the twin girls didn't make an appearance at my door. That crazy bug lasted a bunch of days and I can still remember how wretched (and lonely) I felt! Of course I recovered, and ever since then, I've vowed to always get that annual flu shot. With the exception of last year, for the most part it's worked perfectly for me. 

Despite clearly blowing the recipe last year, the CDC recommends that most of us get vaccinated because serious flu complications can result in all kinds of terrible things, including pneumonia. And death. I still don't understand the allergy to egg thing, but I think they've mostly worked around the issue now. At least this time I didn't have to sign any waivers at the doctor's office. Hopefully I don't start clucking in a couple of days. 

With the colder weather approaching I've got my fingers crossed that this year's vaccine is a winner. I hope it's a healthy one for you too!