Jan
10
2015

Flu Shots and Total Wimps

IMG_2632Does it ever occur to you that you might be a total wimp?

I am thinking about this because it is Flu Shot season. For years, when they gave Flu shots at work, or offered clinics at my HMO, I laughed. I was not in any category that needed Flu Shots. Not old, not infirm, not asthmatic. Not worried. No problem.

This changed recently. My husband informed me that he was getting a Flu shot. A minor medical condition had put him in the Flu shot population.

“Oh, well, too bad” I said shrugging.

“And,” he added reading the newsletter from our HMO, “Partners of people in those categories should also receive Flu shots.”

“What?” I said.

“That’s you, my dear.”

“No, I’m not going to get a Flu shot.” I babbled. “I like to get the Flu. I remember getting it in 1976. I had a fever and a headache so I couldn’t possibly go to work but my head was fine as long as I wasn’t sitting or standing. I spent the week lying in the living room, on the cushion that I used for a couch, reading books and watching TV. I look forward all winter to getting the Flu again. Besides,” I said, clutching at straws “aren’t Flu shots like antibiotics, and the bugs are all getting big and strong and outwitting us because there are too much of them around?”

“No,” he said. “A vaccine is not an antibiotic. You need the shot because if you get the Flu, I can catch it from you.”

“A shot?” I said. “You want me to get a shot?”

“Do you love me enough to get a Flu shot for me?” he asked. “We can do it together.”

Other people bear up stoically under all kinds of pain and misfortune. They undergo complicated and unpleasant operations without flinching, and joke about it afterward. Soldiers step forward into battle despite the likelihood of pain and death. Fire fighters rush into burning buildings. People jump out of airplanes for fun. Why, I wonder, do I spend weeks dreading a Flu shot?

Recently I have noticed other indications that I might be a wimp.

For example, I listened in, with horror, to the dialogue between my inner child and my responsible adult, the last time I had to get my teeth cleaned. I had spent the day depressed, because I knew that tonight I had a teeth cleaning appointment. And then the hour was upon me. My feet dragged. I was going to my doom, but heroically, voluntarily.

Inner child “Maybe I just won’t go?”

Inner adult “You must. Just put one foot in front of the other, buck up, and you will make it though this too.”

Inner child “You sure know a lot of cliches, and you are way over-dramatic about a simple teeth-cleaning.”

Inner adult “Shut up, and mind your manners!”

So, as a public service for other folks who may have the same tenancies, I have decided to develop a list of signs that you might be a total wimp.

1. Are you afraid to fly? Do you spend weeks in silent fear whenever you have to go on a business trip?

2. Are you really, really, terrified to drive into Logan airport?

3. Are you afraid to jump into cold water? And instead spend 10 minutes slowly immerging yourself, agonizing inch by inch, mewing “ooh, ooh, ooh, its cold…” sounds all the while.

4. Are you afraid that hot tubs will be too hot?

5. Does it worry you to plunge directly into the shower on the theory that its way too early in the morning for that sort of shock to your system?

6. Are you afraid of haunted houses?

7. Do you still run out of the room when the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz comes on? 8. Do you refuse to watch ER?

9. Do you refuse to read Stephen King?

10. Would you like to stop reading the newspapers and listening to the morning news?

If you answered “yes” to more than 3 of the above questions, please join our Wimp support group, where we promise to huddle together under blankets, to never discuss anything more controversial than chocolate, and pretend that none of us will ever have to get Flu shots.

1 comment to Flu Shots and Total Wimps

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