Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why Does Nobody Seem to Listen to Val?

It's that time again! No, not time to set the clocks back, or put out Halloween decorations, or slide my world-famous Chex Mix in and out of the oven (NOW WITH TWO ELEMENTS!). Nope. It's time for the ol' flu shot.

This year I did not take advantage of the school flu shot clinic for faculty. It doesn't cost us anything because of our insurance. CeilingReds sends in a shooter, and we all cry a little bit then live happily ever after. Most of us. A couple hold onto their bitterness for a few days. We are not required to get the shot. We do it for our own good. The flu goes through a school faster than Lou Grant goes through Veal Prince Orloff, and faster than Hick goes through a vat of vegetable beef soup (not counting the liquid).

No, I didn't want my insurance charged the day before I actually got the flu shot, like the procedure was last year. Just in case I decided not to go through with it, then had trouble getting one elsewhere because insurance said I already got one. I'm onto their tricks.

I was not sure if I should get the flu shot like normal, because of this darn Xarelto blood-thinner coursing through my veins. So I made an appointment a few weeks back to see my doctor, and thought I might as well ask him about it, and get the shot there.

That was the plan. In reality, I told the nurse why I was there, and mentioned the flu shot dilemma, and she said, "Oh. I'll go get your shot and be right back."

People never really listen to the nuances when Val speaks. Like the part about NOT WANTING THE SHOT UNTIL I ASKED THE DOCTOR IF IT WAS SAFE.

So in she comes with that syringe, and I put my hand over my arm and said, "Hang on there! I want to know if this is safe for someone on Xarelto." And the needle-wielder said, "Oh, I'm sure it is. I just gave it to someone on Coumadin." Which is a blood-thinner that works in an entirely different way. I really put my foot down and my hand up, so she waylaid the doc in the hall of that inner sanctum, and he brushed by and said, "Oh, sure it's okay." Which made me glad I had secretly stopped taking it two nights before, just in case.

Stabber stuck me, explaining how she gives the shots to tall the staff, because they request it, really, what with her not throwing the needle like a dart, but shoving it in slowly and pushing the vaccine at a leisurely pace. Then she withdrew that needle, fiddled with a purple dinosaur bandaid that didn't want to open, then slapped in on my arm as an afterthought. I had the wherewithal to reach over and apply pressure to the stab wound for a good five minutes while she took my temperature and asked about my meds, continuing the cart-before-the-horse process.

Good thing I did the ol' self-arm-press. My shot was around 11:15, and by 2:00 I had a sore arm with a knot the size of a plum just below the injection site. I kept an eye on it, lest it grow to the size of a Mackinaw peach, a fresh cantaloupe, and a ripe watermelon. It stayed about the same. After I slept on it all night, the knot disappeared, and the soreness went away after a day.

And the moral is: Val is a big hypochondriatic baby when it comes to fluids injected into her muscles where thin blood that can't stop itself courses through veins and arteries.


  1. You just never get no respect, do ya? Whole roomfuls of people should become immediately silent when you speak. Like those old commercials: When ________________talks, people listen.

  2. Stand your ground, Val. I'm not a big proponent of the flu shot. The other day my sister and I went to a local Dierberg's for free cholesterol screening, and while we were there they offered flu shots free with medical insurance. She rolled up her sleeve, while I rolled the cart away from the pharmacy to do some shopping.

  3. I haven't had any pain with flu shots but I've had cortisone injections that hurt like hell!

  4. joeh,
    I would wrap myself in bubble wrap if I thought my kids would not stomp on me to hear the pops.

    I totally agree. They should hang on every word, and possibly take notes on a tiny spiral flip-top notebook of the kind given away by our CTA on the first day of teacher workshops.

    Since I spend my days elbow-deep in a teeming Petri dish of adolescent microbes, I feel that it is imperative to have a flu shot. Plus I had the flu one year and never want it again.

    That's one injection I've never had, but after watching Hick get one in the knee, with a needle almost as long as the one they used for my amniocentesis, and a twisting and rotating routine that made my stomach churn...I think you must be downplaying your pain.