Flu shot

A

fter the I-think-I’m-having-a-heart-attack incident, all I could do was think about how old I was getting. My mother died of cancer, but she had had a heart attack years before that, back in 1989 when I was still a grad student. She was 59 and that is fairly young for a woman to experience cardiac arrest, or so I was told.

Well, that magic number is getting closer and closer… and I REALLY need to start taking care of myself, or I may go the way of mom. Not a pretty thought. Fortunately, I stopped smoking about five years ago–Taku, Paiky, you guys can quit TOO! And of course, I should conveniently declare my favorite, yet worn-out mantra: I need to exercise. I keep telling myself this, but I’m so freakin’ tired all the time. I know, I just need to make time. TV or exercise, TV or exercise, TV or exercise… hmmm. Exercise, natch. Beer or exercise, beer or exercise, beer or exercise… *ahem* This is a tougher choice… There are those, I’m sure, who will suggest, “exercise and then reward yourself with a beer.” Well, that sounds good, but if I have a beer after I exercise, then the workout will have been in vain. Seriously. What a waste of time to put back on what you just took off. Besides, part of the enjoyment of a beer is to drink it without justification. Heck, if I could justify everything, then I’d probably still be smoking…

Well, one thing I did last Friday was good for my health. If you recall, last year, at Christmas, I came down with acute bronchitis. Was this related to the fact that I was unable to get my flu shot last year? No flu shot, bronchitis; no flu shot, bronchitis… hmmm, not really related, although I suspect I contracted the flu and it deteriorated into bronchitis. This year I was determined to get immunized, but a month ago, I was told that delivery of the vaccine had been halted and only those in need–infants and over 65–could get a dose. Fortunately, they lifted the suspension a week ago, and grabbing M’s and Chip’s hands, we raced to the clinic. I wanted to get my shot before they changed their minds. So I have been immunized and feel better. I realize that this is no protection against the bird flu, should that pandemic our fearless leader harped on pans out. But I am relatively confident that I will weather the long, cold winter nights and survive my first year as a truly over-the-hill dude…

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