The Mostest 2005–Health

No Flu shot


t the end of every year, we get Top Ten Lists and the Best of Lists and the Worst of Lists. I like reading these lists a lot, as it allows me to recall many of the the things that occurred in the past year. But many of these events or moments had little to no impact on my personal life. For example, the Chicago White Sox won the World Series–their first in decades–and that was an amazing event, although it lost some of it’s impact and/or luster because the Red Sox–who had been in a longer drought–won last year. So, instead of these general events, I thought I’d consider things that impacted me personally, for these types of events will actually affect me, alter me, and transform me.

But I don’t want to make a list. Instead, I will consider a topic and recall the single most personally influential event of the year. There is a very good chance that the event is totally unimportant to many of you. And this is to be expected for, as I said, I will focus on those things that have impacted me. Me, me, me…

There are a lot of topics to choose from: sports, inflation, weather, academics, the economy, politics, etc. But my first topic will be Health. I have to choose the mostest and I have more than one that has honestly impacted my life this year. Certainly, the chest pain scare from last month would rank pretty high on my personal chart of health issues–it got me thinking about my diet and exercise choices, so it certainly impacted the way I will approach my lifestyle. But perhaps the single most important event was the lack of a flu shot.

Now, I get flu shots every year. Perhaps I have a weak constitution. Since I was a kid, I would get as sick as a dog–no offense toward dogs, of course (sorry, Sammy and Pete). But I would get fevers in excess of 100 degrees every year. I would get pathetically sick all the time, taking off school weeks at a time. My dietary pyramid included food groups such as meats, grain, fruits and antibiotics, which would include tetracycline, doxycycline, and ampicillin. Yuck.

Even as an adult, I frequently got sick and had yearly bouts with the flu. So I finally decided I had to get these damn flu shots early and annually, and I’ve been able to be more productive since… until 2005. This is the first time I had not gotten a flu shot in about 10 years and what happens? I get a fever that reaches 103 degrees and the damn thing develops into acute bronchitis. And not only did I get sick, I got sick twice! During the New Year break and again in March. I HATE the flu!

I don’t know who is to blame, but I do feel a degree of disdain toward 1) the pharmaceutical corporations that refuse to produce flu vaccines because the profit margin is small; 2) those politicians who nod in agreement, and allow our vaccines to be created by foreign companies approved by the US; and 3) administrators who prohibit the import of flu shots from companies and countries other than those approved under (2) even when the approved companies screwed up and cannot supply the vaccines.

Anyway, the flu has left me in a general malaise. All year long, I have felt sorta weak and have not exercised like I normally do. And I don’t have the energy to focus on my work–i.e. grading–and as a result it has affected my work, pushed my timetable back by weeks if not months. And my attempts to keep up with everything has impacted every aspect of my life, including *horrors* my time on Xanga. Yikes!

Fortunately, I DID get my shot for this flu season–even though it will not protect me from the avian flu should it make its way over the Rocky Mountains–and I fully expect to be more productive in 2006. If nothing else, I hope to spend more time on Xanga.

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