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Flu Shot
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Doctor's office closed at 5 p.m. so I left work early, tore across town (when I wasn't at a crawl past 1 bad accident, 1 medical emergency and another drunk and disorderly trying to wash windshields of slow moving cars). Got there in time, though it was a near thing.

I always reflect on same idea afterwards: if I feel this sore and ache-y from the flu shot, just imagine how much worse the flu itself would be.

In 1968 I came back from India just in time for the pandemic flu of that year. Along about the time you think you're going to die, you wish you would. I was staying with friends who had two preschool boys. We three adults were miserably ill, but the kids were fine (go figure). I can remember crawling into the kitchen, too weak to walk, and getting down all the boxes of cereal for the boys.

For two days, while we worshipped the porcelain god in all the ways we knew how, they thrived and munched happily on usually-forbidden sugary cold cereal and milk. I'll tell you how much it stunted their growth: Michael is 6-foot-three and Miles is six-foot-even.

After that experience, I have had flu shots annually, since I was exposed to classrooms full of sick children and parents who sneezed and coughed all over me when they came to pick them up after school.

And now, the 350 or so employees in our little corner of the world seem to rejoice in visiting our offices in their generous impulse to share their viruses, as soon as they start feeling sick. Although it's difficult for me to be rude, I have actually invited one or two of them to leave when the spatterings and expectorations became too much to bear. Our secretary runs around spraying Lysol on the telephone hand sets and door handles.

Yes, yes, I know: wash your hands regularly, keep your hands away from eyes, nose and mouth, eat healthy meals and get enough sleep to support your immune system. I get my flu shots anyway. Two bad bouts of the flu, one finally leading to pneumonia, have convinced me of the wisdom.

Now, does anybody know how long I have to wait after the flu shot before I can donate blood? (I have a thing for needles, you see).

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