Thursday, October 8, 2009

Flu Shot Reaction

Today is going to be a day that I'll accomplish very little. How do I know ? Am I psychic ? No, wish I were though. Truth be told is that it all began this past Tuesday, it was a day spent in my doctor's office waiting for my yearly physical and nothing extremely different there:

1.Wait in the main lounge area until you're name is called or you expire from boredom.

2.Enter exam room where you're weighed, measured and told to put on a strange and unflattering exam gown...after which you must wait some more.

3.Once the doctor finishes up with the last dozen or so patients that had come before you, the resulting basic exam is fairly short and painless.

Okay then, what took so long ? Well I had forgotten that I was overdue for my pneumonia vaccination and I needed my flu shot. I asked about this at the main reception desk and was told there was no problem, they could tell the nurse and when she had a free moment she'd call me back in to receive my shot or shots.
Well to wrap this up as quickly as possible, they forgot to tell the nurse so I sat and waited, and waited, and waited....and waited! Finally I decided it was past time to inquire about how much longer it might take and that's when the bells and whistles went off...OMG !....we totally forgot about you ! Is THAT why you were waiting ?

So now I'm finally called back by the nurse and have 2 choices, do I want one shot in each arm, so both arms have a sore spot? or do I want 2 shots in one arm ? I foolishly opted for the 2 in 1.

Slightly later that day my arm begain to swell around the shot site, not concerned as a little swelling and redness is a typical reaction. By evening it was swollen, red and tender for about 3 inches past the shots and all across the front of my arm. I figured this was either caused by the flu shot or perhaps having had the 2 shots in the same arm. The last pneumona shot I had was a piece of cake, no reaction at all, but then so was the last flu shot I had.
However on Wednesday the swelling had advanced down my arm to just above the elbow and almost completely encircled my upper arm. By Wednesday night it was red, swollen, tender and very hot to the touch from shoulder to elbow and moving the elbow caused moderate pain. I was also running a low grade fever of 100. Okay, now I'm thinking this is not the standard reaction ! And that's when I began taking Benadryl, which is an antihistamine specifically for allergies and allergic reactions. Unfortunately Benadryl makes me sleepy...very, sleepy...very, very, very sleepy.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZ


  1. You poor thing!!!! Hang in there!

  2. hahaha.. We just hadour flu shots yesterday, it wasn't too bad. GOOD LUCK!!

  3. Not only do I know I would be allergic to the flu shot but I definitely know I'm allergic to benadryl. I've been taking my chances for so long I guess I'm going to keep at it - even with the swine flu about.

  4. Oh yuck! I hope you are back to your usual size and awakenness factor quickly. I never get a flu shot and you are further convincing me right here why I shouldn't! Hope you feel better with lots of rest.

  5. Thank you all for your good wishes. I am feeling much better today (and am no longer taking Benadryl) swelling has gone done a lot, the fever's gone and the redness is now more of a pinkness. For those who either can not tolerate a flu shot or have had bad luck with them in the past, just do what they keep advertising:

    Keep hands away from face (especially the mouth).

    Wash hands often and keep sani-wipes or antiseptic hand lotions handy at all times (like in your purse, car or desk...or on a chain around your neck!)

    Also stay away from people who are hacking and coughing up a lung, if it's a family member then you've got a problem unless you disown them or send them to spend a week with your in-laws.

    I adore you all and wish you a very healthy fall and winter; may the flu bug never bite and may the cold bug never find you.


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