Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Right after I started my new job I started hearing about flu shots. There were the mentions of them during orientation meetings and the company-wide email reminders. I did my best to ignore it all and stuck to my long held belief that the chances of my getting the flu do not outweigh my long-standing fear of needles.

Well after the presentation by the infectious diseases guy that we had to go to for orientation, I started to think that perhaps I needed to give some thought to the idea of getting a flu shot. After all, I do work with preschoolers, which means I am exposed to more than the average amount of bodily fluids. So I decided (somewhat vaguely) that I would indeed get a free flu shot. Sometime...

Then, this afternoon, I get a phone call from my fellow teacher.

"Did you get the email about the flu shots? They're giving them right now in the conference room. We should go."

Crap. In the words of Kevin McCallister, "This is it. Don't get scared now."

I very reluctantly agreed to go with her to get our flu shots. She promised to hold my hand and as we walked toward the conference room I tried to take slow, deep breaths to keep from getting light-headed. It didn't help. You see, ever since I gave blood my freshman year of college (which, unfortunately, involved lots of vomiting and near-passing out) my fear of needles became a downright phobia.

As we walked through the doors of the conference room I tried to keep myself calm. I told myself, "you are a grown woman. suck it up. it's just a flu shot." We joined the line and started chatting with our fellow shot recipients. They pointed us to a pile of consent forms on the table and the bunch of pens on the counter top near by. As I started filling out the form, I noticed a section where you had to check a box for which form of vaccine you would prefer: the flu shot, or the flu mist. WHAT?!?! Flu mist!?!? Praise the Lord!

Apparently, they have this new thing called the "flu mist" which is a nasal spray instead of a shot. I had to restrain myself to keep from jumping up and down. This was the best news ever. My pulse slowed. My breath deepened. My muscles relaxed. I did not have to get a shot. Excellent.

So I waited cheerfully in line, joyfully proclaimed "mist!" when, at my turn, they asked me which form I would prefer, and took a bold sniff as the medic squirted liquid up my nose. I did not have to get a shot. Who cares if the spray drips out of my nose. Who cares if I can feel it dripping in the back of my throat. It's nothing a can of diet cherry coke won't rinse away! I didn't have to get a shot! Hooray for post nasal drip!