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Getting Poked: An Annual Flu Shot and Living With HIV

By Ria Denise

January 27, 2014

I am curious to know why is it that when something is needed pretty much every year, the supply for such things do not meet the demand. In this case, I am speaking about the flu shot and this happens every single year. What makes this year different is that in my neck of the woods, it is an alarming number of people dying from the flu. What scares me most is that all of these people are healthy with no known illnesses prior to nor found after their unfortunate demise. One of those was an associate that I know through a family member.

As someone who often battles weird and unknown things with my immune system, the only barrier I tend to have to act as my bubble is my HIV medications. I just like to look at it that way anyhow to keep me from dwelling on the fact my body and I are mortal enemies and have been for a while.

I would like to think I was not procrastinating -- after all, I don't mind vaccines because I never have had an issue getting sick afterwards. But I find even if I do, the issue is less invasive than it could be without the precaution. So I went and got myself poked.

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My plans were to get a shot at my next visit to my infectious disease doctor but during my last visit, I was informed that their supply had not arrived. I got sick right after that: nasty cough, no voice, achy, ya know, the usual symptoms. I missed my follow-up appointment because I couldn't get out of bed and I haven't made another appointment. I know, BAD RIA.

After a month of watching the news and hearing these stories before the season started, I had been looking around for something nearby that had a supply. I slacked off on this until recently and decided to get my tired ass up and just make some calls. My neighborhood drug dealer, a.k.a CVS, just happened to have received a new supply and I practically ran the way there in case I decided to lay back down and adjourn. I needed the air and exercise.

I arrived and walked back to my buddies and did all the necessary things required and took my seat next to another woman. After a while, I just start talking to the lady since we both were sitting there for what seemed forever. Her sister walked up and was around my age and we started talking as well and I instantly got annoyed. I mean, get out of my damn face annoyed. One thing I cannot stand is a self-proclaimed devout Christian who sits there and talks about any and everybody walking by and then turns into a bitch and a know-it-all because you say something that she doesn't like. I mean, all I asked was, "Is it Christian like to gossip?" Everyone knows or should know that things that can get people's blood boiling is religion, politics or anything that brings controversy and disagreements -- and with that question I shut her down.

syringes

After 30 minutes of that mouth, I finally got my shot and I am a little comfortable with knowing I got it out the way. Whether or not I get sick, I know I have to do everything possible to keep myself healthy. It is a work in progress, or I should say I am a work in progress. I am not afraid to die, but why help myself get there faster?

Word to the wise: Things are changing in the world and regardless of those who want to be all natural, like myself, the reality is things are in our atmosphere that are killing us. Of course, it is also wise to do your own research and protect yourself. Yes, the vaccine is man-made, but if it is an issue with being shot up with the virus itself, you shouldn't worry. Just avoid the nasal one and you should be fine. Sometimes, things can be all in your head or just maybe your body just had not been exposed to as much as some.

If you haven't been vaccinated yet, do it. After what I have seen in my city it might save your life. And if you get sick with or without it, then hell, that is just what was meant to happen.

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