Monday, October 19, 2009

No news is good news.

I don’t think I blogged about my flu shot opinion, but a few weeks back I was faced with one of many, many decisions I will have to make about my child and his health… Do I get him a flu shot? If so, which one? What about all of this media hype about H1N1? What on Earth do I do? Three days before his 1-year appointment, BBZ’s school reported the first case of H1N1. Everyone, including myself began to panic. What do we do now to protect our precious babies? Keep them home indefinitely? Get them vaccinations that we know about through media coverage and word-of-mouth? I felt so out of control and scared and panicky and all kinds of uneasy feelings that I really didn’t like. The media is such a fleeing frenzy. I decided then to wait and discuss this with BBZ’s doctor, you know, the one with the expertise and knowledge (as opposed to rumors and opinions). I am so lucky to have found a doctor that I love so much. Through all of BBZ’s sicknesses and well baby appointments, she and I and N have always been on the same page. I asked her what her thoughts were and she said she has had one flu shot in her life and she has never been sicker than she was after that shot. She said that they take a guess as to what strain to base the shot on and won’t know if it’s the right one until sometime in late January, when it will be too late for the immunization. I have never had a flu shot, so I couldn’t figure out why I would want one now. Oh wait, it’s because I have someone else who is more important than me to think about now. So I asked myself what I am willing to risk and weighed that with the possibilities of the other options and the opinion of my very well respected physician. You know, how people usually make decisions. I realized right then that most of my fear and uncertainty was not based on true information, but rather on what the media was reporting. I decided not to get any flu shots for me or for BBZ. And I made another decision...I completely stopped watching the news. This was exactly 3 weeks ago. I will say that I was addicted to the news. I think the underlying issue is that I wanted to have the TV on and I didn’t have time to look for something on TV, so I would put it on channel 2 news and leave it there until I left the house. I would also turn it on when I got home at 5pm and when I went to bed at 10pm or so. I don’t think I was as interested in what was going on as much as I wanted something on, but nonetheless I was watching a lot of news. So here I am, 3 weeks into this change and I am pretty happy. The TV isn’t even on before I go to work, and I turn music on when we get home instead. I do still turn the TV on for sleeping, but I generally put it on Everybody Loves Raymond or Sex and the City. I have escaped the negativity of the news and am enjoying the pleasant view here way out of the loop. I will say that even with my planned escape, I couldn’t get away from the balloon boy story, but that is another post for another day :)

2 comments:

  1. Love this post, and I think you are so right about the media thing. I have to rant a little about the media, the swine flu "epidemic" has even forced Children's Hospital and other hospitals to set up traige in the parking lot for patients that "think" they may have the swine flu! Seriously, do you know how much that is costing our healthcare system? I will tell you....a freaking fortune. This is so aggravating, the the media can take a story and turn it into an "epidemic". Sorry for the rant, but I so agree with your posting. I think you are great mother and you made and even greater desision to forego the vaccine. Yay for you!

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  2. I have never gotten a flue shot either... and I don't even remember the last time I got the flu. I don't plan on getting any shots myself either. I talked to my ob the other day and she said there was no way she would get the H1N1 shot either... she didn't think it was safe. The shot scares me more then the flu itself! I did some extra research this year, now that I have the little one, and from everything I read, I still don't feel I should get vaccinated. The media is blowing things way out of proportion (I think), and the H1N1 shot seems to have been rushed to market before making it safe enough. So anyway, to make a long story short... I agree with you... and I think you are making a good decision.

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