Saturday, February 23, 2008

It works for me...

Every year when I have my annual physical my doctor asks, "Do you want a flu shot?" And every year I say "Absolutely not." She then gives me the at-risk spiel and I again tell her that I'd rather take my chances than get the shot and immediately get the flu. She doesn't believe me.

That's what has happened every time I've had a flu shot: I've come down with the flu. Within 48 hours. When you're in the military you don't have a choice. They line you up and crack! crack! crack! the staple gun-needle-shooter guys move down the line infecting everyone with the (supposedly) dead virus. Dead or alive, it doesn't matter; I get the flu.

Yesterday someone mentioned that this bug currently infecting Manhattan is a brand new strain, so the flu shots that people received were worthless. I laughed.

Last night the topic of antibiotics came up. Some sisters have been given them and some (who sound just as bad) have not. What's with that? One of our friends is a chemist. She explained that they are much more careful now about dispensing antibiotics because people develop immunities and then the antibiotic won't work when you really need it. We talked about the issue of completing the dose, something I'm notorious for not doing. Once I feel better, I hoard the rest of the pills against a future need. Uh oh. Busted. I was severely scolded and warned of the imminent dangers in doing what I do... she sounded like my doctor.

What can I say? One day butter is good for you, the next day it isn't. The rules are always changing in the medical field, as new technology uncovers a new twist or relationship not previously understood. It works for me doesn't seem to be a good enough answer when I'm confronted with experts that know the current rules but don't necessarily know my body.

I used to develop asthmatic bronchitis every time I had hay fever or caught a cold. Now I don't. Who is to say that my self under-dosing of antibiotics didn't cause this shift? It works for me.

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