Monday, November 5, 2007

Flu Shots...or even better, Flu Mist

Last week Luke turned 3 so we had the traditional Well Child Check Up. Since we just moved from Colorado to Idaho we had to find a new Dr. I asked my sisters which Dr. they use and it was the same place for both of them, so I figured it was a safe choice. It turned out to be the coolest Little Kid friendly place in the world! Every room has a neat theme with murals painted on the walls and the brightly colored, shaped Dr. table to match. We went in the Fire Station room. Needless to say it was a great choice. The Dr. turned out to be great too so it was a bonus for everyone.

Back to the Flu Shot. When Luke was born our then Dr., a trusted family friend, suggessted we all get flu shots so baby boy would not get sick from something we brought home from our various schools, places of employment, etc. So we all got them. I had never had a flu shot growing up and only really remember having 1 super yucky flu sickness in my life. Ryan, however, has had them almost every year of his adult life.

So then the next year rolls around. Do we get the shot again? I think we opted out that year but last year the kids all got them because they was a particularly bad case of whooping cough going around Southeast Colorado. Which Luke and Ally ended up getting anyway. Enter the nebulizer, the bane of all childhood existence. More on that later.

Now he is 3 and passes his check up with flying colors. "He talks like a 5 year old" says the astounded nurse. Well my children learned from some pretty avid speakers. What can we say. He is all caught up on immunizations, but do we want the flu shot? Enter the all troubling question that has plagued me for the past 4 years. I don't know. Do they really need it? Is it actually doing any good? The strain is typically not the one going around this year anyway so how will we prevent the new one with an old virus? I am all for immunizing your children. Mine have all had their 1001 shots and are completly up to date. Including the new chicken pox preventor. I had them. Even have a couple little indented circular "scars" to show for it. Not so bad, but I guess like everything else, it is getting worse and can now kill you.

Then the nurse says the one thing that sealed the deal. "He can have the mist or the shot, you decide." Mist. Little squirt up each nostril and you are good to go. No needle. No screaming in pain. No having to massage little knots out of their leg when it gets irritated. And hopefully, no flu. So I figure, why not. It has worked in the past and it is getting to be that time of year. Not to mention, we just moved to a completely new climate where they have never lived. I know my body has a tendency to react negatively in new environs. Seems like every time I move I get a new allergy to something that never bothered me before.

So we do it. Little squirt in the nose. No pain. Not even a whine. Needless to say, the girls went back 2 days later and got their Flu Mist as well. Now they all have a serious case of stuffy/runny nose, but other than that they seem to be ok. Time will tell if it was worth it, but without a needle the trouble doesn't seem to be there.

Disclaimer: FYI the nurse did tell me that the mist is avaliable to healthy children. Those with athesma or other breathing problems cannot get the mist and need to stick with the shot. Pun intended.

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