It's that time of the year again and while many people are scoffing at a flu shot because last year's shot had low effectiveness, why take the chance?


Flu shots in the Northland should become readily available the beginning of October.  They come up with a new flu shot each year to combat the new strain of influenza.  I was the child of a nurse, therefore I had a flu shot every year and she was on to ALL the hiding places I had in the house.  As an adult, I continued my yearly flu shot and when my daughter Kylee was born she began to get them and does so every year to this day.

What's your excuse?  Some people say they don't like needles.  They do have a nasal spray that is recommended mostly for children and not so much for adults over the age of 50. As for as the excuse that you've gotten sick in the past from having a flu shot.  Dr. Andrew Thompson from St. Luke's comments on that the injection has a dead virus in it that trains your immune system on how to attack and respond to the actual influenza strain.  You may feel tired and achy, but that isn't the flu.

The symptoms of a true influenza illness include:

  • chills
  • aches
  • tiredness
  • fever

The last time Homie had the flu  I asked if he wanted me to take him in to get Tamiflu. It’s a medication that has to be taken within the first two days of symptoms. If you choose not to take that medication or if you missed the window of time this is what the CDC says you should do:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated
  • Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever
  • Putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier
  • Gargling salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat
  • Cover up with a warm blanket to calm chills (we have a electric “throw” blanket that makes you toasty underneath it and the bonus is the dog is toasty on top of it)

Some of the Kates' “house rules”:

  • You have to keep your toothbrush in what we call the isolation chamber. Away from the other toothbrushes.
  • “Snag rags” aka, used kleenex go into a paper bag next to the patient, not left on the floor, the coffee table or any shared areas.
  • Patient’s dirty dishes are immediately put in the dishwasher.
  • Let people do things for you. Don’t be a hero. You’re sick, you need to rest or you won’t get better.
  • Patient gets control of the TV remote. (that rule sucks, but anything to keep them happy)

St. Luke's will start giving out vaccinations in early October.


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