when did i become a germ freak?

Yes…I’m the person that carries hand sanitizers everywhere, hates it when people don’t cover their coughs/sneezes, and will go pretty much to any length to avoid getting sick. I don’t know when I became so paranoid. I think especially now…I go to college, there are thousands of kids there, I’m always in the library…it’s just an icky feeling, being around germs.

I got my first flu shot this year. I was actually scared to get it 1) because I HATE needles and 2) I’ve been told that you get sick after receiving the shot. Well, it’s been a couple of days, and nope, I’m not sick. The only problem I’m having is soreness/tenderness where the shot was injected. But this is normal. My body is making the antibodies needed to fight off the flu virus.

As of right now, I have a reddish welt the size of a tennis ball on my left arm. It basically looks like hives. It’s sore, tender, and burns a little, but this is normal. My body is creating the antibodies to fight off the flu virus. It’s really interesting actually and I have no interest in becoming a doctor. It’s gotten bigger and more irritating over the last couple of days, but according to the CDC, these symptoms are to last about 3-7 days. So 2 down, 5 more to go (at the worst).

I really recommend that if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, do it. You’ll be glad you did. Personally, I’d rather spend a few days sore than spend a few weeks bed-ridden, with a fever and doubling over a trashcan. Plus it prevents the virus from spreading. So positives: you’re protected against the flu, it literally takes 5 seconds for the injection, you’re preventing the spread of the flu virus by getting vaccinated, it protects you for about a year, and there are a couple of options in terms of the type of vaccination. My family got the intradermal vaccine, which was first introduced during last year’s flu season. It uses a shorter needle, does not go into the muscle, and uses less antigen (but just as protective), according to the CDC. Negatives: it takes about a couple of weeks for the vaccine to “become activated,” there’s a possibility you could catch the flu from getting the flu shot (but the chances are very slim), and you have to deal with minor irritation, burning, and tenderness after the injection. Again, I’m not a doctor so I’m not really a credible source, but I got most of this information from the CDC and the pamphlet the doctor gives you about the flu vaccination.

I got sick this winter break and actually, it’s been a while since I’ve had a cold…runny nose, sore throat, coughing, congestion, headaches, and all that jazz. It lasted for a couple of weeks but I feel better now. What usually happens is my sister is the carrier…she brings the sickness home and gives it to my mom…then it’s only a matter of time before I catch it. My dad is the lucky one. He almost NEVER gets sick. If I were to rank my family from the person who gets sick the least amount of times to the most, it would probably be my dad, me, my mom, and my sister…or something like that.

But I guess you can never be too careful. My friends give me grief for being so “germ-a-phobic,” but I don’t care. It’s a personal preference. It must work most of the time because I don’t get as sick as my mom or sister. But flu season is just about to peak so I’m glad I got vaccinated in time. Plus, I faced my hear of needles! I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve just toughened up and realize that it’ll  only be like two seconds of pain. I’m not going to lie, this shot did hurt, even though supposedly we got the one with the smaller needle, but once it was over, I thought, that wasn’t such a big deal. 😛 So get vaccinated! Stay protected.



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