Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Once, Twice, 3 Times a Flu Shot

I can thankfully say all 3 of my kids received the H1N1 vaccination.  It only took going down to the massive clinic 3 times (okay, really 5, but 2 times don't count!)

We had already received our seasonal flu shots.  And, I had been calling and asking both the pediatrician office and CHLA about availability since mid-August.  Finally these free clinics began happening last week.  I know there's been lots of talk, many articles written, advice from experts, opinions from others---I took it all in and made the decision to get my kids the shot.  I know it's new.  I know some people aren't comfortable with that.  Hey, neither am I!  However, between C's type 1 diabetes and middle C's recent asthma issues (and my affair with breast cancer,chemo included) I was even more uncomfortable in taking the risk of swine flu.

So C and middle C and I went down to get ours last week.  I had driven by the mass of people earlier that day thinking I would just run in and get mine but decided better of the 3 or 4 hours of my time it would take (once).  The kids had a shortened day so we all went back after school and the wait was only about an hour (twice).  Middle C would not be getting the shot that day because of a pesky little cough that had followed 2 days of fever the weekend before (darn).  The workers had it pretty well managed but when we got up to the front of the line, they were really combing through for high risk people.  They were actually turning people away.  I felt badly for these people.  But, when we were all deemed "high risk," I was grateful we got through.

Never a fun thing to get an injection.  And all the diabetes stuff she has to deal with does not make it any easier on her, but C was a trooper.  Only a couple tears.  After she was finished, she held my hand while the nurse gave me my shot...

So fast-forward to this week...

I was bound and determined to get the boys vaccinated too.  My husband would have to fend for himself.  So yesterday was another free clinic time at the same location.  I thought I would out-smart the system and take the boys first thing in the morning and get them back to school, with most of the day spared.  We dropped C off at school and made our way over to the clinic (3rd time).  We got out of the car and headed for the end of the line.  Where was it?  We walked and walked.  People had umbrellas, chairs, bags of food!  Walked and walked.  Still couldn't see the end of the line....Ackkk.  We decided that after school might be a better option.  So back to school.

When C and middle C got out for the day (early day, again!) we made our way back to the clinic (4th time).  No line at all.  We went in without a hitch.  The lady at the first table looked up.  "Back again?" she asked me.  Out of all the people in there, she had helped us the previous week!  I told her we'd be back again in a couple hours for my oldest.  The workers told me that the injections were very limited and when they run out, they run out.  Ug.

Two hours later, we picked up big C and went right back (5 times).  Not a huge crowd.  But soon, the line became long behind us.  We could feel the agitation in the crowd.  The news was being more injections.  The remainder of people waiting could still get the nasal mist.  But there were no more injections.  Okay, I had made this day revolve around getting all my kids vaccinated and I didn't want to go home without that task done.  I talked to the first screener and explained about our high-risk.  All of us had been vaccinated, except big C.  Just one more.  Several medical people had told us that no one in the family should be getting the nasal mist with the live virus.  A nurse, who seemed a bit more in-charge, overheard me.  She looked at me.  I must have had quite the defeated look on my face.  She said, "Hold on, hold on, don't worry.  Let me see what I can do..."

In the meantime, I told our scenario to the next screener and then the next.  Each time, they tried to direct us to the nasal mist line.  Finally, the in-charge nurse came back and whisked us away to another table.  An injection had been found!!  I was so grateful.  "Thank you," I said.

Strange to have more than half our family listed in the high-risk group.  So thankful to have received the injections.


  1. thank god you all got it!!! I cant believe they were trying to get you do to do the nasal mist, my hats off to the nurse in charge for finding a vaccine for you and realizing that no live vaccine can be in your house :)

  2. Wow. Thankfully you all are set now. Kudos to the nurse for helping out. Some Wonderful nurses out there.

  3. Good for you! Unfortunately at this time I can't find a vaccine for Tristan. For a while we weren't going to get him the vaccine but after talking with his endocrinologist we decided that it was best to get it for him. I'm just at this point wondering if the whole family has to get it because of him. I know that he's considered high risk but are we also in that group? If he's the only one who is able to get the vaccine but one of us get the virus, is that still really bad for him? I'm confused, can't wait to see his doc!

    But I'm glad that your whole family has been taking care of! It must be a weight off your shoulder! :)


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