My job has felt like working at an H1N1 flu workshop for the past few months. I know it all, inside and out. I know the middle name of the elementary school student who died in Murfreesboro last week from the virus. I know all about the doctors’ promises. I know which counties have the flu mist and when each expects to get the shot. I know state-by-state statistics. I know who’s most at risk, the mantras of the anti-vaccine crowd and the battle-cries of the “How Selfish Can You Be?” group. Since the first publicized case of the 2009 “outbreak,” I’ve been one of the evil people writing things about the virus that tugged at people’s heartstrings, their fearstrings and their paranoiastrings. I work in broadcast journalism. It’s what I’m PAID TO DO.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been knee-deep in H1N1 talk for so long that I can’t make my own damn decision on whether or not I want to get vaccinated. I KNOW TOO MUCH.
Pregnant women are among the highest at risk. Being pregnant hurts your immune system (and your back and your pelvis and your waistline and often your pride). And just because I NEED more things to worry about, I’m also on a powerful immune-suppressant, Humira. It’s the only thing that seems to keep me from falling off the edge into total flare-up-dom. It keeps me sane, functioning, and out of the bathroom enough hours of the day to live some sort of life. But Humira, coupled with pregnancy, has rendered me, essentially, immune-less. You could put me in an astronaut suit and sneeze and I’d still wind up with swine flu. Because that’s just the way I roll.
So many of you are shaking your heads asking “WHY THE HELL ARE YOU NOT JUMPING UP AND DOWN TO PUT A NEEDLE IN YOUR ARM?”