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Flu Shots

2003-10-27

Category: philosophies

It’s coming up on flu season again. In no time at all people will go around being all miserable and sick. They will sneeze into the open air, sending out a mist of bodily fluids and microbes. They will cough, expelling bits of phlegm and more microbes. They sneeze and cough onto their hands and then grab the doorknob just before you have to open the same door. I recommend flu shots.

Of course, your doctor is the best person to make such advice, so you should go talk it over with him or her. On my part, I get a shot every year. In the years since I started getting the shots, I have been able to go all winter without getting the flu. Granted, I am a very hygienic individual, but I’m convinced that the shots work.

The idea is simple. They take a small, weak or dead sample of the disease and inject it into your blood stream. Your body’s defenses see this invader and attack it. Because the invader poses no real danger, usually, the immune system can take its time and figure out the best way to destroy the disease. This information is stored for future reference. When the real infection comes your way, your body knows how to handle it and goes into action. With a mighty and informed action, the immune system kicks that disease’s butt. All of this assumes that one has a reasonably normal immune system.

Sure, every so often someone gets sick after immunization. There are several possible reasons for this. First, the immunization didn’t have time to take effect before the person was set upon by the full strength disease.

Second, there is the possibility that the weakened form of the illness was not weak enough and could not be destroyed by the person’s immune system. In such a case, the injected virus flourishes and the body has to defeat it as though it encountered the disease in the wild. Though there is the complaint that the person would not have gotten ill if they had not gotten the shot, there is no way to know if that is true. It is possible that they could have contracted the disease later. There is just no way to know. I would still consider immunization to be a good idea.

The third possible reason is that immunizations are part of a government conspiracy to weaken the populace so that we will be more susceptible to alien mind control beams from the black helicopters. Not only does the immunization weaken your system and make you sick but they also implant either electronic tracking devices, electronic mind reading devices, or little alien embryos. This is the same technique they used to make Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate the cockroach in his apartment with fluoride. It is also widely know that backwoods folk who don’t get immunized are often abducted by space aliens who then try to communicate in the same way the backwoods fellow communicates with his livestock (sodomy?).

Given these as the usual reasons for not getting immunized, I still suggest that you get the shot. You really don’t want the flu. Trust me, that’s not something you want. Here’s why.

I am a reasonably structured fellow just under six feet tall. My chest diameter is forty-nine inches without having built any musculature. My shoulders are broad. I look like a weightlifter without even trying. Unfortunately, I can barely move sometimes. I need constant sleep and my diet is abysmally dull.

A couple of years ago, the doctors finally found out what was wrong. It seems a virus settled in my heart and weakened the wall of the left ventricle. My heart’s pump efficiency dropped to fifteen percent. That’s very low. Even though my blood pressure was good, there were no strange valve sounds, and the electrical signals were fine, my heart could no longer keep up with me.

Now, with pills and a low sodium diet, I have my heart’s pump efficiency back up to thirty percent. My only exercise is walking, and not much of that. I no longer attend my Hapkido classes. I no longer go bouldering. I no longer take those long hikes I love so much.

I can no longer eat all of my favorite foods. No pizza or lasagna, no salami, no cheese, I can only eat low sodium things. I’m also on a liquid restriction so I can only take in two liters of liquid a day.

To make matters worse, the reduced blood flow increases my likelihood of developing diabetes. So, in addition to watching the sodium, I have to watch my carbohydrate and sugar intake. It’s a real pain.

So basically, an able-bodied individual like me can be reduced to feebleness by a simple little flu virus. I get to look at cliff walls I should be climbing and know that I will never climb them again because of a little thing that isn’t really even considered to be a life form. I would be in nearly perfect health if it weren’t for that heart damage.

That’s why I recommend that you get the flu shot. The likelihood of anything going wrong with it is small. But if you get the flu, it can destroy your health permanently or even kill you.


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