Stuck Between A Virus And A Vaccine

6:24 PM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
I love the fall and winter and I know it's coming when the morning air gets a chill. When the leaves change from their lush green to oranges, reds, and yellows that paint the trees. I know my favorite times of year are coming when I see pumpkins, turkeys, and Christmas trees all at once. I get so excited for October because my Birthday is at the end of the month. I get excited for November because I officially start the Christmas season on Thanksgiving day. Nothing makes me happier than Christmas, it fills my heart with such joy that I can hardly contain it. I look forward to January because it's a new year, another year for me to experience amazing new things. I love February because there is always the chance for a bit of snow. But what I don't like about fall and winter is the fact that I can get sick, really sick, one foot in the grave sick.

This year I am particularly anxious about the fall and winter. Not only do I have to worry about the seasonal influenza which has tried to kill me before, this year I have to worry about H1N1. Now I'm sure most of you are saying "Oh go ahead and get the H1N1 vaccine." Well honestly, I'm apprehensive about it all. The first round of vaccines are the mist, which contain the live virus. The second and third rounds will be in the form of a shot and they will not contain the live virus. I know the CDC is saying that the vaccine is being tested to the same standards as the seasonal influenza vaccine, but that doesn't set my mind at ease. Not knowing the short or long term side affects of this drug and how it could affect all of my preexisting conditions scares me. I know it's supposed to be safe but I think most of the testing is meant for your average child or adult, not someone who is immunocompromised.

I also have to think about what would happen if I don't get the vaccine. I know I am at major risk of getting the H1N1 virus if I don't get the vaccine. I am well aware that more than likely it will be the end of me, no matter how hard I fight. I don't want to die, I have so much life left in me and I need to share it with the world. I need to go out and do big and small things that will impact lives of others in ways I cannot currently imagine. I can't do that if I'm dead. I feel like I am being selfish by not wanting to get the vaccine. Because I also feel the vaccine could make my lupus and everything else, worse. I'm afraid I could have a horrible reaction that in fact could be deadly. I'm afraid of the side effects that could happen in a week, month, year, and five years. I don't want to be one of the first people with lupus to get the vaccine. I also have to remember that every lupus case is different and therefore I can't depend on how other people react to it either.

I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. The fall and winter are my favorite times of year. But they also seem to be the times where I have to stare death straight in the eyes and say "Step off!" So while I have my Birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and snow days to look forward to, I also have to anticipate all the illnesses that come along. I'm scared, I don't like to admit when I'm scared, but I'm scared. I'm on the verge of tears knowing that in a couple of weeks I'm going to have to make one of the most important decisions of my life. Because this decision could definitely impact my life in ways I don't want to imagine. I know it's wrong of me to think this but I am too young. I'm too young to have to decide between a vaccine or a virus, especially when both could have such damaging effects. I feel like I can't win, I sound immature but I feel like I can't do this.

My life is going to change whether I want it to or not. All because of a virus and a vaccine. And it absolutely terrifies me.



Cynthia said...

It scares me too.