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As protected from the H1N1 as we can be.

2009-10-30 - 12:51 p.m.

Last night my household (including Uncle Bob) got the H1N1 flu shot. Well, the household minus Biscuit because heís allergic to eggs. In fact, we all got it for Biscuitís sake, seeing as how he canít get the shot but is the most ďat-riskĒ member of the household, what with his allergies and being underweight and prone to ďreactive airway diseaseĒ (what they say when your kid needs a puffer because of occasional wheezing, but it hasnít happened often enough yet in a calendar year to actually label them asthmatic). Weíre hoping that the herd effect will be enough to protect him.

The catch with this is, of course, that he goes to daycare. And his care provider herself has a little girl who cannot get the shot for the same reasons he canít get it. This means that their family is all planning to get the shot, but her daughter that canít get immunized is school-age, so thereís no real barrier to her picking H1N1 up at school and bringing it home to my little Biscuit. So yeah, Iím worried.

Donít get me wrong, Iím very glad to have been able to get protection for Grommet, as well as the rest of us, but itís Biscuit that is most at risk if he gets it.

Now, you wonít likely know this unless youíre local, but thereís crazy wait times at the clinics that have just opened to vaccinate people. Like, a clinic that opens at 2:30 in the afternoon will have given out all 1400 tickets to people waiting a couple of hours before they even open. So, unless you get there 4 hours before opening, you donít even have a chance to get the opportunity to wait for the shots. So how did we get in, you may ask?

Serendipity.

Iím not sure if Iíve talked about ďmy kind of luckĒ before, but, essentially, Iíve always found that if I needed something and just kept my eyes open and looked around, I could find a way to fill that need. I donít mean things I wish for Ė Iím not the person who wins lotteries or usually walks away with the door prize. This works for things like pens when I need to sign the backs of cheques, knives to cut pies with at work, and dimes when Iím going to be 8 cents short for a purchase I want to make. When I head to a garage sale with a particular item in mind Iím vaguely surprised if I donít run across it, because things like that usually work out for me.

And yes, I acknowledge that I make my own luck to a certain extent, just by keeping my eyes open. Iíve mentioned before how Iíve often found that when people encounter someone on the horns of a dilemma that they can help, they often do so. They want to help. It makes them feel good. So I might make a point of mentioning the issue Iím wrestling with to people who I donít really know but with whom Iím having a casual conversation, particularly if the situation may hint that they might be able to help. Last night was a perfect example of this.

I was at story time at our local library. This library is located in the same complex that the H1N1 flu shots were being done. I remarked to another parent that there seemed to be a lot more kids than usual and he said it was because parents with numbers were killing time entertaining their kids there until they could get in the line for the shots. I lamented the crazy wait times and the fact that I had a small child who was high risk and couldnít get the shot and so the rest of my household had to get it, but we couldnít get in the lines early enough.

Well, didnít this nice man have a few extra wristbands with early numbers on them that heíd gotten for some friends that couldnít make it? And he offered me enough to cover my troupe. I called my husband and he grabbed Biscuit and Uncle Bob and came to join Grommet and I. Within an hour weíd all (minus Biscuit) had the vaccination over and done with.

I have to give props to the organizers of our local clinic, they kept everything running smoothly and there was surprisingly little ill-will in the air, considering the ridiculous wait times, the palpable anxiety of the people waiting, and the constant crying of children getting jabbed. We even saw one older child get carried out on a stretcher because he fainted.

Man, Iím so glad that getting those shots is over with.

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