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Yvette Taylor's Latest Essay

FLU SHOT….OR NOT?

By Yvette Taylor

There is no easy answer to this very serious question. If you have ever had the "real" flu, with 105 fever, chills, aches, and pure misery for 2 weeks, you are probably more likely to get the regular shot. I have had the flu twice. The first time was in 1969, when I was out shopping for holiday presents. I felt fine when we got to the mall, but after a bit of shopping, I felt sick and passed out in the store! The second time was about 10 years later, when I lived in Boston. The location is important to my sad tale because there was an awful snow storm. I had such bad chest pains that I just had to go to the doctor. Friends with a four-wheel drive picked me up and we slowly made our way. I did not, as I feared, have a heart attack. Instead, I had cracked two ribs from coughing so much and so hard. I have gotten the flu shot every year thereafter and have never had side effects or the flu nor have I ever had the flu again!

My rheumatologist Dr. Phillipe Saxe gave me flu shot 2 weeks ago. I asked him whether he believed all persons with fibro should get it. His answer was emphatic. "Fibro patients with the flu would face horrible complications, and I advise that all patients get the shot." Dr. Saxe is now conducting a study on the H1N1 flu shot at the Delray Research Center. He asked me to join the study, but I am waiting. I am not too concerned about the additive, thimerosal, which is a mercury-based preservative that will be in about 60% of the 225 million swine flu does. Through my work with the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which includes studies on autism, I am of the opinion that mercury does not cause autism (not a single peer-reviewed scientific study has shown any evidence for a correlation). I have decided to get that shot when the most vulnerable individuals have the option and are covered.

Marly Silverman has contributed the following information for members with CFS/ME:

"If you have CFS/ME or any other neuroendocrineimmune disorder (NEID), please discuss this issue with your specialist and your family physician. Your specialist may differ a bit on how to approach the personal decision of whether a patient with CFS/ME should take the flu shot. I personally do take it every year because the one year I did not, I came down with the flu, triggering a severe CFS relapse of great proportion. My doctors then recommended that I take the flu shot. I did experience reactions to the shot, but they were much more manageable, lasting anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, but it is much better than to have at least 6 months of feeling miserable and weak. This happened before medications for influenza were available. Now patients with a NEID have an additional option too."

Because I believe that knowledge is power, please click in the links below to to read Dr. Charles Lapps and others in the medical advice about flut shots. Dr. Lapp is one of the treating physicians, who does not favor the flue shots for his CFS/ME patients unless they have other chronic high-risk conditions [e.g., asthma]. And, as always, please consult your physician and empower yourself with knowledge so you can make an educated decision."

The Centers for Disease control estimates that 36,000 people die from influenza each year; and as we all now know, the H1N1 flu is spreading rapidly.

Click here for Dr. Charles Lappguidelines

Click here for Dr. Nancy Klimas's guidelines

Click here for Dr. David Bell's guidelines for children.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control website

Copyright 2009

Revised November 14,2009

Click below to read other articles by Yvette:

What's In A Name

Who Me Walk?

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