I got shot…with influenza


I have never had influenza, oh lord the word sounds serious, let me retry this. I’ve never had the Flu, yes, better. All my life of walking in the rain as a child, walking on the cold tiles of my parents house, sleeping under the open window allowing the night wind to chill my body and still I never caught the flu. I’ve caught a cold, everybody has, but the flu is an entirely different thing. According to the American Journal of Medicine more than 100 people die from the flu annually. It was this data that lead to the situation documented in this blog.

Well, in Canada November to March is flu season. Just as we have mango season and June plum season in Jamaica, this is annual but not as pleasant an experience. Flu season is a major thing here, business places offer hand sanitizer to customers and some even have face mask for people who are sneezing or coughing. I landed in the middle of flu season and was advised by my doctor and my fear of dying that I need to take precautions and protect myself from catching influenza. I agreed to this because frankly what did I have to lose…but my life. I got a flu shot, was pretty simple and quick, didn’t hurt at all…at the time.

I woke up that night with my arm on fire, not literally but it might as well have been on fire as the heat coming from it could have kept the entire GTA warm for winter. It was also swollen as if a swarm of wasp had attacked it while I slept but the worst part was the excruciating pain I was feeling. The doctor never told me about this part, not even that it may happen and I instantly started worrying like a cow in a butcher shop. Can you imagine I just got to the first world and get killed by doctor’s malpractice? Then it got worst. My body was overcome with goose pimples and my teeth started chattering. I was hot an cold at the same time. My eyes hurt and my joints were aching me, this was no regular sickness, this was influenza. Had I been in Jamaica I would have gone to the backyard to get Rice and Peas Bush to boil for tea, but what bush would I find in Toronto under the snow?

The flu shot that was supposed to help me fight the flu, actually gave me the flu and now my body is better armed to fight the flu…or so my doctor says. Well, since I made it through the night I will work with him because he has the title of doctor, but the jury is still out on whether I will do this again next year… it r the truth.