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Swine flu vaccination | Thursday, December 10th, 2009

I wasn't planning on getting vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. I tend to take a laissez-faire attitude about this kind of thing, and even if I did catch it I'm pretty sure my immune system would manage to fight it off. Coupled with my irrational belief that people who live in colder climates are naturally hardier, I figured it was all just an orchestrated panic to scare the Walmart crowd into submission again.

However, my family situation has changed quite rapidly over the past month, and I've been spending lots of time around babies and toddlers, not to mention a couple of hours a day at the hospital. Seeing as how the young and ill are higher-risk candidates for complications due to the swine flu, I decided that I should do it not for myself, but to protect those around me. I didn't, however, feel up to going to one of the clinics here in Laval and waiting in line. There's a certain herd-ness to it that bothers me.

As luck would have, yesterday, at the hospital, there was an announcement over the intercom that they are conducting drop-in vaccinations in a room for the next 45 minutes or so. I headed on down to the room - which was just a regular hospital room hurriedly converted to a makeshift vaccination clinic, to find there was only one person ahead of me. I filled out the paperwork, handed them my medicare card, and not a minute later was I sitting in the chair with my sleeve rolled up. The attendant explained some of the possible complications, then got his needle ready. He looked at my shoulder, looked at his needle, and snorted in French: "I think I'm going to need a longer needle for you." I enjoy those little moments.

The injection was done in less than 10 seconds. I didn't feel a thing - though I've never really been bothered by needles, injections or vaccinations. I then was told to sit outside of the office for at least 15 minutes to make sure I didn't die have any complications. A super-cute nurse who was also getting vaccinated arrived right after me, and we made small talk about the vaccination, why we both hesitated to get it, etc. I had to go and I should've asked her out but instead I stuck out my hand and said "Well it was nice meeting you - good luck!" comme un vrai champion. Sigh.

Today, I have some soreness - not pain - in my shoulder area, enough to reschedule my gym workout until tomorrow. I also have a bit of a tummyache, but I suspect that could be from the metric ton of Jell-O I ate last night. The whole process (the vaccination, not the Jell-O eating) was quick, painless and efficient, even though it all seemed a bit backroom and ghetto ("psst - hey! wanna get vaccinated honey? meet me on the third floor in room 362. bring your medicare card - and come alone.")