Per my post last week about feeling indestructible (or in this case, NOT), I recently got a flu shot. The shot itself went off without a hitch. It's about a 50/50 chance each year that I have a reaction to the flu shot. Half the time, I end up with flu-like side effects for a good day and half; the other half, I get off easy with no reaction at all. Thankfully, the last couple of years have been reaction-free, this year included. So, in fact, the shot itself went well, but filling out the paperwork required to receive the shot gave me pause.
First, picture me, walking into the pharmacy to get my shot: I'd had gloves permanently affixed to my hands all day long because my Raynaud's was driving me crazy (even in the 50-60 degree weather!), I had specifically chosen to wear pants rather than a skirt that day because of some unattractive bruising on my legs, and I'd just been to the doctor so I had band aids where my blood had been drawn. And while I hadn't given much thought to all that before I walked into the pharmacy, once I glanced over the paperwork I was about to fill out, I realized that my lupus, while clinically quiescent, was very much present!
As I perused the flu shot form, I started to wonder a) would the pen actually have enough ink for me to check off all of the boxes that applied to me, b) would my circulatory or bruising issues be touched upon, and c) was there room for another band-aid? (Of course there was, but for dramatic effect, I'll leave "C" in there!
So here's the way the form went for me:
"No" to Was I sick today? Cool.
"Yes" to Was I allergic to or have reactions to medications, food or vaccines? Of course. Where do I begin?
"Yes" to Was I on anti-coagulation medication? Indeed. 81 mg of aspirin, baby!
"Yes" to Do I have long-term health problems with heart, lung, asthma, kidney, anemia or other blood disorder? Oh yes.
"Yes" to Do I have cancer, leukemia, or another immune system disorder? Yes, and her nasty little name is lupus.
"Yes" to Do I take cortisone, prednisone or other steroids? Yes, oh, yes, I do.
"No" to Have I had seizures or other nervous system problems? Hurray for a "No"!
"No" to have I received a blood transfusion in the past year? Not this year, thankfully, but in years past, you betcha.
So after filling out the form, and taking stock of my current status (gloves, bruises and all), I was feeling a little less than perfect. Not down and out, just...not...indestructible. Know what I mean?
But the feeling of vulnerability left by the time I got home. My hands were warm and toasty from planting them in front of the heater on the drive home, the thought of my long pants and band-aids had exited my mind, and as I walked in the door, my girls called out, "Mommy's home!!" with all the excitement they could muster. They loved me, bruises, medicines, conditions, and all. Who says you can't live well, despite lupus?