SEPTEMBER AT RIVER BEND – AND PLEASE GET A FLU SHOT

I was very organized. I’ve wanted to get over to River Bend for a few weeks, but life kept taking us in other directions. Today, though, I knew we’d make it because we needed to go to CVS … and it’s just around the corner from the farm. It’s flu shot time. Last year, we got sidetracked. Not only did both of us get the flu, but we both got pneumonia. I had to delay my heart surgery twice because you really can’t have heart surgery when you’re coughing so hard you’re afraid your heart will propel itself out of your chest.

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And we made another mistake too. Not only did we get our flu shots late — the beginning of November — but we went to the doctor’s office to get them. It was already flu season by then. There were at least two people with heavy coughs in the waiting room. One of them firmly declared she didn’t need a mask because she wasn’t sick. “It just allergies,” she explained. I winced every time she coughed.

Thought balloon: “Excuse me, you germ-ridden hag … that deep, hacking cough is no damned allergy.”

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It was already too late by the time the nurse insisted she cover up. Garry and I got our shots, but it takes about 2 weeks to develop immunity from the vaccine. It was less than 48 hours before we were both sick. I slipped seamlessly and promptly into pneumonia and stayed sick for the next 4 weeks. Garry took longer to develop pneumonia, but he eventually got there too.

Not making the same mistake this year.

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Getting flu vaccine at CVS was quick, easy, pleasant. The nurse was cheerful, friendly, and competent. We didn’t have to sit in a waiting room full of sick people. The shots were paid for by Medicare — without the “office visit” charge the doctor charged — a full $100 less than last year.

We were in and out in about 45 minutes, including a little bit of shopping we had to do.

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I recommend everyone get a flu shot. The rumor that you can get the flu from the vaccine is untrue, a classic urban legend. The flu is serious stuff. It frequently leads to pneumonia and other secondary infections. Unless you have a month to spend miserable and sick, get a flu shot soon. Before you get sick.

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River Bend Farm is part of the Blackstone Valley National Corridor, one of many parks along the Blackstone River. While there’s a bit of color showing now, the rich reds, orange, and yellow-gold of true autumn haven’t quite arrived. But close. Very close.

There is more color in the woods behind my house than along the river today. Usually, you see color first where there’s water.

So … autumn’s not here yet. But it’s on its way. You can smell it on the breeze, feel it in the crispness of the air. And see it in the bright yellow foliage.



Categories: Autumn, Blackstone River, Health, Nature, Photography

Tags: , , , , , , ,

19 replies

  1. The dock is my favorite. There is something about old docks that is much more appealing than the brand new modern ones. As always, gorgeous photos.

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  2. love the shot with the dock … reminds me of a place i used to live as a kid.

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  3. I was just talking about this with my sister. For the past ten years since college, I have had a flu shot EVERY year, without fail. Heck, half the time my employer would cover it because I was doing direct client or inmate contact. I have never, ever had a problem with a flu shot, and, while I have had the flu, I haven’t had it terribly bad. So yes, everybody, please get your flu shot. I wish I could talk my sister into giving Baby O one.

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  4. I hope this winter will be better for both of you. 😀

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  5. I’m not going to try to rain on your health advice, I am only going to give my personal experience with this…. which pulls heavily for the urban legend. My Dad’s been on dialysis for a while and never in the best of shape, so it’s always recommended by his doctors that anyone who is around him a lot get the flu shot every year to reduce the risk he’ll get sick (And he’s a perfect candidate for developing pneumonia). He gets the shot, my Mom gets the shot, my youngest sister gets the shot… I refuse. Every year…. seriously, EVERY year since they started getting the flu shots, my Dad gets the flu, my Mom gets the flu, my sister gets the flu… and I haven’t had it since 1986 and it made me miss a week of 5th grade.

    You can see why I, at least, have reason to be skeptical of this “miracle vaccine’s” actual powers….

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    • There are a lot of bad colds which are very flu-like. We stopped getting the flu more than 10 years ago when we started getting shots … and until last year, we stopped getting pneumonia, too. I don’t know your age, but people in the prime of life are far less likely to get it. Better immune systems. You get older — or you have a compromised immune system — and you’re more likely to get it AND more likely to get sick with one of the post-flu gems like pneumonia or pleurisy.

      It really IS an urban legend. You cannot get the flu from a flu shot, but it does take a couple of weeks to confer immunity. So, if you are already incubating a flu or other bug, the shot won’t help and might just hurry along whatever else you were already harboring. But sorry — you really can’t get the flu from the vaccine. You can’t. Not possible. You can get a strain of the flu not covered by the vaccine or some other miserable disease that is very flu-like, but not the card-carrying flu.

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  6. Actually, my youngest daughter is the only member of our family who ever got a flu shot, and she’s the only one who ever then got the flu. After that, none of us wanted a flu shot. Of course, it’s possible she had already been exposed to the flu before she got the shot, or during that 2-week period while the immunity was building up, but who knows?

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    • You cannot get the flu from the shot. It’s a killed-virus vaccine. YOU CANNOT GET THE FLU FROM THE SHOT.

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      • I believe you. No need to shout. 🙂

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        • I have this same argument with my son, my granddaughter, my daughter in law, neighbors. It’s one of the entrenched beliefs people are determined to believe — and don’t confuse them with facts. Their minds are made up! Thing is, you never know if it’s going to be a bad year for the flu or a mild one. At my age, with all the issues I’ve got, ANY chest cold or flu is potentially lethal. Flu killed as many people in WW I as guns. Something to ponder.

          😀

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  7. I do plan to get a flu shot this year. My company pays for them at places like CVS and Walgreens (many more out here of the latter than the former), so there’s no excuse for not getting one. Thanks for the reminder.

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    • Earlier is better. We waited too long last year and boy oh boy did we regret it. Glad to be of help!!

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      • I don’t know if there’s a need to “knock-on-wood” here but I don’t believe in flu shots and have never had one. I also stay away from excessive antibiotic ingestion. The human bios is amazing on its own and can, under most circumstances, heal itself. We are surrounded by, and exposed to all sorts of micro-organisms daily.., thousands, millions and maybe more. Technically we should be sick ALL THE TIME, but we’re not, proving that the system works. Yes, there are exceptions like those with weak or compromised immune systems.,,. and we do need a mechanic (surgeon) once in a while to fix a loose connection, or tighten a bolt. Other than that our bodies are surprisingly resilient.

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        • Good luck. I used to get the flu every year until I started getting inoculated. I only take anitbiotics when I have no choice. They really upset my system … but the shots have never bothered either Garry or I … and they have protected us. I can’t afford to get that sick again. I have enough trouble breathing anyhow!

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