Believe it or not I have no desire to be controversial. In my last post I wrote a disclaimer (I actually said these very words, which I have cut and pasted; you can go back and check: Let me be clear. I am in NO WAY minimizing the horror of genuine attacks against women. I am ABSOLUTELY in no way whatsoever saying it is EVER okay to force any woman to do anything against her will.), which was apparently so invisible that people still accused me of being pro-rape. But okay, onward and upward.

This past week I got a ridiculously high fever. Like 125 degrees high type of fever where you would be afraid you might spontaneously combust, if you could actually think straight, except that you are so feverish you think your dog is your child and your child is an astronaut who has come to bring you a magical space potion to cure the disease that is turning your bones into powder. Luckily I had moments of distraction from the fever where I was able to focus on the shattering pain in my head and the absolute agony going on in my throat.

My fever finally broke some time on Saturday, and with it went most of the headache. But the sore throat hung on like a high school girl with a boy band crush. Luckily we are blessed in my community with an old tyme doctor who makes house calls. So on Sunday he came over to run a strep test. He looked at my throat and said I had a raging infection, but the test came back not strep.

Okay, fast forward to today. What does that have to do with now? Nothing. But it’s interesting? Right? It’s a fun story. Kind of sucks you in as a reader, huh?

Many people ask, “Do you get the flu shot?” And what’s funny to me is that an abnormal number of people I have actually known who have gotten the flu shot (this is real, not anecdotal, and I don’t have statistics…) have actually gotten the flu after getting the shot. Sure medical professionals will say they would have gotten it anyway, or they will get a milder case after the vaccine than they would have had otherwise, but I believe that to be statistically unlikely and probably bogus. At the very least it’s speculative and CYA…

Now here is my disclaimer for this post, and please read it carefully: IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION, OR ARE MEDICALLY FRAGILE IN ANY WAY, OR ARE UNDER THE CARE OF A DOCTOR OR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL OR SHOULD BE- PLEASE CONSULT WITH THEM. DON’T LISTEN TO ME. I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. WHAT I AM SAYING IS MY OWN OPINION. THIS IS WHAT I DO AND WHY I DO IT. I AM NOT GIVING YOU ADVICE. I MAKE DECISIONS FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME. I MAKE NO CLAIMS TO BE ANYONE I AM NOT.

Okay? Is that clear? I’m happy to share what I do and why. I think what I do is sound and rational. I am not ashamed of any of the decisions I make, but I certainly don’t want anyone confusing what I do in my case with what someone else should do in theirs.

The bigger problem I have with the flu vaccine though is the vaccine itself. If the vaccine was just water being injected into your vein and by placebo effect some people would presto! not get the flu I would say great maybe more people should get the shot (or perhaps I would still not get it for my family and still think it was dumb and mind my own business mostly…), but if you look at the shot itself it is troubling in a number of ways. I’m not suggesting you go to anti-vax conspiracy websites. If you look at places like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) or even the inserts of the vaccines themselves, you will find some pretty horrifying things. The list of ingredients is quite eye-opening. From aluminum (thought to cause Alzheimer’s), to formaldehyde (used to preserve dead bodies), to mercury (people have been urged to remove dental filling containing mercury because it is so toxic)- the list goes on, but these are substances that are problematic in general and in vaccines they are being injected directly into a person’s BLOODSTREAM. Years ago there was controversy over an ingredient called thimerosol, alleging ties to autism. Although it was “disproven” thimerosol was removed. But those lawsuits get the largest chunk of settlement money from the pot of money from vaccine settlement cases. And in a bunch of cases thimeresol was quietly snuck back in.

Also with flu vaccine the batches are mixed up the previous season based on which strains they think will hit the following year. So let’s say last year they thought this year they thought this year we would get hit with strain A and R and J. They put those three into a batch- even though in nature, by the way you will never find a mutation of ARJ- and then have a whole load of ARJ. But what if the flu this year was actually AMT? So when you get vaccinated at BEST you may only have a 1/3 chance of it working even if the vaccine works perfectly and it doesn’t make you sick… Or a 0/3 chance- but you think they tell you that? They just need to get through that batch! So they offer gift cards and meal vouchers and oh you good Samaritan we will even give a free vaccine to a poor kid somewhere for every vaccine we put into you!! You big hero!! (By the way, have you seen these new ads for the HPV vaccine? With the sad eyed kids asking their parents- the viewer- “Mom? Dad? Why did you let me get cancer? How come you didn’t vaccinate me?” Oh gee, maybe because it’s a relatively new unproven vaccine and I would rather have 10 million safe sex talks with my kid before I would roll up their sleeve for your vaccine? Anyway…)

The point is that vaccines are always a cost benefit analysis. My grandma’s father died in the flu epidemic of the early 1900s. She grew up petrified of dying of the flu. You could pretty much ask her to inject bleach into her veins to prevent the flu and she would do it. So in her nursing home when the doctor makes his rounds and asks if she had her flu shot she nods in that trusting way that only very old people do and smiles trustingly into his very young eyes and says, “Oh yes, Doctor!”

And when anyone asks me if I’ve had my flu shot I shake my head derisively in that way only someone of my generation would dare to assume is weighted with meaning and say, “You’re kidding, right?”

Because I would pretty much never vaccinate.