Mama Madison: A shot in the arm

It is really important to get a flu shot

While I am not sure my primary motivator for avoiding the flu is fear my child might end up at a less selective college, I do agree with Citizen Dave that getting a flu shot, for both adults and kids, is a good idea. Based on everything ever read, seen, or heard about the virus, it absolutely sucks. And if a simple vaccine exists that can help a person avoid it, sucking it up and getting poked is a worthwhile thing to do.

We take the devastation the flu can wreck pretty seriously around our house. Years ago my sister-in-law, young and healthy at the time (actually, she's still young, and once again healthy), came down with the flu and ended up being hospitalized for a week with pneumonia, one of the virus's more serious side effects. And several years back, my husband had his turn with the god-awful infection. For five days straight, he lay alone in our dark basement with a high fever, only acknowledging my existence when I came to give him Tylenol.

He didn't speak, he didn't eat--he was even too sick to even watch TV. And when I remind the kids of this---they can't even imagine what illness without cable could possibly feel like---they are more than willing to face the inoculation needle.

My husband and boys got their shots back around Thanksgiving. And healthwise, it's been "so far, so good" this winter for them.

My daughter and I have felt just fine thus far this flu season, too. Embarrassing but true, though, we haven't gotten our shots yet. I have no philosophical reason or thoughtful excuse for why this hasn't happened. I am sure I could pick up the phone tomorrow and get an appointment at our health care provider's flu clinic. Heck, I can walk up to Neuhauser Pharmacy today, or drive over to Walgreens, and be protected in a flash. The only reason I haven't is, well, just plain laziness, I guess. I haven't made getting the shot a priority for either of us. And I know I need to make it one, not just for my family's sake, but also for the sake of every one with whom we come in contact.

According to the state Department of Health Services, as of the end of the day last Friday, January, 11, Wisconsin had seen 4,249 confirmed influenza cases, more than double the number of cases the state saw all of last season. And things are bound to get worse before they get better.

The DHS folks are urging people like me, those who so far haven't heeded the warning, to get inoculated as soon as possible. And lucky for us foot (arm?) draggers; Wisconsin still has plenty of vaccine left.

So while no guarantees of perfect health come with the needle, it's enough excuses and tempting of fate on my part. I promise, by the time this is posted, my daughter and I will have gotten our flu shots.

Because no one around here wants to lose a week of work or school.

And especially not a week of television. Not when "Downton Abbey," with or without Spanish Flu, is back on.

comments powered by Disqus

More to read

Loading More Articles
No More Articles

Mama Madison: No judgments with No Excuse Mom

If there is an excuse for not working out and eating healthy, I have used it: I don't have time. I'm too tired. I'll start tomorrow. I'm no good at this, I give up. I don't know where to start. Yes, I have used all of these and more.

Mama Madison: Introducing kids to your CSA box

At almost a year old, my kids are in the blissful stage of life where they'll eat nearly anything that I put in front of them (at least as long as it doesn't require much in the way of molar action).

Mama Madison: Changing tables, changing times

My family recently went through something that we have not experienced in over eight years. We have become a household that no longer harbors a crib or a changing table.

From museum to school with MMoCA

"There really is no wrong way to do it." That's how Madeline, age 13, describes creating artwork. She and her classmates at Prairie View Middle School in Sun Prairie are honing their artistic skills by participating in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Art on Tour program.

Mama Madison: Coping with toddlers in a Wisconsin winter

I'm having trouble enjoying the season, because I can't keep myself from thinking about the miserable weather that's sure to be following close on the heels of the crisp, pleasant fall we've been having. I am not at all emotionally prepared to be the parent of two toddlers during a Wisconsin winter.

Mama Madison: Melissa Wardy pushes positive messages

I've always been a supporter of companies that empower women and girls, and when the creator of such a company is a fellow Wisconsinite, I get even more excited. When Melissa Wardy of Janesville got fed up with stereotypes found in clothing for girls, she started her own company.

Mama Madison: Three cheers for reading at the Wisconsin Book Festival

Do you have a little reader or an aspiring teenaged writer in your house? If so, you may want to venture to the Wisconsin Book Festival this weekend, to whet their appetite for wonderful words as well as your own.

Mama Madison: What's in a name?

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I had two names picked out. Upon her arrival we had not yet come to a conclusion on what that name would be. Everyone told us that when we saw her we would just know. We didn't.

Mama Madison: Eugster's is more than just a visit to the farm

At age 10 months, my kids have seen the zoo a lot already. I was a zoology major in college, and I have something of a zoo addiction still, so the twins (and their dad) are more or less condemned to a future rife with zoo visits.

Help for home-schoolers at the Madison Mentor Center

Home-schooling can be a lonely proposition. Even as a college professor, Juliana Hunt remembers struggling to find support to home-school her now-grown daughter. "I was always hoping to find like-minded people who were in the same position as me," she says. "I know that children learn best through a give-and-take, question-and-answer process of teaching and learning, but where do you find mentors who can make that happen?"

Mama Madison: Yummy Sprout is a wonderful resource

After sleep patterns, I think the next biggest parenting concern I have and hear about revolves around the topic of food. How can I make sure my kids are eating enough vegetables? Did I pack them a lunch that is healthy enough? What can I feed them after school that doesn't come from a box? How many gripes am I going to get about the dinner I'm about to prepare?

Mama Madison: Tips and tricks for baby air travel

As far as places to embark on Baby's First Air Travel go, Dane County Regional Airport is a pretty sound choice, especially at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night. My biggest fear was that my nine-month-old son would start screaming in the airport; my second biggest fear was that my son would start screaming and some of my former Epic colleagues would be around to hear it.

Mama Madison: Apple-picking time

The recent shift in the weather is just another sign that autumn is fast approaching. That means one of my favorite activities is just around the corner -- apple picking. My husband and I have been picking apples every fall since before our kids were born.

Mama Madison: Baby feeding recommendations

I have a lot of questions about what to put on my eight-month-olds' plates -- and, if I'm honest, a deep and abiding fear of putting the wrong thing there. Did I start them on solid foods at the right time? What's the deal with baby-led weaning -- how much self-feeding should they be doing? At what age should I give them potential allergens like shellfish or nut products?

Heartland Farm Sanctuary helps animals that help kids

Lily the potbellied pig arrived at Heartland Farm Sanctuary blind, lethargic and too overweight to walk. The children of Heartland's summer day camp program took it upon themselves to put the curl back in her tail.

Mama Madison: Back-to-school confidences

Is it just me or does each summer seem to go by quicker than the last? The end of summer is upon us and for many families this means the start of a new school year.

Mama Madison: Does back-to-school really mean a whole new wardrobe?

This past week, on the way to the grocery store, my daughter asked what I believed she thought would be a innocuous question, "Mom, when are we going back-to-school shopping?"

Mama Madison: Next generation of bloggers

Volunteering with the Young Writers Summer Camp this past week really helped me to remember how utterly creative kids can be when encouraged to come up with their own ideas and use their own words.

Mama Madison: Returning to the workforce

This past week I gleefully accepted an offer for new job on the UW-Madison campus. My kids are getting are older and I guess I've felt for a while now that it was time to figure out what would be next for me on the professional front.

Triathlons raise money to teach kids healthy habits

"Kids spend so much time in and around school, it's the only place where some have a chance to develop an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle," says Katie Hensel, founder and executive director of Tri 4 Schools.