I do not want to crow, but I’ve just had my first flu vaccine shot.
My doctor jabbed me at the top of my left arm and, despite my apprehension, the needle hardly hurt.
The only thing that worries me now is that before the jab I was sitting alone in the doctor’s room with nothing to do except read the disturbing stuff on the box the vaccine came in.
Don’t you just hate that?
You spend ages in the doctor’s waiting room reading things you wouldn’t read in a month of Sundays, like a relentless mail-out magazine that you had to move house three times to escape from.
Then you are ushered into Room No 2, and you find yourself sitting there with absolutely nothing to do, not even a Reader’s Digest, while the doctor might well be doing a prostate examination in Room No 1 and could be quite some time.
Thankfully, my doctor has all kinds of interesting things to read on his walls.
If you are trying to remember the words of The Thigh Bone’s Connected to the Hip Bone, there is a handy diagram there to prompt you.
And if you need to brush up on your spelling of internal organs, my doctor’s No 2 room is the right place to go.
Or, like me yesterday, you can be a real stickybeak and can read medical stuff on the desk.
“If you are allergic to hen’s eggs or chicken feathers, DO NOT use this vaccine,” it said on the side of the vaccine box.
“Um, what’s that all about?” I asked the doctor when he finally emerged.
“Oh, the flu virus is grown in chicken eggs,” he said.
But there was no need to worry.
After it is harvested, it is inactivated and extensively purified.
You cannot even smell any chook poo.
As I said, I do not want to crow. Or cock-a-doodle-do.
I did, however, have visions of the doctor pointing the loaded needle at my arm and saying in his best Clint Eastwood voice: “Are you feeling clucky, punk?”
But I had such a rugged time with the flu last year, I was determined to press on.
Besides, I eat eggs and chicken galore so I probably have nothing to worry about. Right?
It was a great relief to me when the doctor gave me the pamphlet inside the box and I read that I had a one in two million chance of not contracting GBS (at first I thought it stood for Grievous Bodily Something but I now know it is Gullain-Barre Syndrome) and dying.
Since I have never won the lottery, I figure that those kind of odds work in my favour.
I read on.
I came to the heading of “Contraindications” and I have absolutely no idea what that means. I guess I need to enrich my word power in the doctor’s waiting room some more more.
“Individuals with anaphylactic hypersensitivilty to eggs and/or chicken feathers, nemycin, polymyxin, gentamicin and any other component of the vaccine should not be given” the vaccine.
Whoa, I think I have some of those last things in my muesli each breakfast and they give me indigestion
But, as I said, I pressed on and took the shot like a man.
Twenty-four hours later, I feel fine.
Never felt better.
I feel like I’m at the top of the pecking order.
THIS STORY COMES FROM THIS BOOK. BUY THE eBOOK
If you need to find out how to turn teapot cosies into fashion accessories, this is the book for you.
This is a collection of funny columns that have appeared in various Australian newspapers and on John Martin’s website.
John Martin is better known these days as the writer of humorous mysteries but this is a nod to his past as a journalist.
If fashion isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps rats are. Find out how those beady little eyes live on in John Martin’s mind many years after he was marooned on a desert island. Or find out how Beethoven made a kerfuffle refuffle.