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Friday, February 6, 2015

The "Needle Or Not" Story

It was an ordinary day.  My wife is questioning me as to whether we should have a vaccination for measles.  Seems the latest disease outbreak is causing concern for just about everyone including those considered "seniors."  Carol told me she couldn't remember if she ever had measles when she was young.  She did remember that someone came and put a notice on the front door of her home in the city of Lancaster when she was young and was ill, but wasn't sure what caused her illness.  I also don't remember if I ever had measles when I was young.  So, out comes the iPad and she begins her search to see if we should or could have a measles vaccination.  Found out that the vaccine became available in 1963 and increased doses followed in 1971 and 1977 after further outbreaks.
The measles vaccination was eventually packaged with vaccinations for mumps and rubella (German measles) and were titled the MMR vaccinations.  Our oldest child was born in 1971 and he, as well as our two children that were born after him, all received the MMR vaccinations.  It eventually became law that the MMR vaccinations were necessary in order to send you children to school.  Then she read that if you're not sure if you ever had the measles or had the vaccination, you can get the MMR.  But then she read further and found that if you were born during 1956 or before, you are presumed to be immune, since many children had the diseases back then or didn't have it because of a natural immunity.  Then there was a list of reasons why you shouldn't get the vaccine such as being allergic to gelatin or neomycin, being pregnant or planning to get pregnant in the next month, if your immune system is weak because of cancer drugs, corticosteroids or Aids or if you may have had a severe allergic reaction following the first shot MMR shot.  Geez, I have no idea if I every had a shot so how would I remember if I ever had a reaction to it.  Well, we decided that maybe we should contact our doctors to see what they think about a shot for us as "seniors."  After contracting shingles two years ago in St. Martin, I certainly don't want to get measles on my upcoming return trip to St. Martin.  Not that there is an outbreak of measles in St. Martin, but getting measles anywhere would really spoil a good vacation.  And, "seniors" are allegedly supposed to have a harder time recovering from diseases the older they get.  It's hell getting older!  Gonna have to start getting younger instead of getting older. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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