Saturday, November 07, 2009


I would like to announce my ultimate act of rebellion against my parents. I've mentioned several times before that having parents like mine - who hung out with artists and rock stars and owned night clubs and went to jail for drugs when they were really young - were nearly impossible to rebel against. This made my teen years even more confusing and angsty. I couldn't run off with a boy from a band and pierce my nose. I couldn't smoke pot or get suspended from school to distinguish myself from my parents. Doing those kinds of things would make me just like my parents. Therefore, I turned into an uptight, overly proper, etiquette book reading, priggish, stuck up, judgmental, highly neurotic, overly academic likeness of Lilith from "Cheers." You have to understand - that was the only thing I had. Some kids feel a freedom from their parents smoking hash out of a bent up Mountain Dew can. I felt the same rush sending out Christmas cards with custom labels and doing it the day after Thanksgiving. In real life, I'm so boring. The only time I really get wild and let loose is when I write.

But finally, this week I think I may have committed the ultimate act of rebellion against my parents - specifically my mother. I got the H1N1 vaccine. I even went all out, whole hog and got the nasal mist version. I don't mess around with vaccines. That intramuscular shot is for pussies. It's a wine cooler as compared to the double tequila shot of the nasal mist. I can handle it though.

My parents do not believe in vaccines. This came from Memere Marie's side. That whole side of the family has some kind of wonky conspiracy theory gene. Luckily I didn't get it, unless it's dormant in me and waiting to erupt when I hit a certain age or have kids. Everyone on my mom's side of the family believes in elaborate conspiracy theories involving the Masons, the Bilderbergs, aliens, Men in Black and horrible things the government is doing to control the population and control the world banking system for a powerful, elite few who may or may not be descendants of a powerful race of lizard hybrids who live in the center of the Earth.

Vaccines then are evil. Viruses are manufactured to get rid of undesirables. Vaccines have mysterious additives that are designed to insidiously destroy large sections of the population without making it look like that's what they're doing. The syringes contain nanobot technology or something. Lord knows. It's always different. The big pharmaceutical companies are also behind this. They're trying to get people sick so people need their medicine and products so Big Pharm can make money to pay off corrupt, Communist politicians who work for the Antichrist and who covered up the Roswell crash.

My mother hates when I get vaccinated. I love getting vaccines. I make sure that I always get the mercury free vaccines, but other than that, you can pretty much inject my ass with whatever antibody producing pathogens you want. I've considered visits to Africa just so I can get even more rounds of vaccines that aren't routine in America. I'd like to be immune to everything. It makes me feel oddly powerful, like I could just strut into a room with sick, hacking, aching, feverish people and be like "Ha! I am not getting what you have!"

Yesterday at school they were giving out H1N1 vaccine for free. Since last Spring, in the throes of hypochondria, I've been preoccupied with worrying about getting the Swine Flu. I have 120 something students and they always seem to have some snotty, coughing, sneezing ailment. My favorite is when they get up real close to me to tell me that they aren't feeling well and want to leave class early. I love how they do that. It's so considerate. Then they sneeze right on me. Sometimes I feel like teaching in a Hazmat suit.

I wanted to get the vaccine. I've had the real flu three, miserable, I thought I was going to die, times. I don't want to go through that again. I ended up getting bronchitis each time and was sick for two months. I missed work. I missed my twenty-first birthday and I remember lying in bed moaning. One time I puked so much from coughing that I made it down to a size 2, which is pretty much unheard of for someone of my Amazonian build (nothing and I mean nothing on me can ever be described as petite except my circus freak feet). I just don't want to go through that again. Missing class would cause me a tremendous inconvenience. I'd have to redo my whole syllbus for each class. It would really suck and then I would probably get my husband sick and personally, I'd rather be tubercular than deal with him when he so much as gets the sniffles.

When I saw they were giving out the vaccine for free at school and knowing that my doctor couldn't get any in yet, I got excited.

Then, suddenly, I got scared. What if after all, my mother was right? What is the Swine Flu pandemic hysteria wasn't even real? What if the government made it up as a means of controlling the people? What if the vaccine has nanobots in it? What if because of the vaccine I get some rare form of cancer in fifteen years and no one can ever connect it to the real cause? It appears I may have inherited the conspiracy gene after all.

My parents were very worried that I would get the H1N1 vaccine. I think Glenn Beck planted some seed in their heads that the vaccine contained live Socialism in it or something.

I really agonized over getting the vaccine. In the end I called my doctor friend and he said to absolutely don't hesitate to get it. I am partially considering maybe opening myself up to the idea of thinking about having children, so maybe the vaccine is a good idea just in case.

And then I thought about the stupid party with the white horse at my parents' house. I've been irritated about this party all week. I don't know why. I need to let things go. I really do. It should not matter to me what my parents choose to do in their own home, yet I still get myself bent out of shape over things like this anyway. It's a waste of my time to get upset over what my parents do. My getting upset over their throwing a party is as bad as them getting upset over me getting a vaccination. So I decided to go for it.

I willingly breathed a live virus into my lungs. I did it with gusto and it felt as crazy as making matching placecards for a dinner party or measuring the towels in my linen closet so that they all line up perfectly. It was almost like alphabetizing my spices. It was so good. I felt mighty and fierce. I felt...immune.

I want to add in here that some people are really scared of getting the nasal mist because they fear it might make them sick or that they might have side effects. I have heard of people who got a little ill from it. Not me. I had no side effects whatsoever. You wouldn't even know I took it. It was literally, like nothing.


kerry said...

Whether it's regular flu or swine flu, this year is bad, from the people I know who've had "it."

I hope this means you stay healthy!

alissa said...

I got the shot this week in canada and let me tell you, my arm ached for 3 days and I felt like I had the flu 28 hours after getting the shot... chills and hot sweats with a temp of 38. lasted 6 hours and then I went back to just the sore arm. It won't kill ya! I too, am now safe from the upcoming zombie swine infestation.

Jeannie said...

Maybe it WAS nothing - just regular nasal mist. And you aren't immune because "they" don't want some people immune. Instead, you are a carrier of a far more deadly disease. Mwahaha.

I'm not getting the vaccine because I think I had H1N1 last December - ended up on an inhaler for about a month for asthma when I don't get asthma. My mother was in isolation in the hospital for the same thing. My entire household was sick for the last few weeks with the same symptoms...hubby ended up on the same inhaler plus another plus 2 antibiotics. My son has bronchitis but he's tough so he's not going to the doc for anything. Meanwhile, I didn't come up with so much as a sniffle.

I'm not on any high risk list so I won't qualify for the shot until doomsday anyhow. ehn.

I think the people who die from H1N1 are likely not getting to the doctor in time for whatever reason.

Eponine said...

I'm a pharmacy technician, and I will be honest.

I am absolutely, 100% against these shots.

Someone in my family was given a flu shot about 10 years ago now, and they ended up contracting encephalitis from it.

I did a bit of research on the previous swine flu epidemic, and in 1976 they gave out swine flu vaccines that ended up giving people Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Medical stuff is largely experimental, and I fear that this new vaccine was mass produced in a damn hurry in response to the paranoia. There is no telling what a shot could do to you. And while people die of the flu every year, it's usually the very old or the very young, so I really see no reason for people in between to be getting these.

C said...

The nanobots have taken over your brain. You did not actually write this post, the bots have taken over and are influencing your thoughts.

PrudenceOctavia said...

This Swine flu is a bad one - I think I would take the vaccinations as well. Just my luck I would be one of the ones who had "additional complications"!

Calamity Anne said...

Your post put a smile on my face...I really enjoy your writing style! By the way...try alphabetizing your really makes life simpler! Have a fantastic day!

Sinclair said...

Memere Marie baked me an pumpkin pie if I sent you this link :)

Rhea said...

The anti-vaccine groups make me want to scream!!!! One of those compared having a vaccine to raping her duaghter so that she is ready if she get raped for real. That women has a medical degree!!!!
Argggggggggggggggggg ...sorry I will just go wash something while I calm down.

TK said...

You don't believe about the nanobots???!

I had this flu in June, it was odd for that time of year, I had headache, fever and chills, fatigue and muscle aches, but it was the mildest flu I ever had. Supposedly that's how most people have gotten it so far, except of course for if it put them in the hospital or killed them... :(

Anonymous said...

I had H1N1 and it suuuuuuucked. Good on you for your rebellion.

Renee in Seattle said...

I'm loving that you got the shot, for the very best reason of pissing off your parents!!!

JoeinVegas said...

OK, what happened at your birthday party?

Nanci said...

I agree with JoeInVegas -- what happened at that party?! :)

Unindicted Co-Conspirator said...

Your parents don’t believe in vaccines. Maybe they’ll believe in science fiction. Try telling them if you invent a time travel machine, and go back to 1745, you could die of Smallpox. That’s a teaching moment trifecta: it’s ’ll teach ‘em; it’ll make ‘em feel guilty for neglecting you in their hedonistic fun youth; and it’ll make you even more smug about being uptight.

Thing is, I’m with them when it comes to Big Pharma not having my best interests at heart, notwithstanding their benevolent commercials. The real question here is do they believe that universal healthcare is what Hitler would have wanted?

BTW, kudos on electing to stick around to continue blogging.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Eponine's comment that mostly the very old and very young typically die of the flu: usually true, but not this time. While the young will be just as vulnerable, the elderly are expected to shake the swine flu off or suffer only mild symptoms due to a similar flu virus they were exposed to in their youth.

Certainly vaccinations have their risks but to my mind the benefits far outweigh the potential harm. I'm glad we don't suffer from malaria and polio outbreaks anymore. I'm glad I never had the mumps, measles, and (especially) small pox.

As an aside, you are small. You are not Amazonian. You are deliciously normal and have a very cute figure. I would hate to see you as a size 2---I would try to force-feed you enormous sandwiches and chocolate mousse. I say this as a true Amazonian (feet and all).


Ambitious Blonde said...

My kid got swine flu and it kicked his normally super-healthy butt for close to a week. Good for you for getting the vaccine and being proactive about staying healthy.

SugarStarzKill said...

I am home sick from work today for guess what??? Bronchitis/H1N1! Yay for me. This is only day 2 and it has begun to get worse. I am not looking forward to the next few days becaus I know they will be hell. We are short on the vaccine in my area, they have been focusing on kids, elderly, pregnant, high risk, etc.
My sickness would probably be better if my boss had listened when I told him I had bronchitis.

Anyway! I love your blog, and can't wait to hear about your party. Write away so I have something to read while I am sick! I have read your archives already. And I admire that you look into yourself to see what you need to work on. Like you said, I too feel incredibly cheated sometimes, especially about losing my mom. Things just don't make sense sometimes but we have to learn to deal I guess.

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