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07 October 2010

Flu Shots

I don't usually get flu shots. Lucia lured me into going to a health fair at St Martin's once - maybe 17 years ago (I haven't thought about it in years, but I remember talking to a foot doctor who was surprised I knew what a tailor's bunion was, and I suddenly remembered the shoes I was wearing, for some reason), or so - and we got flu shots, which I felt had a negative rather than positive effect and so didn't bother after that.

Last year the doctor's office rang me to exhort me to get a swine flu shot as it was meant to be a bad winter and they said I was in that mega-elite category of sick/elderly/frail/etc. people who might croak (which wasn't the way that particular flu operated, as above a certain age one had been exposed to it in the last go-round and had antibodies, they say). There weren't any flu shots available, anyway, which was superfine to me, but just to be a good sport I dutifully read all the information sent to me and looked at the associated Web links. What the two places (I could go to if they ever got vaccine which they didn't) said was that if you didn't want mercury you could request non-mercury vaccine of which there was a limited amount (the mercury is used as a preservative).

This year the doctor's office rounded me up, and I can't even say *why* I said I would do it - I really can't. I did wind up, a couple of years ago, with a fever and on the floor for a couple of days, which I do wish to avoid, but that didn't motivate me last year. I just don't know. Anyway, I decided that I would ask for non-mercury vaccine but that if they didn't have any I would just go with what they had. This morning I didn't even sit down - they swept me into the back immediately. Dr H came through and said hello.

Me (to the innoculationist): Do you have the non-mercury kind of vaccine?
Inn.: Has mercury done a number on you?
Me: Mercury does a number on everyone.
Dr H (leaping into action although I'm sure he was really wanted elsewhere): Let's see! (unwraps a new bottle, unrolls the nine-mile long documentation with a flourish and finds the mercury section) It has X micrograms. That's (blah blah) tiny amount.
Me: I know the usual kind has mercury - my question is really only relevent if you also have the non-mercury kind. I'd decided before I came that if you didn't I'd just go with what you have. (I must not ask things right; I felt like a trouble-maker.)
Dr H: Oh. I never heard of that - we'll look into it next year. (wanders off)
Inn: So you want the shot or not?
Me: Yes.

I was just asking. I really don't want mercury if it can be easily avoided, but I knew it might not be possible. As Enj says, it accumulates in the body, so even small amounts add up.


posted by - 11:22 PM

"Mercury is said to be the most dangerous environmental poison of all heavy metals. The long half-life and the fact that human body has no way of excreting mercury actively mean that mercury keeps accumulating in the human body throughout life."
Nutrition Research, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland
When I get really mad, the mercury squirts out of my ears. Does that count as excreting?
/me buys some corks for Salazar's ears.

We like fish, though, Enj, which I also think about a lot, but I was just trying not to have more if I could avoid it.

I remember playing with broken thermometer mercury as a child. Different times.

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