Tuesday October 21, 2014




My Nikkel’s Worth

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It is human nature, sometimes, to ignore preventative measures or to engage in behaviour that could lead to an accident or other situation that is preventable.

When I lived in Alberta, I recall a well-known physician, Dr. Louis Francescutti, who I heard speak and it was his firm belief there was no such thing as an “accident”, that all so-called accidents are preventable, therefore he called them incidents.

This is probably true to a certain extent, more than most people would probably admit to.

I am a prime example of suffering the consequences of a preventable situation, and I am here to tell you readers (and hopefully there are more than three …) that if you haven’t got your flu shot — get it.

I came down with the ‘A’ strain of influenza, and ended up with bronchial pneumonia, and had to be hospitalized for eight days over Christmas, being discharged on New Year’s Eve.

This was not a pleasant situation, as I was really, really sick the day I asked a colleague to drop me off at the hospital. I had tried to get into a clinic but as it was close to Christmas I was told in a message that if I had need for a doctor to go to the hospital — and it was a good thing I did, because I was a lot sicker than I knew.

There were tests, blood samples, X-rays, and all sorts of vital signs monitored closely as the attending physician and his staff tried to figure out just what exactly I had. By how sick I was, there were fears (I think) that I might’ve had the “big one”, the dreaded H1N1, but close to when I was released I was told the results came back that I had the “A” strain.

It was bad enough; I was coughing a lot, and it sucked the appetite right out of me so I wasn’t eating or drinking very much, and this in turn further weakened my body which was being wracked by this flu.

A friend of mine who helped look after me in ICU told me after that I probably didn’t know just how really sick I was.

As the doctor who looked after me said when he first came in to examine me (and recognized who I was), he said in exasperation (or maybe I just thought it was exasperation) that I should’ve known better, I should’ve had the flu shot.

He’s right, of course; I hadn’t gotten the shot, and I should have, and I likely would’ve been spared the most severe aspects of the flu. It may not have prevented me from getting it, but it would’ve lessened the most severe symptoms of it.

It was no fun lying in a hospital bed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day; but the thing is, it was preventable, and it still is, if you have not yet obtained your flu shot. Get it!


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