Monday, October 26, 2009

A Visit to the Doctor's Office

Today I went to see my doctor for yet another in the series of allergy shots I have committed to getting over a three year period (previously discussed in "Scent Sensitive"). These shots have been designed to build my body's immunity to environmental allergies in the hopes that lessening its' burden will allow it to better cope with the ensuing reactions after coming into contact with certain unidentified chemicals and fragrances - for which there are no current treatments except avoidance since there are so many thousands of them used (go here for an indication in such a plethora of combinations that allergy treatments targeting them specifically are deemed impossible at this point. Check these out for an idea of the effects of some of those toxins and information on how to minimize exposure to them (should've included them in the previous rant I suppose, but that's it)...

....alas, I digress....

Something quite different was brought to my attention when I reported to the receptionist seems the waiting room has now become a segregated space: flu patients on one side and non-flu patients on the other. In addition, the waiting room is now adorned with several strategically placed large pump bottles of hand sanitizer, accompanied by signs advising that they should be used. During my wait, I also noticed that one of the patients sitting on the "flu" side was sporting a mask over his mouth - I can only assume he was doing his best to avoid infecting anyone else with a possible case of H1N1...? Thoughtful, to be sure, but also more excessive than anything I have previously encountered.

Speaking of H1N1, I let you in on my dirty little secret yesterday: I haven't made up my mind whether or not to get vaccinated - GASP! Anyway, I figured I would capitalize on the opportunity presented to converse with my doctor on said subject while she was sticking a different needle in my arm. In a nutshell, she agrees that there is a lot of hype, she says people are scared because H1N1 is unpredictable (you may experience mild symptoms only and get better on your own, but it has also been known to kill otherwise healthy individuals that would not have been expected to react so violently to the virus). She advised me that there are cases in our city and that people have been hospitalized for it. She said that if the regular flu shot doesn't bother me then this one shouldn't either, as it is prepared in the same way, recommended that I get it, and informed me that she and her children would all be getting vaccinated (if that made me feel any better). Which makes me wonder, why is it that the online poll conducted by the local paper found that, of 174 votes, 59% are NOT planning on getting the vaccine while 40% say they will? And then there are statements like these on the BC government's website claiming that the "safety [of the vaccines] will be carefully monitored during their use in Canada and internationally" - gotta observe the scientific method after all; observe and report on those guinea pigs! - and that of the two varieties available, only one is recommended for pregnant women. Why is that? What makes it OK for the rest of us if it is not OK for them?

I left the doctor's office still feeling uncertain and hesitant and I'm not sure why....but I did take a squirt of that sanitizer on the way out just in case ;)

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