I was sitting in a local pharmacy last Friday waiting to get a flu shot. I’m not really convinced they work, but I got one anyway because all of a sudden I realize I’m one of those “older folks” who are at risk, and thought I would either protect myself or prevent me from infecting anyone else. Other than last year, it had been close to 20 years since my last flu shot.
I ask my friends and they seem to have reached about the same conclusion as I did; protection against the flu isn’t a sure thing, but then again it is a minor inconvenience to get the shot.
I’m never sure who gives the shots. I never see the pharmacist give one. You just go in a tiny little room, and there’s someone in there with a needle in her/his hand waiting to poke you.
Maybe it’s the janitor or someone who works the ice cream counter that I haven’t seen before. I just imagine at a staff meeting on Monday mornings someone saying, “Can I give the shots this week?” This is probably just the fear of needles talking.
While waiting for my inoculation, which took about a half-hour, I took my blood pressure several times until I got numbers I liked, and then just read magazines.
And I made note of the large number of people lining up to pick up prescription drugs.
Those in line weren’t people my age (75), but many who appeared to be in their 30s, 40s and 50s. “What are they doing needing drugs?” I wondered.
I am amazed at the number of TV commercials aimed at getting us to ask our doctors if they (the drugs) are for us. There’s a shameful amount of money being spent on television advertising to get us to ask our doctors to give us something for what ails us.
I read an interesting story several years ago that there are firms being hired to come up with clever names for ailments that they can then market a drug for, like RLS (restless leg syndrome) disease. My legs have been restless my whole life. I thought it was just because they are so short. Maybe I do need to take something for that condition. Or I could just ignore it. When you hear all the side effects of the drugs, it makes putting up with the precipitating ailment sound pretty good.
I think I’ll just stick with my restless legs, lower back pain, need to urinate frequently and memory loss as a part of my age and be happy I can still talk (or in this case write) about it and smile.