I’ve discussed before the dire side-effects of the flu vaccines in ME/CFS, but this is worse. If I didn’t know why I feel so ill I’d be seriously worried. Even so, I’m some worried…
Yesterday, at my annual COPD check-up, I was offered the pneumonia vaccine (why I haven’t been offered it before is a question for another day). Given the current flu slowdemic, next winter’s flu season is likely to be a doozy, and given my chances of surviving a normal flu season are no better than 50-50, after querying the nurse about side-effects in the light of my ME/CFS – no worse than the flu vaccine, I was assured, with the same sore arm, I decided it was a good move. After all, it’s mainly the secondary infections, like pneumonia, that kill flu victims, rather than the flu itself, though that, too, can be fatal. It’s all about improving the odds.
36 hours on, I still think it was a good idea, but trust me, it’s way worse that the flu vaccine, for me, at least. This morning I could barely get out of bed, I was dysfunctional on so many levels (I’m still typing scribble – thank god for the spell-check button), and I’m still nowhere near normal, though I am a lot better, This afternoon, though – Wednesday is bread-making day – if I’d had a larger kitchen (fewer chances to grab hold of something), I’d have fallen on my face half a dozen times, it was like standing on the deck of a ship in a storm, and I can barely see. And, wow, “sore arm” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Buggerdly thing has loosened my bowels, too.
Luckily, it’s a one-off lifetime vaccination, which is just as well because if I carry on feeling like this much longer there’s no way I could face it again, and if I get through this without barfing on my keyboard I’ll be doing well.
My advice, if you’re offered this vaccination, and you have ME/CFS, is to think very carefully, especially if you live alone. I should really have stayed in bed today, but it just wasn’t possible. I think the upcoming risks are such that the upside far outweighs the downside but really, anyone with ME/CFS needs someone to look after them, at least on the following day, and also on the day of the injection is it takes place in the morning, as mine did. By 16.00 yesterday I was totally out of it.
Let’s hope a decent night’s sleep puts paid to it. Another day like this will be seriously bad news. I mean, hell, Thursday is pub day!
Er, that was a joke. The rest isn’t.
Update, August 27 2010: 14 months on, and I still haven’t recovered – see this post.