Stop being silly about silly myths - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Stop being silly about silly myths

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

By Fit n Lazy Foodie - Healthcare industry veteran, certified fitness professional, lazy gourmand, English-language-abuser, attention-monger, and overall corny, snarky punk, just trying to kick it healthy-ish style in Chicagoland.

So, my post on my personal Facebook page last night was like, "OWW, the flu shot made my arm hurt like CRAY! Wah, wah, wah! PS- I can't stop eating olives! PPS -I almost died cutting spaghetti squash!" Well, folks, my arm did ache a bit after the shot, I love olives, and I did almost machete myself trying to cut a squash (but that's a whole other story).

There I stood, in front of the local pharmacy counter on a busy night, wicked disheveled, in my sweat-suit bandit outfit, no makeup, hair homeless-ish looking, and my pasty, right arm hanging out of my hoodie until I was called on (I don't think I've ever told you guys how classy I am?). I was anxiously trying to beat the ticking time bomb of my adorable and boisterous 20-month-old nephew I was babysitting (why did I choose that timing??), and guiltily allowed him to scarf down an entire canister of dreadful, toddler "cheese (chemical!) puffs" while sitting in the shopping cart, as he (kind of) patiently waited for his Auntie to get stabbed with the life-force of seasonal flu protection (he already had his shot, because his mom is awesome – EVEN THOUGH SHE WON'T GET HERS! :::ahem, dear sister::: #PassiveAggressive #EastCoastTurningMidwestern).

ANYWAY, I feel like I need to counteract my childish complaining with some key information on why 99% of you SHOULD absolutely get the flu shot. There's some links to more detailed articles at the bottom, but here's the 4 most important facts, totally in layman's terms:

1) THE FLU SHOT DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE FLU OR MAKE YOU TRULY SICK!!

The vaccine is made from a dead virus, basically a "template" the body forms antibodies against. If you have felt icky for a day or 2 after, it's your body responding to making antibodies. You CANNOT get the flu from the flu shot. Only the Flumist© Vaccine (nasal spray option) has some live virus, and it's still not going to cause a full blown response. An intradermal version is available some places, also (short needle, under skin). I DIDN'T FEEL ICKY AFTER MY SHOT, EVEN THOUGH I WAS A LITTLE WORRIED - PROMISE! (just a little arm ache, better than being laid-out by the flu for a week, though! #AmIRight?!)

2) The flu shot reduces your chance of getting the flu 50-70%, and if you do get it, it shortens the duration and severity.

I got my shot in 5 minutes (2 hours toddler time) at the local pharmacy with no co-pay (and a 20% off shopping coupon for the store!). If you don't have insurance, I think it might be around $25, which is probably worthwhile "insurance" in itself to reduce your chance of getting sick.

KEY NOTES:

  • Regarding Egg Allergies: Egg by-product is used in the common vaccine. If you or your child have an egg allergy, you can still likely get the vaccine or find the egg-free version, Flublok©, but ask your doctor, first! Varying levels of allergies can affect this. More info from CDC: http://www.sciencedaily.com/.../2013/10/131001090039.htm
  • Over 65 Years Old: Likely need the "high-dose" version for adequate effectiveness

3) Suck it up. Get the flu shot, um….YESTERDAY.

It takes 2 weeks for your body to develop an adequate amount of antibodies to mount a response. And it's the nice thing to do for your community and those that may not be able to get a flu shot or are just generally more susceptible. Babies get shots all the time, and nobody gives them the option to opt out. Don't think about it, and just go do it.

4) Overall, take good care of yourself and your family.

This should be a year-round thing, but especially important to reduce your chances of getting sick.

  • Prioritize enough sleep, eat healthy, stay hydrated, use a warm-mist humidifier when the heat is on
  • Take a Vitamin D supplement to help with your immune response and mood (approximately 70% of Northerners are Vitamin D deficient in winter months)
  • Use a NeilMed© nasal irrigator at the first throat tickle or bit of stuffiness (use distilled water, put the right number of saline packets in the gallon jug (16 packets, 1 for each 8oz), sanitize bottle with alcohol, and microwave for 15 seconds before each use)
  • WASH YOUR HANDS AND USE HAND SANITIZER FREQUENTLY!

In closing, and to share the near-tragedy with the spaghetti squash, let me assure you that my childhood as a tomboy playing video fighting games became very useful, as I lifted up that dang squash with the knife stuck in it, let out a mock-menacing "FINISH HIMMM!" under my breath, and body slammed that thing on the cutting board, a la Mortal Kombat©. It split right open. I felt like a boss. And cooked that thing like a boss. And made some boss dishes, to be posted another day. Like a boss.

Speaking of boss, feel like one and #GetYourFluShot, #ASAP. Cheers and GO HEALTH!

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PS

Here's some helpful links for more information about the flu shot, please ask your doctor if you have further concerns.

7 Flu Shot Myths: http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/7-flu-vaccine-myths-sick-203300712.html

25 Flu Shot Myths, a bit more technical: http://io9.com/lets-just-debunk-every-flu-vaccine-myth-in-one-fell-sw-1454237689

The Fox Music Video, because the song is genius and these guys are Norwegian and adorable and laughing is healthy and fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE&sns=fb

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Questions? Suggestions? Virtual high-fives? Look at dumb, funny, food-related pictures? Get random tips and recipes? Check out my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FitLazyFoodie

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