Knocked Out by the Flu

In the midst of moving three times in four months, looking for work, helping three kids adjust to three different schools and learning to navigate my new surroundings, I somehow put the flu shot on the back burner last year. As we fell deeper into the flu season and were still healthy, I had second thoughts about even getting one. Did we really need it? We were all healthy, right? Well, it didn’t take long for me to see the fault in my thinking.

When my youngest woke up with a fever, sore throat and chills, I knew it was just the beginning of a chain reaction that was going to bring the whole family to a screeching halt. And it did: There are four of us and we had four cases of the flu.  Although (luckily) none of us required hospitalization, it was a very rough three weeks at our house. Fortunately I wasn’t working at the time, but if I were, I would have missed nearly three weeks. That’s more than a vacation.

As I looked at my babies, my mind raced with questions.  What can I do to comfort my children? How do we make up all the homework we missed? Who’s going to take care of me when it’s finally my turn? How could I have prevented my children from this awful sickness?

As I asked myself the last question, a wave of guilt swept over me. I knew the answer: A simple trip to the pharmacy or doctor’s office and I could have saved my family the agony of the flu virus.

I learned my lesson.  What’s your excuse? The flu virus can quickly spread through your family and cause sickness, hospitalization or even death. Get your flu shot today.  It’s never too late to protect your family.

Most Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and all Blue Care Network members can receive their flu shot at no extra cost. Check your benefits to verify if you’ll need to pay anything out of pocket. To find out more, go to bcbsm.com/preventflu.

Photo credit: Michael Bentley

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