Friday, October 30, 2009

Life As a Personal Aide: Just Shoot Me (H1N1)

Along with diagnosing and maybe treating her pneumonia in June, the pulmonologist delivered cheery news about the probable consequences of Ruth getting the H1N1 flu virus. While he didn't exactly say, "you'll be a dead quad," that was the information conveyed.

Since she's allergic to eggs, Ruth doesn't ever get flu shots which makes for interesting adventures during flu season. I, however, am not allergic to eggs; medical "issues" of my own compel me to get an annual flu shot.

As everyone knows, the supply of the regular might-not-kill-you-but-will-make-you-feel-like-crap flu vaccine is extremely limited this year. By the grace of someone/something (St. Luke? St. Jude?), I managed to receive the next-to-last injection at my church, paid for by a kind parishioner because I had no cash with me.

I was fretting about how I might score an H1N1 shot when I remembered that I am, among other things, a health care worker. Ruth, who excels at everything Internet, managed to find a post about H1N1 flu and the disability community on the AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities) blog, Justice for All.

Back in August, reps from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services discussed how "the direct care workforce needs to be vaccinated to ensure continuity of care or personal assistant or attendant services for people with disabilities." Good to know that the life sustaining and enhancing nature of PA-hood is recognized at the federal level.

On the off-chance this awareness hasn't filtered downstream to the local level, I plan to show up at Monday's H1N1 clinic with a printout of that blog post. I'll also bring a copy of my pay stub from the agency that pays me a whopping huge $9.25/hour to provide care for someone who has the unmitigated gall to continue working instead of going on the public dole.


  1. Hi Honey,
    Try calling Rahway State Prison. We're paying for the prison population to stay healthy! Of course I jest. Have you tried calling the social services or community services dept of UMCP? I have also read that serveral Walgreens drug stores are distributing shots. I would be pleased to pay for you to be shot! LOL! Seriously, send me the bill and you know who I am. JLC

  2. Happy to report that I did get shot at the local high school, was never questioned about my health worker status (even though I brought evidence). Contrary to news reports, the shot didn't hurt. Had a bigger whomping reaction to the seasonal flu shot! May I send you the bill for a pedicure instead? ;-)

  3. ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!
    And I'm pleased to hear your protected.


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