What Pregnancy Plus Swine Flu Looks Like

aubrey-opdyke-swine-flu-vaccineI’m having a hard time figuring out why perfectly pro-vaccines people are shunning the swine flu shot. Even if you’re very confident you won’t get it, even if you’re confident that if you do get it you won’t die from it, who would even want to suffer through the dang thing in the first place?

Oh, and to then have your kids and whoever else lives with you come down with it? That sounds like a couple of months of absolute misery to me. Am I waiting for the email that our HMO has a nice juicy shot waiting for me and the brood. Yes, yes, yes I am.

But really, how bad could it be? Pretty bad.

The NY Times features Aubrey Opdyke, who was in a coma and nearly died from the swine flu, the saddest part being that her 27-week-old fetus, who was delivered via emergency c-section during yet another lung collapse of the mother’s, did die.

Now, we’re going to ignore the part about the woman smoking during pregnancy. The article doesn’t make any connection between her smoking and the degree to which she and the fetus suffered from the flu’s symptoms. But I’m not going to ignore the part, deep into the story, where the woman’s physical therapist — you see, this once competitive swimmer is now having to do PT so she can WALK! — says she won’t get the flu vaccine.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We have friends who get flu symptoms and say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to a doctor,’ ” Mr. Opdyke added. “And we say, ‘Do you not understand what we went through?’ I can’t imagine why there’s so much nonchalance.”

That nonchalance strikes close to home.

As they said this, Ms. Opdyke was doing her daily physical therapy, struggling to lift one-pound weights. Her therapist interrupted to announce that she opposed flu shots.

“Have you ever read the labels?” she asked. “They’re so full of toxins.”

Asked if she realized that a shot, had it existed in June, might have saved her client and her baby, she frowned and went back to her clipboard.

While I’m not in favor of requiring medical workers to get the shot, as one hospital recently tried to do, I am stunned that there are so many who won’t. What’s the argument?

Any pregnant women out there not getting the vaccine? Anybody already get it? Thoughts? Experiences? Encouragement?

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Photo: NY Times

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