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January 23, 2011

Why I Will Get Over My Fear

Filed under: Body Love — Twistie @ 1:18 pm

This is – more or less – me since Thanksgiving. Off and on, but more on than I’d like by a country mile and change.

This is not okay.

See, I caught a cold just after Thanksgiving. I slept in for a couple days, blew my nose a lot, drank ginger tea, and thought I was going to be okay.

I got back to normal.

Annnnnd a couple days later I was back in bed draining snot like nobody’s business. But after four or five days, I started feeling better again.

Annnnnd I landed right back on my back a couple days later.

In short, I have spent the past two months trying to get over a cold.

I even got past my nerves about seeing a doctor and went to make sure my lungs were clear. They were. And I wasn’t shamed or berated about my fat body, either, which is awesome. No, it was still a cold. Just a cold. I was, however, a bit dehydrated and very low on Vitamin D.

Over the course of the past week, I have been slowly pulling myself out of my black hole of both physical and mental exhaustion.

So what does this have to do with fear?

Well, for one thing, I let my fear of doctors and needles keep me from getting a flu shot… again. Would it definitely have kept me from getting this sick? Maybe, maybe not. Still, it might have kept me from getting sick in the first place, and it might have helped my body fight off the cold faster. I also let my fear keep me from going to the doctor until I’d been sick for nearly two months. If my illness had been more than a cold – which, actually, it kind of was with the dehydration and vitamin deficiency thing – I might have wound up in the hospital.

So next fall, I will gird my loins and go get that shot. I will grit my teeth and deal with the needle. I will accept ten minute’s mostly mental discomfort to avoid two months of intense physical misery.

Sometimes we all need to bite the bullet and make ourselves do uncomfortable things because they will help us in the longrun.

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Take care of yourself.


  1. Are you unable to take FluMist? That’s what keeps me going back for my vaccination every year, despite my debilitating fear of needles…

    Comment by abdmom — January 23, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  2. I also get the FluMist every year instead of the shot… it’s just a harmless nasal spray.. snort into each nostril and you’re done! Super easy and no needle required :)

    Comment by Nichole — January 23, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  3. Not sure if it will make you feel any better- but I think that you got the MiniPlague that has been going around the Bay Area, and it struck the flu-shot immunized people down as well. But get better. (It goes away in a few more weeks.)

    Comment by susan — January 23, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  4. Colds and flus are actually caused by completely different viruses and getting the flu shot (in whatever form) would have absolutely no bearing on whether or not you get a cold. So I say this so you don’t feel like somehow you caused yourself to get sick by not having the vaccine. Also the vit. D deficiency is insanely common, in fact most of us are very low on vit. D. Oh dear, now I sound like a know-it-all.

    Still, I love flu shots. And I too have been avoiding the Dr. for similar reasons as you and totally understand. Yours is an admirable goal that I will try to match.

    Sorry you have been so sick too, I have been there and it is so tedious.

    Comment by sarah — January 23, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  5. Get your flu shot at a CVS minute clinic. It took me five minutes to get mine (I had to get an actual shot, because I am pregnant), it’s administered by a nurse practitioner and it’s so quick and anonymous that you don’t have to worry about them being rude. They see 100 different people a day and have no time to be rude.

    Also as somebody said – the flu shot does not help with fighting a cold. The thing that has worked best for me is tea with lemon and honey. Some people add a shot of whiskey or ginger as well.

    Comment by Ali — January 23, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  6. Being Vit-D deficient can definitely make you feel all that stuff too. I tested low and the doc put me on 50,000 mg a day for something like two months and then I still tested low so I did a second course. I think my number was in the normal range after that, and I take a 2000 a day supplement to keep it there! Best of health wishes to you and props on facing the demon next year!

    Comment by Lauren — January 23, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

  7. So my honey had the crud last week and gave it to me late last week ruining my weekend. This is continuing the trend of I get a flu shot and a I get the flu (or a nasty cold). Seriously at this point I’m just not going to bother getting a flu shot because I’m damned if I do.

    As for the Vitamin D – I’m routinely low, low enough to go on prescription pills every year or so (being lactose intolerant, working in a windowless bldg, wearing sunscreen year round and living in the PNW – yeah pretty much unavoidable.) I know just added it to my regular vitamin course.

    Comment by Barb — January 24, 2011 @ 3:07 am

  8. I suffered a cold for 3 weeks because I didn’t feel sick enough to go to the doctors. I finally went, and got antibiotics for what was actually a sinus infection.

    I can’t believe how good it feels to feel well!

    Comment by Claire — January 24, 2011 @ 6:00 am

  9. Eat organic, juice w vegetables and excersice That is the best way to minimize flu symptoms. Do not play into the hands of the pharmaceutical companies when you can raise your defenses on your own just by eating healthy.
    Also to the person who puts on sunscreen year round, the sun is life and the most important source of vitamin d.

    Comment by Human — January 24, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

  10. Ditto to a lot of what people have said here, but don’t just rely on supplements. Vitamin D needs sunlight to convert to a usable resource in your body. You don’t get Vit D from sunlight, but you need sunlight to keep the Vit D in your body. I got that creeping cold right after Christmas, and it just kept coming back. Then on New Year’s day, I had to spend the day outdoors for a project at work. I was tired when I got home, but the next day, it really felt like I got a good night’s sleep for the first time in weeks.

    Comment by Emi!y — January 24, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  11. “Human,” exercising while one’s body is trying to fight off an invading virus is a *terrible* idea. Nobody should try to exercise when they have the flu. Criminy.

    And, for those of us who are at risk for skin cancer, the sun is *not* life. It’s a likely cause of death. Yes, we need vitamin D, which can be gotten in 10-15 minutes a day of sunlight. If I hadn’t started wearing sunblock in my teens, I’d have skin cancer by now.

    Comment by Jezebella — January 24, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

  12. Girl, like Susan said, it sounds like the creeping crud that’s wiping out SF. I have it too right now and it sucks. You start to think you’re getting better, then all of a sudden- WHAM! Whole new set of symptoms for you. But most of all you will be more exhausted than you have ever been in your life for waaaay longer than could ever be appropriate. We actually hung a quarantene sign on my cubicle because everyone in here has it. Oh, and all of us got our flu shots this year.

    Feel better Twistie. I wish I could offer advice on how to make it go away, but none of us have figured it out yet.

    Comment by Beth C. — January 25, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

  13. Could it be that you are suffering from allergies? The mountain cedar pollen here in Texas is the highest its been in 14 years and it is kicking my butt!! Cold symptoms and fatigue turning into a sinus infection has kept me up and down for several weeks now. Zyrtec helps some but not enough. And I’m not usually an allergy sufferer. Just a thought.

    Comment by Ida — January 27, 2011 @ 10:22 am

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