Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Feeling 20 years too young!

It's that time of year when the elderly and the frail can visit the health centre for their annual flu jab.

And I come under the label of 'frail' being an asthma sufferer.

Now, it has to be said, my asthma is fairly specific and relatively easy to control being linked to pollen. So, effectively - avoid too many flowers (hence the excuse my hubby uses for the lack of spontaneous floral gestures), avoid springtime walks through fields and avoid strongly perfumed candles, perfumes etc, etc, etc. Yes, the list of things chemical that can trigger an attack is far in excess if the natural world - however, I know how to manage it and suffer attacks rarely.

But there is no doubt that if and when I get a bad cold it immediately causes severe breathing difficulties and it is nigh on impossible to avoid the sniffles and sneezes that will inevitably be prevalent over the next few months.

And so, I decided it was wise to go along for my annual jab and hope I don't get a cold from the jab itself.

As luck would have it, I rang yesterday to see when I needed to go and there was a clinic today that I was entitled to attend. It was held in our local Town Hall (the Health Centre not being big enough for the volume of attendees expected) and I was well impressed by the military run operation.

To start with, it was incredibly well sign posted, which was a good job as I have never been to our Town Hall before and had no idea where I was supposed to go. As I followed the arrows I was immediately aware that the oncoming flow of people were significantly older than me.

When I finally reached the correct room I was informed there was no delay and I could be stabbed immediately and so, within 1 minute of arriving, barely the time it took to remove my coat, I was done, recorded as attending and on my way for a 15 minute sit down to ensure no negative reaction.

It was as I turned towards the WI coffee table that I realised I had brought the average age in the room plummeting down. Everywhere I looked there were seriously elderly folk. I felt a fraud and almost as if I should have a badge stating 'Asthmatic' to justify my presence.

Cup of coffee in hand (all proceeds to local charities - it seemed churlish not to partake) I sat between an elderly man on my left and an equally elderly lady on my right. To pass the time I decided to check my emails and it was while I was scrolling around the screen on my Galaxy that a voice on my left asked me what game I was playing as his great-grandson has a gaming machine too.

I tried to explain it was my phone and I was just checking my emails but whether it was a hearing deficiency or a 'not really interested, just making small talk to pass the time' type of comment my explanation didn't make sense to him and in the end we just agreed that they were ingenious devices, these little games machines.

Having finished my coffee and having sat for the obligatory 15 mins, I politely made my goodbyes and left a vacant chair between 2 people who didn't seem to have any inclination to leave.

So, all that remains to be seen now is whether I show mild symptoms of a cold as a response to the jab, and whether I can get through until next Spring without any major coughs and splutters.

Only time will tell.
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