Sunday, November 16, 2008

Self-Administered Flu Shots!

In France, they call the flu “la grippe”! Fitting name, isn’t it?

Mike and I started asking about flu shots back in September, when we first heard people saying things like: “J’ai attrape une rhume!” I caught a cold.

Just like in the US, the start of school brought with it the start of cold season. Where there are colds, the flu can’t be far behind!

Sandra told us that in France, the nurse comes to your house and injects the whole family for you. How cool is that?! She invited us to her house for a Flu Shot Party.

Then I happened to need a doctor’s appointment this week. I asked the doctor about flu shots, and he prescribed them for me on the spot. However, in France, you bring your flu shot prescription to the pharmacy to be filled. Naturally, I was expecting the pharmacist to inject me.

Ha! France is different from the US in so many ways, but this one truly shocked me. At the pharmacy, they handed me 4 cardboard boxes of flu vaccine – already in a sealed syringe. Wow! You do it yourself!

When we got home, we read the notice in the box – luckily it was in English on one side. And Mike did some research online about how to perform an injection. Whew . . . this was a little hairy, but it makes a great story!

We decided that we wanted Sandra’s mom, Michelle, to demonstrate for us. I volunteered to be the guinea pig.

The same day, when we got home, I shot Mike up! Josey was our photographer.

You know the best part – the shot was completely painless . . . Mike and I both did not even feel the needle! I felt the injection a bit while Michelle pressed the plunger, but that was it. Mike said he didn’t feel anything the whole time. And I didn’t break the needle off in his arm! That was his only fear . . . that I would flinch and break the needle during the injection.

The kids wanted Michelle as their “pique” provider, but we didn’t want to wait. Max had to go first, and he was so panicked. It was awful! He screamed, “Ow! That hurts!” when I injected him. Poor Josey started crying then! She had been so brave until Max screamed. However, 90 seconds after I finished Max, he started laughing. Within 3 minutes, he was confessing to Josey that it really didn’t hurt very much at all.

Josey was struggling to be brave, but she kept saying, “Max freaked me out when he screamed! Now I’m scared.” Dado told her to look at him while I got things ready. Well, guess what?! I did her complete injection, and she though she was still waiting for me to start! How cool is that! I told her, “I’m all done, Josey!” She had no idea that I had even started.


Cost? 6 euros/person, which is currently a bit over $8 US. Cool!

Love to all!!

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