Flu jab season - what would you do?

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 26,279
edited 13. Oct 2011, 08:02 in Living with Arthritis archive
I’m 65, I’m on DMARDS & have very mild asthma. (One puff of steroid inhaler twice per day except when I get a cold.)

I’ve had the flu jab twice in my life. First time I was on Leflunomide, immediately got a chest infection, could hardly breathe despite all inhalers, was exhausted by walking from loo to bedroom and only avoided hospital by telling a disbelieving GP I had improved since the previous day. Second time, last year, on MTX, I immediately got a throat infection &, some days later, ended up in re-suss - not asthma, just my throat closing up after so much coughing. In the 10 years or so in between I had no jabs and got gastric flu once. (I toasted in the new millennium with gaviscon.) I also had the swine Flu jab with no ill-effects.

Do I or don’t I? If it was just for me I wouldn’t bother. But I may well be visiting my 2 yr old grandson over the flu season, he’s had a couple of quite nasty bouts of croup & his Mum & Dad get the jabs to protect him.

I suspect I’ll end up having the jab but taking my temperature beforehand to ensure I’m not harbouring anything nasty. What would you do?
"The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
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Comments

  • Ankyspond
    Ankyspond Member Posts: 626
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have it SW cos am on meth and Enbrel, things we have to do. Xx
    AS Sufferer
    Live, love and enjoy life, live each day as though it's your last!
  • nanasue
    nanasue Member Posts: 465
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I always have the flu jab because I have asthma and bronchiectasis, I can't afford to get flu, a cold is bad enough it always turns into a chest infection and can lead to 2 courses of anti-biotics. I'm lucky I've never had any bad effects from it, although I did have a reaction to the swine flu one, feeling ill, headache and vomiting. If you get flu it could be a lot worse than for someone without illnesses, it seems like you're between a rock and a hard place, but only you can decide. Good luck,

    Sue x
  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was thinking about this today..When i worked at the hospital it was routine that we had one every yr.Today when i had my prescription delivered i had a little note mentioning flu jabs.. Do i need to have one now i am on hydroxchloroquine?? Will check with docs tom..

    Sticky alot of people say that they become ill when they have the flu jab, a nurse said to me that the reason why someone can be ill from the flu jab is that there is a virus already dormant when they have the jab..So lock yourself in the house for 2 wks, mask up, alcohol gel up and keep everyone at bay till you have the jab lol... :lol:
    th_tn_TisFORTIGGER.jpgxxTracyxx
  • dorcas
    dorcas Member Posts: 3,538
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi SW
    You've had some scary moments that's for sure :shock: and also had the worry of your little grandson to think about.....so I can well understand your reluctance to have the flu & pneumonia jabs. :roll:

    It's a difficult decision to make but I guess it really depends on whether it's more risky for you not to have it? If (heaven forbid) you decided against it but then did get the flu you'd still be unable to visit your grandson?
    What does your doc suggest? or is he leaving the decision entirely up to you?

    I've always had the flu & pneumonia jabs ... mainly as it's recommend because of the Mtx and Biologic. So far I've not had any bad effects.

    Good luck with the decision SW..... maybe you could/ should ask your rheummy or doc's advice given your history :?:

    Iris xxx

    sorry not much help! :oops:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have had a flu jab every year for far too many than I care to think about. I regard it as a necessity and would strongly advise you to have it. I have nursed Mr DD through three doses of flu and, despite my immuno-suppressed state, I have never caught even a sniffle (mind you, spraying him with that Dottel germ cleaning stuff may well have helped - that made him splutter but I cared not). Given what has happened with your grandson I think it should be done but that is only my opinion. Perahps a chat with your GP might help you decide, he may be better placed to gauge the risk to him, but more importantly, to you. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • julie47
    julie47 Member Posts: 6,142
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I booked my flujab on wednesday. Its not while november because I was in the dilema of my op. Did I have it now and risk a cold then sods law they would send the letter :lol: I have it every year and I am on meth,leflunomide and hydroxy. Luckily for me too I haven't had a bad reaction (touch wood) so I guess it is easy for me to say go ahead and have one.

    I really do think if I were you I would have the jab as flu scares me.
    A cold is bad enough and always goes on to my chest and I end up with antibiotics.

    Hope you can come to a decision that is best for yourself.
    Love Juliepf x
  • scozzie
    scozzie Member Posts: 333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would and already have had it, got it on Wednesday when I went in for a blood test ... the practice had a poster up advising it was now available ... so I asked, as an asthmatic it'll save me going back in another time.

    I've had the jab every year for the past 11 or 12 years, with no I'll effect - apart from the usual sore arm for a few days.
  • Wonkylegs
    Wonkylegs Member Posts: 3,504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Nurse gave me mine yesterday, after she'd taken my bloods & injected my MTX :roll: felt a bit like a pin cushion :wink:

    I've been lucky and never had any side effects from them other than an occasional sore arm.

    WOnky
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sticky,

    It a difficult one and like Iris I wonder whats your gp saying?

    I had flu and its absolute evil.... that was before the circulation became such a huge problem and the mtx factor so .... well.... I also am wondering weather to have it or not....

    Its not able to cover all strains and well.... Sticky hat ever you decide will be right for you. Haz has his costume on and leaving a tea that hasn't come via slurps :lol: Cris xx
  • tillytop
    tillytop Member Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Interesting one this Sticky.

    I had always had flu jabs in the past without any problems but I declined the swine flu jabs when they first came out.

    Anyhoo, last year I had my flu jab (which apparently incorporated the swine flu vaccine so I couldnt opt out) and was unwell afterwards for the first time ever. Coincidence? I think not.

    So I too am in two minds as to whether to have it this time...

    Tillyxxx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    skezier wrote:
    Haz has his costume on and leaving a tea that hasn't come via slurps :lol: Cris xx

    Bearing in mind what you posted on Wonky's thread, is it 'Slurps' that it hasn't come via or 'slurps'? No offence meant but, if I have to have the slurps, I think I'd prefer them to be authentic Slurps slurps.

    OK thanks everyone. I'm still undecided. I think I'll see if they've any suggestions at the 'voice clinic' next week which was where the ENT guy referred me to who I saw after re-sus. (My throat was OK but my vocal chords 'don't meet') (Is this why I used to sing alto in the cats' chorus but am now tenor heading towards baritone???)

    Several docs & practice nurses have just said it's really tricky & it's up to me. I've only had flu once in the 10-12 years between jabs and the flu, though nasty, was nowhere near as scarey as the post-jab problems.

    The matter is currently on hold until the end of next week.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    One Authentic Slurps Slurp tea..... c070.gif

    you and me both on the singing..... mine the employers make a decent choir.... they tell me :lol:

    Sticky its hard one this and I hope you get the answer suddenly come to you. Haz in the suit again xx
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 8,039
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stickyw
    i have the flu jab because of being over 65 and having cp.
    you do the best thing you think is right for you it will work out
    and you will know.
    take care.
    joan xx
    take care
    joan xx
  • madwestie
    madwestie Member Posts: 383
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, i wish you well with your decision which ever way you go. it is a hard one like Dd ihave been having the flu jab for years (more than 20) I have bad Asthma and i did once ask the Gp about not having it and he said "well it is your choice but do you want to find out what you would be like without it".. well like a good girl i carried on having the jab and getting a swollen arm for a week afterwards. but last year when they did the once with the swine flu in it i had the jab and wow no swollen arm infact nothing.. so i wonder if the jab ingredients have changed. or all these dmards are toughening me up (oh goodness i sound like an old boiling chicken).

    when i read your description i thought that could be me except slightly younger and bad Asthma. i wonder how many others it would fit do you think we could start our own club. i know DD could join i wonder who else. we could offer a free pint to anyone who joins.

    Tracey
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I missed having a flu jab and had a rough time last year. So I a booked for Monday.

    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Mine is due next Thurs....this will be the first one....like Joan...because I'm 65.....never had it before...I dont have the medication you have with just having OA....pain killers and anti inflams Oh yes some morphine while these fractures are healing themselves.
    Talk to your GP and get his advice then make up your own mind :lol:
    Good luck with your decision.

    Love
    Hileena
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Mine is due next Thurs....this will be the first one....like Joan...because I'm 65.....never had it before...I dont have the medication you have with just having OA....pain killers and anti inflams Oh yes some morphine while these fractures are healing themselves.
    Talk to your GP and get his advice then make up your own mind :lol:
    Good luck with your decision.

    Love
    Hileena
  • Stu69
    Stu69 Member Posts: 202
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yup, mine is booked too. Was meant to be yesterday but they'd run out of the vaccine due to the drop-in clinic's popularity this year!

    I don't think I actually had the choice - or at least I do but you know what I mean - the receptionist simply said due to my RA they would prefer it if I did take it this year, as obviously we are more at risk due to the drugs that we take. I only had 'proper' flu once, some 13 or so years ago. I then understood what flu REALLY was, and rather than a bad achy cold, I was bedridden for 3 days and was ill for nearly 2 weeks. It was vile, so I'm actually quite happy to take the chance with the jab!

    The first one I had was last years combo jab - no problems at all afterwards, which actually surprised me given I'd heard the usual stuff relating to it; at my GP there was a small booklet regarding the jab, which is also quite helpful in debunking some of the myths attached to it, too.

    Stu.
    No-one was injured in the making of this signature, however, quite a few electrons may have been inconvenienced.
  • lalla
    lalla Member Posts: 138
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stickywicket, just a thought sprung into my mind are you allergic to eggs and is the flu vaccine cultivated in eggs??? Had Mine last week ok and swine flu last year as on MTX , ((((sticky)))))risk outweighs potential flu complications. Maybe have a chat with GP Take care Linda
  • salamander
    salamander Member Posts: 2,028
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would have it. If you were allergic I think you would have a very quick reaction (within mins if I am correct.) If you are on dmards you need to protect yourself from flu. I was told I had to have it.

    Last year I did have a bit of a reaction but it was a combined seasonal flu and swine flu jab and it was quite mild. This year is just seasonal flu. Had mine yesterday. My arm is slightly sore but nothing to write home about.
  • ironic
    ironic Member Posts: 2,386
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had mine on Friday. She got me when I went to have my bloods done so didn’t have time to even think about it. :shock:



    Hi Sal, how are things with you?
  • salamander
    salamander Member Posts: 2,028
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    ironic wrote:
    I had mine on Friday. She got me when I went to have my bloods done so didn’t have time to even think about it. :shock:



    Hi Sal, how are things with you?


    Hi I! I'm ok thanks. Up and down on the drugs but that seems par for the course. Enjoying this fantastic weather, of course (I am south east, don't know what it is like where you are!)
    Hope you are ok.
    xx
  • ironic
    ironic Member Posts: 2,386
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sal,
    No the rain got us in Lancashire, what a difference a day makes!

    It is a rollercoaster with meds I agree. I hope things even out for you soon.
    I x
  • jackie1955
    jackie1955 Member Posts: 858
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    oooh, this is interesting. I've been debating on whether or not to have the jab this year too :???: Had the seasonal vaccine with no problems a couple of times, but the first time I had the swine flu jab I was quite unwell..... I did wonder if that was my imagination as I had been really nervous about it (after reading all the controversy surrounding it).

    Anyway, last year, I had the combined jab. Like nanasue, I felt much worse - so I am sure I'm having a reaction to the swine flu element.

    I've spoken to a rheumy today and he said I don't have to have it if i don't want to, that being on MTX does make me slightly more susceptible to catching flu etc but the fact is that I still DO have an immune system.

    I'm booked in to have the jab so guess I'll make a last minute decision :roll:

    salamander: I've looked it up on NHS Direct and apparently the jab is again a COMBINED one with the swine flu bit in .

    Jackie x
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I dont know what it is....I thought it was just flu????? but I'mm booked in for mine tomorrow morning

    Love
    Hileena