With 5 kids, one place I frequent an awful lot throughout any given year is the pediatricians office. My standard joke, although not a very funny one is, there should be a brass plate with our name on one of the examination rooms.
Yeah, we’re there a lot. In sickness and in health.
In all my frequent visits, however, I rarely pay attention to the pro-vaccination posters hanging from the backs of each examination room door. I give them as much thought as I do the flyers for various childhood ailments and stages that are filed neatly on a shelf on the walls of the room. I glance and then forget. It could be my ADD, though.
Today, however, was different. SO different.
I took my oldest son, who is home sick with what turned out to be a virus, to the doctor this morning. We were directed straight back to the “blue” room. The nurse came in, took my sons vitals, performed a throat culture and left us to wait for the doctor to come, who was apparently running a few minutes behind schedule. New?
I don’t know what made me go beyond my actual glancing but, I noticed the vaccination poster on the door was about the flu shot. Which, by the way, because I’m a lousy mom, I sometimes forget to take my kids in for.
This one shook me though.
It told the story of a 15 month old girl whose body was attacked by the flu and she died. Very simple and sad. But what got me was the date this little girl died.
December 23, 2003.
The very same day my youngest son was born.
I commented about this to my oldest son. He nonchalantly replied that many people died that day, as they do every single day.
Very true and agreed, oh wise one.
This is the circle of life, to be sure. But some deaths seem so preventable.
I’m not one to preach about vaccinations, just like I don’t try to shove my political or religious opinions down anyones throat. It’s another one of those things where I say, you do what you do and I do what I do.
But this little girl died on the day my son was born because her parents may have had the same thought about the flu that I do. And my thought usually is…whatever with it. Unless I hear that it’s going to be the roughest flu season of all times, I don’t necessarily rush to get my children their nasal mist. Yeah, we usually do nasal because shots even make my teenagers start squacking like a newborn.
To be quite honest, I don’t know why, aside from the coincidental date, this poster had the effect on me that it did.
I’m going to be getting my kids their flu shots this year, I’m thinking.
Because I don’t ever want my story to be a laminated poster hanging on the back an examination room door.