The Flu Shot.

This deserves the capital letters.

I had an… interesting week. Dear readers, you may not know of my dread of shrimp and all things crustacean. Trust me when I say it’s more potent than my fear of octopus arms and almost as debilitating as needles. This may change if I am ever confronted with a live octopus (the arms chopped up in stew aren’t so bad), but after a childhood shelling trauma the little pink and white and green monsters have been at the very top of my list of things to avoid. This week a dear, kind older relative who is hyper-aware of this dilemma decided that if I was going to Asia I needed to get used to seafood and gave me a whole fried shrimp. On the understanding that it was to be eaten, right away.

I have been shuddering for days. It wasn’t bad-tasting and I wouldn’t have cared had I not known what it was, but… still freaking out. There’s something about it being a whole animal that makes it so much harder to take. The eyes, the eyes! At least with normal grocery store meats you can suspend imagination. This is quite hypocritical as I am really in love with the idea of transparency and knowing all about where your food came from, but seriously-America wouldn’t be nearly this fat if McDonald’s kept their meat cows at the Golden Arches. Or is that just me?

Then there was this morning. It was the request of a kind elderly teacher that I be vaccinated against missing her class (ooh, a pattern! Yes, this is a dangerous weakness). Shots are bad at the best of times, but this had to be done before classes in the middle of the week and listed possible side effects included soreness, hoarseness, aches, fever, coughs, headache, itching, fatigue… What, I ask you, is the point of getting a shot to prevent something that the shot can just give you anyway?*

So here I sit, nursing my swollen arm and cold tea, and cry tears of self-pity to the tune of the smallest violin in the universe. You know the one. My mum used to play it for me sometimes when I wanted to stay home from school. It goes like this:

*That was a rhetorical question. Medical major here. Medical majors can have nervous breakdowns too.


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