The Flu Jab - This Season's Must Have Accessory

In the blog 'Use Reason This Flu Season' I talked about preparing to go and get the flu jab, especially for people who need it. Such as those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma. Or for those that are more susceptible to getting the flu. Well a couple of days ago I plucked up the courage and booked to have mine done at Lloyds pharmacy.

Through they're website I was able to type in my post code and find the pharmacy that was located closest to me. And was then able to ring them in advance, to book in with a time that suited me. I chose the afternoon before I started work. It's important for me to say that your doctors are able to notify you as to whether you need to have a flu jab, as you have to do what's best for your own health. They also offer to do them for free. My own doctors were only available on certain days however, so this was what was easiest for me. If you do decide to have your flu jab somewhere other than your GP surgery, it's important to notify your GP so they can update their records.

So when I arrived at the pharmacy I was asked to fill out a brief questionnaire of the usual details such as name, age and address etc. And some very important questions with regard to previous reactions- of which I've had none and also any allergies I might have. As it is my understanding that every strain of the flu vaccination has adaptations for what scientists believe will try and attack that season. For example when swine flu was rife, that years vaccine was able to offer some protection against that too. So once my details were given and checked over by the pharmacist she called me into the consultation room.

The pharmacist I had was very friendly and did her best to make me relax. The problem is, that as I mentioned earlier- I had to pluck up the courage to have my flu jab. Not because of the jab itself or the fact that it's an injection or even that I'm scared of needles. Ever since being diagnosed with diabetes 12 years ago and going onto injections, I'm a little bit nervous of other people doing them for me. I think it's because I worked so hard to be independent from the beginning with my injections. That the thought of someone else doing them is a bit alien to me. But the pharmacist made a very good point, that the more relaxed my arm was the less it would hurt. And in no time at all it was over, no need even for a plaster!

When I've gotten my flu jab elsewhere I've had to pay between £10-£13. However, I was very fortunate with the LLoyds pharmacy branch that I had chosen. As the pharmacist delivering the vaccination explained to me, that because she was NHS certified along with the branch. Then I didn't need to pay a penny for the jab as I was entitled to get it free because of my diabetes. The same as I would if I had gone to the GP surgery.

Because as I mentioned, every flu jab can vary slightly. So there can still be the possibility of a reaction to it, although touch wood I've never had one. But just to be safe I was then asked to wait in the waiting area for a little while to ensure I didn't have one. This was also a prime opportunity to look at the nail varnishes and cosmetics on offer in the store- a different kind of preparation for the festive party season. Before I left and was given the all clear due to not reacting from the jab, I double checked with the pharmacist as to whether she expected the flu jab to have any adverse effects on my diabetes. She said there shouldn't be. But again regular testing and being watchful of blood sugars never hurts.

In some years I've had quite a sore arm from having the jab, but with this one for some reason I didn't. I got my training out of the way in the morning in preparation and anticipation just in case any way. The pharmacist did warn me to look out for feeling a little under the weather after the jab. And so I was prepared for that should it happen. But in my opinion and from the memory I have from having the flu the last time. Which was when my old jab had worn off and my new one hadn't been delivered yet. The flu vaccination is still a much better option. So if it's right for you go on and get this season's must have accessory- the flu jab. Don't miss out on any parties or fun this festive season!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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