Two years ago, I had mono. Last year I got whooping cough (pertussis). So far this year’s been ok. I even tested negative for TB.
I hadn’t been aware until last year that our whooping cough vaccinations wore off. It’s just something we think of as fixed.
Then I spent a night coughing for hours and hours until I threw up. I actually didn’t think much of it, maybe a bug? But then I spent another night with the coughing (not the vomiting, fortunately) and decided to visit my health center. The nurse told me that there was actually a fair amount going around campus.
She said the vaccinations wear off after adolescence and that most people don’t consider getting the booster shot. Or they have no idea that it exists because doctors don’t push the point. The odds of actually dying get lower as our bodies get stronger. But it’s still a painful, frustrating, and exhausting experience.
They were able to give me some steroids to boost my immune response and some good cough medicine, the kind with narcotics. That helped me make it through the week and I began to feel ok again.
Would I have gotten the shot if I’d known? I don’t know–almost definitely if it was covered by my insurance. Maybe even if not if it was something like $20.
Recently CNN wrote about this–which reminded me of my own experience. They said that adults also aren’t getting vaccinations for shingles or HPV.
Now I just have to convince my doctors’ office to send my vaccination records to my hospital employer. At least I don’t have TB.