To the Pharmacist Who Judged Me for Getting the Flu Shot


I get sick a lot. With an immune system that isn’t always the best, I always get a flu shot. If I don’t, it almost guarantees I will get a terrible flu. Because of this, I make it my point to get my flu shot every year, and early. The times I’ve gotten it late or not at all, I have always gotten really sick.

So when flu season rolled around last year, I made a mental note to go get a flu shot. After work one day, I went into my new pharmacy. I filled out the forms, waited and thought about how glad I was that I had finally remembered to get the shot.

 

When the pharmacist came up to me, she gave me a funny look. As I rolled up my sleeve, she said something that caught me off guard. “You look pretty young. Why are you getting a flu shot?” She then continued to say something along the lines that I shouldn’t even be getting one.

I explained I had an illness that lowers my immune system so I always get the flu shot. She just crinkled her nose, told me I should get a job where I don’t work with kids, stuck me and left.

I left upset and a little confused. Situations like this remind me what it can be like to have a chronic illness, especially one that is invisible. I know not everyone will understand my situation, but I did not expect to get this kind of reaction from a pharmacist during something as routine as a flu shot.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard something like this, and I know it won’t be the last. Situations like this remind me how important it is to not be silent about invisible illnesses. People don’t understand what they don’t know about. Maybe, like with the pharmacist, it won’t really change the reaction.

But sometimes, it does.

This post originally appeared on Chronically Tate.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via wissanu01.

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Shwachman Diamond Syndrome (SDS)

cami smiling as a baby

Losing My Daughter to Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome

Cami. My daughter Cami was born November 11, 1991. She was a happy, healthy baby. She was 7 pounds and 11 ounces, and 19 inches long. She was my entire world. A month into her life, she started battling chronic ear infections. She was almost 6 months when the doctor put tubes in her ears. [...]
baby with Down syndrome smiling in a high chair

What You Need to Know About the People With Down Syndrome in Those Hurtful Memes

Dear Internet, A couple of months ago The Mighty published one of my posts, and it went on to be shared on social media over 14,000 times! I was super excited and more than a little curious as to where all of these shares were coming from. So I took to Google searching for that picture [...]
Parent holds the hand of a little child.

What the Piece of Paper With My Son's Down Syndrome Diagnosis Should Have Said

I was cleaning out my closet today, sorting through old clothes, photographs, boxes of odds-n-ends.  The kids were happily running around the house playing with each other and being about as loud as a herd of elephants wearing microphones. They came running into the closet, scampered around the mess for a moment or two and then turned [...]
Young man reading on a deck at a college

When a Classmate in College Called Me ‘Rain Man’

Do you know that I was once called Rain Man by a classmate in college? Wow. I was furious. When I look back at why anyone would say something like that, I think of some of the stereotypes about autism. Some think people with autism lack social interaction, and others think people with autism are good at math. In [...]