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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the Columnists.com, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
Humorists.com
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Shingles Vaccine....
 


Getting the Shingles Vaccine


"Your vaccines appear to be up to date," said the doctor at my checkup. "You might want to get a shingles vaccine. Anyone over the age of 60 needs it."

He wrote a prescription for zoster vaccine. "Get it at a drugstore or clinic. It is cheaper than what we charge here."

Being a dutiful patient who always tries to do what the doctor recommends, I took my prescription to the pharmacy and asked for the vaccine. The pharmacist looked over her glasses. "Your insurance does not cover this."

How much can it cost? A flu shot is $25 so it is probably about the same.

Click, click, click went the computer. "The cost is $300."

"$300? Are you kidding me? Forget it!"

I wasn't even sure what shingles is. I thought shingles were those things on the roof of a house. However, searching online, I found that it is also a disease that creates painful blisters on the skin. It is related to chicken pox, or chicken pops, as my kids used to call it.

Chicken pox is a contiguous disease that 99% of older adults had in kindergarten. A vaccine was invented in 1995, so children now don't have to suffer through the itchy red bumps. The virus that causes chicken pox is inactive in your body until something causes it to flare up in later life. It returns as shingles.

I also picked up another tidbit of information online, the vaccine is covered by Medicare D. "I will just cross my fingers and hope for the best until I'm old enough for Medicare.

Fast forward a few years. I am now covered by Medicare, but keep putting off getting the vaccine. Finally, I decided that today is the day.

I went to the Minute Clinic at the local drugstore. There were three people ahead of me. The wait time was an hour and a half. If I had known that, I wouldn't have come. But as long as I'm here, I might as well get it done. I've put it off too long already. Sooner or later my luck is going to run out.

So, I shopped to kill time. Sometimes I think they make you wait just to get you to buy stuff. Soda was on sale and I found a few other things, managing to resist the 75% off sale on candy. I had been up and down the aisles so many times the wheels on the shopping cart were wearing out.

Finally, it was my turn.

"What do you need today?" asked the nurse.

"A shingles shot."

"We don't give it here. You get that at the pharmacy."

"I waited an hour and a half and you don't give it?" I had asked at the pharmacy before waiting and hour and a half, but apparently, I didn't make it clear that I was not just asking for the fun of it, I wanted a shot.

Everyone was sorry that I had waited so long for nothing. I was sorry too.

Anyhow, I got the shot from the pharmacist and that was that. "Your arm may be sore, and you might feel a bit under the weather tomorrow. This is a live vaccine."

They gave me a 20% off coupon for getting the shot which I used on the shopping cart of junk I didn't need.

I'm home now and feeling fine so far.

By the way, I found out online that the vaccine is only 50% effective. I guess that even after all this, after making a drugstore my home-away-from-home, after shopping till the tires on the buggy blew out, after being the poster child for patience, I still need to keep my fingers crossed.

The odds I will still get shingles are as good as the odds I will not.

 

Copyright 2015 Sheila Moss
 
 



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