Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 20th, 2012

Flu Vaccine? Is it working for you? Any misconceptions?
The flu vaccine does NOT protect you from a cold. It protect you from influenza.
Even if you have gotten the flu vaccine in the past and “still gotten sick,” the flu vaccine was doing its job.

It just cannot protect you from all of the different cold viruses out there. Scientists are still working on the cure for the common cold.

Until then, it’s important to get protected from the virus that we do have something for, something that is much more serious than a cold – that is, influenza.

A published in Heartland Health Centers on December 19, 2012  under: 

The Facts about the Flu Vaccine

Every year I am surprised by all of the misconceptions surrounding the flu vaccine.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to do some myth-busting. The flu vaccine protects you from influenza, an ever-evolving virus that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

There are 2 kinds of flu vaccines:

1. the flu shot and the nasal spray flu vaccine. The flu shot will NOT make you sick. It is made from inactivated or killed virus. This killed virus cannot infect you. Those killed particles do, on the other hand, make your body make antibodies to influenza. Consider antibodies to be like soldiers. These antibodies help you fight off the influenza virus in case you happen to catch it. At the first site of the influenza virus, these soldiers/antibodies immediately recognize the virus and help to protect your body.

2. The nasal spray flu vaccine is made of weakened virus, but even that does not cause the severe symptoms of influenza.

It CAN, in some people, lead to symptoms like muscle ache, headache, runny nose, wheezing and even fever. The nasal spray flu vaccine is for healthy 2 to 49 year olds, including women who are not pregnant.

Healthy means someone without a medical condition that predisposes them to the complications of influenza.

For example, the nasal spray flu vaccine is NOT suitable for someone with asthma. Your provider will figure out whether the shot or nasal spray is right for you.

So, who should get the flu vaccine?

Just about everyone who is 6 months old or older. The flu vaccine is NOT approved for those under 6 months of age.

Anyone who lives with or takes care of a baby who is under 6 months old, should especially get a flu vaccine to reduce your risk of catching the influenza virus and spreading it to an already vulnerable infant.

Certain people are especially high risk for getting complications to the flu and, therefore, are even more in need of the vaccine.

This includes people with asthma, diabetes, lung disease, pregnant women and people 65 years old or older.

Remember, while the nasal spray flu vaccine is not suitable for a number of these patient populations, the flu shot is.

Also, people who live with or take care of these high-risk patients should get vaccinated, to help protect those most at risk.

Each season a new influenza vaccine is developed to protect you from whichever virus researchers think will be the most common strain that season, from each of the 3 most common kinds of influenza (influenza B, influenza A [H1N1] and influenza A [H3N2]).

So even if you got a flu shot last year or the year before, you still need one this year.

The influenza virus is always changing.

Thus, we need to get the vaccine every year to protect us from the newest strain. The flu season can start as soon as October and extend all the way into May (Think of if sort of like a school year).

So, it is NOT too late to get your influenza vaccine for this season.

Protect yourself. Protect your friends and family. Protect your community.

Say no to the flu by saying yes to the flu vaccine.

Tania Hossain, MD, MPH
Pediatrician

Dr. Hossain received her medical degree and completed her pediatric residency at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She received her Master’s in Public Health, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University.

Dr. Hossain is dedicated to providing care to the underserved and helping to reduce disparities.

Her interests include newborns/infants, asthma, preventative medicine, obesity and eating disorders.

Dr. Hossain is fluent in Bengali and Spanish.

The gardener of Time: Death will not catch me alive…

I woke up and a new day was sliding and easing its way in my extended life. My wife is sleeping, such a light sleep, and who gives me hell when I wake her up.

I am watching my wife and blessing the day I met her, and kissed her softly.

I am looking at my two kids 5 and 4 year olds, growing so fast, and I am rolling in my mind this film since they were born…

I am whispering a prayer in their ears, wondering how life will find them when they have their own kids…

Why all these hope, happiness, joy, worries… if we are not intent on transmitting the joy of living to them, this sharing in the mystery of life?

A few years ago, the two kids were not part of the living… and destiny will soon separate us.

I am growing in my love for them, as all fathers did for so long. The purpose of all my education is to harden their protective armature to confront the difficulties of the living.

I am smiling at their soft respiration and bless every intake, wishing to add sprinkles of the scents of eucalyptus and jasmine of Mount Lebanon. They are the chain of love, a poem of emotions.

In our home in south Lebanon, the picture of my late father is attached in the entry hall. Each time I pick up a piece of fruit from the garden I tell my kids:

“See this prune, this apple…? I am sinking my teeth in with you: It was my dad who planted them. We’ll be planting some more trees together so that tomorrow your kids will eat from the same fruit. You’ll keep this tradition of the chain of the living love for eternity”

The anchors of the spiritual and affection take roots in nature rejuvenation and on the love and vision of our ancestors who saw the land and labored for our felicity and sealing the genealogical tree of love…

In fixing the photo of my dad, the gardener of time asked me: “Where is Gido (granddad)?” I simplify my answer: “Gido is in heaven…” and the steam of questions never ends. My kid responds: “When I am adult you’ll also be in heaven…”

And I find myself explaining: “Every living thing is to die and go to heaven, even ants, fish…Somebody is dying right now! And it’s like a cedar tree falling.

 A part of the cedar tree goes to the sky to united with its ancestors of trees and build their temple.
The majestic force of the visible portion stay alive to provide the grain for the future generation.
 
We were invited at our in-laws for dinner to break Ramadan fast. Around the table, the traditional lentil soup, the salad of fattouch (made of cucumber, radish, green onion, roka… citrus juice, sumac, pulverized tiny red fruits) and diverse kinds of mezzeh like humus, baba ghannouj, mutabbal, makdous, stuffed grape-vine leaves and other stuffed vegetable leaves…
 
It was a feast every evening at different houses.
Mohammad has comprehended: After death we go to heaven.
 
Electricity went out, in the nick of time as local provider generators substituted to our candles…
The stars divulged all their dresses made of diamond, pearls, of the luminous Orient sky, a spectacle at the dimension of nature Geode scale…
 
My kid said: “Dad, is it to this sky that you want to go?” And I am looking tenderly at him: I realized that this question was tormenting him for some time…
 
I answered: “I love to go to the sky of Lebanon, and even though the sky is the same on earth, I prefer to ascend from the land of Lebanon…”
 
And here he comes to the charge and assault me with: “And dad, how do we go to heaven?”
 
My kid was asking me these questions in French, and thus we felt in intimate discussion among the extended family. I said: “Habibi (darling), I’ll explain it to you tomorrow…”
 
This kid will never let go and insists: “Please dad. How do we ascend to heaven?” and he got this inspiration and said: “Ah! It is the wind that’ll do the trick…”
 
I found this answer very poetic and hugged my kid tightly and said: “Habibi, for every living creature, one part goes to heaven at death… Do you recall this ant that you crushed? The wind carries up a tiny part of the ant, as an invisible balloon… If you care to contemplate the spirit of death, open up your heart wide to the body of life.  Life and death are one, as the river and the ocean are one”
 
Gibran Khalil Gibran wrote:
“In the deepest of your hope and your desires rest the silent knowledge of the beyond
And like grains dreaming under the snow, your heart dreams of spring time.
Let your dreams lead you,
In dreams is hidden the door of eternity.”
 
We went fishing at the town lake, and the cadavers of the red fish served me to explain to my two kids the biggest mystery of Man… The certitude of death and the celestial trip of the Soul? We buried the fish in the garden along with all the necessary traditional rituals.
 
After death, the fish is destined to return for right to nature…In his eternal return, and the armature of the Soul is fortified by life experiences and the power of love for a vulnerable  creature: Man falls back toward the well of his creator, matched with the colors of the shared suffering and joy, of our free works during our ephemeral passage on earth…
 
Dad is speaking to us from the death:
“Life is this short trip moment that we are bestowed to travel during our stay on earth… And death is what we have got to live… For the Eternity…We are in only two states, life and death… and in between you may discover the home of eternity
 
If you dig in the heart of a drop of water, you’ll find a thousand oceans, pure and endless…
If you enlarge your internal vision, the droplet of water transforms into the breath of tides.
If you focus deep in the heart of the moment… You’ll live for eternity.
Do not worry about death: Death will take you at any instant…
Strive for the density of life at each breath
And you may reach the light of the absolute”
 
The Coran says:

“I have seem my Lord under the most beautiful of images”

“We created life and death: we want to see who among you accomplished the best of works”

Note 1: I located this piece written in French on FB. I asked the name of the author and didn’t get a reply, not yet.

Note 2: The French detailed description of dinner for breaking Ramadan fast

“Autour de la grande table des fêtes, la soupe traditionnelle a base de lentilles et le fattouch composé de concombre, radis, oignons verts, tomate, poivron ou la salade de roquette, roka, ou de pourpier, avec des oignons, du citron et du sumac, de petits fruits rouges pulvérisés, acides comme du citron ; les diverses formes d’hoummous, crèmes à base pois chiches et de purée de sésame ou tahini ; les préparations à base d’aubergine, tel le moutabbal, crémeux, à saveur de fumée, ou le makdous, constitué d’aubergines farcies de noix, d’ail et de grenade ; les feuilles de vigne farcies de riz, souvent parfumées à la cannelle …

 


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adonis49

adonis49

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