If you’re like me, you enjoy selecting gifts for others and along the way, a few for yourself! This Christmas, I’ve got a really special gift for someone I dearly love. Let me tell you about her.
My daughter-in-law, Mallory Hicks, is always easy to buy for because she likes anything that’s shiny, glittery or sentimental. She does have just about anything – including a pig in a tutu! Mallory has Cystic Fibrosis – a “progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.” Two years ago, she got into a drug trial for Trikafta that literally changed her life. It’s opened up possibilities that until recently she never allowed herself to dream of.
Trikafta has prevented her from countless hospital stays, and increased her wellbeing enough to participate in the Mrs. Tennessee pageant where she launched her role as an advocate for children living with the disease. One thing this drug won’t do? Prevent the flu. In fact, those with Cystic Fibrosis who contract the flu often get very serious infections in their already compromised lungs. Some even die.
The gift I’ll give is going to bring joy, health and love that she can really feel. So, what is it? It’s the flu shot!
I planned to get it earlier this Fall and especially before seeing her on Thanksgiving. I didn’t know that the shot has a two-week incubation period before I am 100% protected, so unfortunately this means that I can’t spend Thanksgiving with her. But Christmas? Absolutely!
There are some groups of people who are at a much higher risk for complications from the flu. One of those groups is CF patients. Others include the elderly, children under 6 years of age, those with asthma and other chronic illnesses.
Here are some flu facts that I didn’t know:
- Even if you do not have active symptoms, you can be a carrier of the illness and transmit it to others from even “6 feet away.”
- It can take up to 4 days before some people have symptoms, even when they are already infected.
- Although some people may get a low-grade fever and other symptoms, you cannot contract the flu itself from the shot.
I got my flu shot today, so now I can look forward to the rest of the holidays with Mallory! It’s the best gift I could give her…and myself!