Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Pneumococcal vaccine

Pneumonia is the most common fatal respiratory complication in ALS (Mitsumo and Munsat, 2nd edition, pp. 182). Immunization with pneumococcal vaccine is one preventative step.

So after talking with my local neurologist, I went to the GP today and the nurse vaccinated me. The nurse practitioner said the vaccine is given twice in a lifetime, separated by at least six years, and confers lifetime immunity. "That's the story now," she added.

Again, my kind of person. Willing to acknowlege that things change. She seemed admirable and comfortable. She said good things about my local neurologist. And she worked for a while with the people at the ALS clinic.

There are not supposed to be any complications with the vaccine. The usual: maybe a sore spot on your arm where the needle went in.

My blood pressure was 140/78. The 78 seems low, lower than it's ever been for me. Not that I'd been getting checked much before the brain rot. The nurse assistant who took my pressure said that her records showed that on Jan. 13 it had been 126/90. (That was right before I went to my local neurologist, who gave me the news about ALS).

I have tended to keep my computers for at least six years. So I made a reminder in the calendar software that came with the awesome new computer my wife got me. See you again, for another vaccination, when I'm 46. I'll jog there.
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