Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Have you had your Tetanus shot lately?

My seventeen-year-old son, Aidan, and I are going on a trip over Spring Break. Our trip's destination? Various building and construction sites where tools, nails, sharp objects and lots of dirt will be. Recently, Aidan went to his doctor for his annual physical and the doctor recommended he get a tetanus booster. This got me to thinking, "Hmmm...when was the last time *I* had a tetanus booster?"

I had absolutely no idea. So, I made an appointment for MY physical and to get a tetanus booster shot:

It turns out, I should have gotten a booster a long time ago and not just because I'm going on a trip. Did you know that tetanus spores can be found in the soil and in the intestines and feces of many household and farm animals and humans? I sure didn't. Not ever having given it much thought, I assumed tetanus was something people got from puncturing themselves on something rusty - I hadn't really considered anything beyond that.

It's no big surprise that I hadn't gotten a booster shot (or a physical) recently, though. I seriously hate going to the doctor:

But with tetanus as my motivator, here I was. Having now done a bit of reading on the whole tetanus scenario, I've learned that when people work on farms and ranches where they come into contact with animal wastes, they have a higher chance of getting tetanus.

--> If you garden, you should also get a tetanus shot. The tetanus bacterium can live in the dirt.
-->If you have a dog, you should get a tetanus shot. If your dog (or any dog) happens to bite you, it can be transmitted to you that way.
-->If you deal regularly with manure and farm animals, which I do, you should REALLY get a tetanus shot.

Various ways that tetanus bacteria can be passed on to people is from puncture wounds, such as those received from stepping on a nail, or from cuts or scratches from barbed wire, splinters, animal or insect bites, self-piercing, self-performed tattoos, and injecting drugs.

My doctor said I looked like a very healthy person and sent me off for my tetanus booster shot. Look at what a good girl I am:

The nurse giving the injection was a good girl, too, because she let me photograph her through the whole procedure. I think she thought I was weird but, still, she let me do my thing:

On a perfect day, I would have been finished and gotten to go home, but the doctor had also asked for some standard lab work to check my cholesterol, blood sugar, whether I'm anemic, etc. Off I went to the lab:

I *always* have to wait for what seems like hours at the lab:

Leafing through a magazine, I did find this delicious sounding tortellini recipe that I want to try:

Yum. Now I'm waiting *and* hungry:

Another magazine. Look! This bottled product is going to fight my wrinkles without damaging my skin. Now that IS good news:

At last, my name was called. The phlebotomist who took me in back looked like she was about twelve. Seriously. This seems to be happening more and more often to me. But, as long as she knows what to do with this stuff, and doesn't hurt me, I don't have a problem with her being twelve:

She was less amused by my camera than the other lady, so I was quick about it:

Then she told me there was one final test still needed:

"You know what to do, right?", she asked.

"Right", I said.

I'll keep you posted on the results.


If you would like to learn more about the tetanus bacterium and the immunization, please visit the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases site on tetanus by clicking HERE.

It has a great overview on what tetanus is, its transmission modes, and who should receive the vaccine.


  1. Ok, I recently had to leave a sample in a cup and lets just say, it's easier said than done.

    My word verifcation is later. I'm always bummed when its a real word.

  2. Good for you! That is so important. When I have new helpers I always remind them to be sure their shots are up to date.
    Is flizess a real word?

  3. I am cracking up at how you documented the whole day in pictures until right at the end with the ... *you* know .... and then it just ends. lol

    Sugar Creek Stuff, my word verification was a real word too - decor. Weird.

  4. Hmmm, I'm thinkin' I'm sneakin' up on ten yrs since my last tetanus shot. Those things kind of smart. :0( You were brave to go do it.

    Ummm, recently I had a "young" girl at the eye dr basically call me old, I was not amused. Grrr.

  5. I've been planning on getting my tetanus booster for months but haven't gotten around to it. Thanks for the reminder. I am dealing with farm animal poo now, so it is time.

  6. Good reminder Danni, and you are brave. Those tetanus shots sting. It's been about 15 years since my last one, I think.

    Is "penattz" a real word?

  7. HA! Girl, I want you with me next time I go in. (Although, I think I can do that last step on my own. lol) You make it look so fun! :) Gosh.....I don't even want to say how it's been since my last T-shot!!

  8. Another winner from the Queen of Posting. I need that ROC stuff.
    Rachel was a phlebotomist at one time!
    Thank you for the tips, I think I've got a couple more years before my next booster. Yeah!

  9. Phooey! I have a real word too. oxide.

    We lost a goat to tetanus even though he'd been vaccinated. After seeing what happened to him I've very careful to keep ours up to date.

    My eye doctor casually mentioned that when I reached "a certain age" I might need to think about bifocals. hmmm....certain age? What age would that be? He said 40. I'm good then, I'm past 40 and don't need them so I won't be needing them, right? He didn't think it works that way.

  10. Loved your post! And so very timely. I punctured myself on a Cholla thorn the other day and was reading as well about tetanus and how my gardening makes me a prime candidiate. Off to make an appt for my booster-thanks for the reminder!

  11. Thanks for the reminder! I can't remember when the last time was that I had a tetanus shot.

    No real word for me: Upalica

  12. What a great mom you are. To go through all of that just for your son.
    Hope you two have a great time and hope to see lots of pictures and stories.

  13. Good for you getting your preventative health care! We should all ::koff koff:: be so diligent!

    Tetanus, yes that one is a biggie for gardeners and urban ranch-hands.

  14. This is so much more enjoyable from this angle than from yours. Hee hee hee thanks!! I'm good for another year, having just finished up with the annual round of crappy old doctors visits...

  15. Ugh, I never look at the needle in my arm. I point my head away, and read the sunday comics that the phlebotomist tapes to the wall.

    I come in contact with keyboards and wine glasses in any given day; can I get tetanus from those?

  16. You crack me up. The things you photograph and record. It's very educational, to be sure. I'm still a little behind-the-camera shy, I think.

  17. Great post! I got my last tetnus shot when I almost chopped off my finger chopping broccoli. It was a LONG night in the ER, made all the longer by the nurses snickering at my lack of culinary skills!

  18. Wow. That little door in the restroom even has a picture to show you where to put your filled cup....thats very nice of them to do that. In case you forget, I mean.

    Never did I know so much about tetanus. I, too, only paired it with rusty nails and such.

  19. ROFL...this must be the most creative post I've seen in a looong time! Good for you, I'm due this year for a tetnus booster. I know about the soil and feces so try to stay up to date on mine.

    I wish you the best of luck on your test results and thanks for the good chuckle this morning! Kim

  20. Well, the TETANUS SCARE finally got you to go to the doctor and have that dreaded physical. I'm so glad you did and got the T. shot. I never thought of the fact that garden soil and animal waste are such prime sources for tetanus. Now you are safe and ready for building, cursing, hammering, spitting, and swearing on your upcoming trip.
    Stay safe!

  21. I am always worried about getting rabies or some junk from the magazines in waiting rooms so I applaud your bravery in reading through the ones you pictured!


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