Patient stories

icons individual 06Patients are at the heart of everything we do and we actively encourage people living in Birmingham and Solihull, as well as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to share their health stories to help inform, encourage and inspire others.

If you would like to add your story about healthcare or a health condition, please email us at bsol.comms@nhs.net.

Don’t hesitate – get your flu jab!

Local amateur photographer Sarah, from Kings Heath, tells us about her experience of getting the flu jab and tells us why everyone should get their vaccination too. 

I was one of those people who was a bit dubious about the flu jab. I'd heard ‘old wives’ tales’ about being vaccinated, and then getting the flu. Which, when I think about it, is quite silly really. The whole point of the flu vaccine is to protect you against getting ill, not to proactively give you the flu!

So this year, I made the leap after doing some reading on the NHS website. I thought, ‘right, I’m going to do it, I’m going to have the flu jab’. I’d seen first-hand how incredibly bad the actual flu can knock you off your feet; my mum had it five years ago, and she couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks.

So, last weekend on Saturday morning, I looked up the details of my local pharmacy which was offering the jab and made my way down. I don’t qualify for a free flu jab, because fortunately I don’t have a long term health problem like asthma. However, I still wanted to protect myself, because I absolutely hate being ill - especially over Christmas time when it’s all go, go, go.

I went into the pharmacy and the lovely pharmacist took me into the consulting room, asked me a few questions and talked me through a few things.

She explained that I might get a little bit of a sore arm, or a bit of a sniffle type feeling but that it would wear off after a few days. We’re all different, so I guess everyone’s body will respond differently to it.

After she had explained everything, she said ‘ok, I’ll just pop it in now, it will feel like a scratch and then it’ll be done’. I nodded, and then within what felt like a second it was done, and I barely felt it!

Later that day, I was waiting for this sore arm to make itself known but it never happened. By Monday, I’d completely forgotten that I’d even had it done until my work colleagues asked what I’d done over the weekend.

I think the moral of my vaccination story is, there are a lot of myths out there about the flu jab, and although some people get a sore arm and some minor symptoms, others don’t have any.

In the long run, it’s a mild bit of discomfort to protect yourself from the nasty flu, which, could ultimately ruin your Christmas if you're laid up in bed for weeks feeling rubbish!

I know which I’d prefer…