Married father-to-two and grandfather-to-five, Garry, 61, is the horticulturalist caretaker at Burnie City Park. When Garry isn’t at work, you can find him playing golf, volleyball or tennis with friends.
When Garry was diagnosed with the flu in June, 2016, his professional and personal life was significantly compromised. For three weeks he felt “miserable”, plagued by a severe cough, aches and pains, and a high fever.
After mounting a full recovery from flu, Garry has since been vaccinated in pharmacy.
Aware of how the flu strains differ each year, Garry plans to protect himself, and his loved ones, from contracting the serious infection, by having an annual flu shot in pharmacy.
This is Garry’s story.
“I had terrible aches and pains, a severe cough, and was cold and shivering. I felt absolutely miserable.
“When I had the flu, I had no energy whatsoever. I felt very flat and extremely tired,” said Garry.
Garry was diagnosed with the flu in June, 2016, “a serious infection” that he attributes to his grandchildren, who routinely “bring home bugs from school.”
“I work outside in the park, rather than being confined to an area, in close contact with people.
“I rarely fell ill before my grandkids started school. Since then, I’ve contracted many lurgies that they’ve brought home with them, usually when babysitting,” Garry said.
A few days after his symptoms appeared, Garry was diagnosed with the flu.
“I had been sick for a few days, and my cough and fever were starting to really concern me.
“So I visited my doctor who prescribed cough medicine and bed rest to mount a full recovery,” said Garry.
“I was really sick for about a week, and it took me up to three weeks before I felt completely better.”
Garry is now vaccinated against the flu, and plans to get vaccinated each year, moving forward.
“My employer offers a flu shot for free each year, but I’d never taken it up before, because the vaccination clinics always fell when I was on holiday.
“I was aware however, that flu vaccination is available in pharmacy. I’d seen an ad for pharmacy flu shots in my local paper, and had also heard about the convenience of in-pharmacy vaccination by word-of-mouth at my local tennis club,” Garry said.
“So I visited my local pharmacy 2014 to have an annual flu shot. It was brilliant, and so easy to do.
“The pharmacist administered the injection, and I was in and out with no hassle,” said Garry.
Before contracting the flu, Garry was aware of the seriousness of the infection, but mistakenly thought it would never happen to him.
“I knew that the flu could be really serious, especially for children and the elderly.
“Flu tends to circulate and you hope to be able to avoid it. But if you’re involved in your local community, and play tennis or golf, or babysit your grandkids, you can easily end up being exposed to the virus,” Garry said.
“I know people, like myself, who have not protected against the infection, and have really suffered.
“I never want to repeat my awful experience with flu. Having an annual flu shot gives me peace of mind, knowing that I’m protected from the particular year’s circulating virus strains, and am less likely to pass the flu onto my grandchildren,” Garry said.
“I plan to visit pharmacy for my annual flu shot moving forward, in order to keep both myself, and my loved ones, protected.”