I posted the original question, regarding my awful experience last year (2008) with the flu shot I received, and this question/ASK received many responses! Is it normal for my arm muscle in my shoulder to hurt 2 weeks after the flu shot?.
Actually...it ended up hurting for 3-5 months, and was painful enough to disrupt my sleep, prohibit some movement when trying to pick up my 1 year old son, and caused me to wonder if something was damaged in my arm. I did not want to seem like a whiny patient, or to exaggerate my symptoms or anything (or to get on the anti-flu-vaccine bandwagon).
Anyways, I thought it was only fair to share with you all: I had another flu shot this season (yesterday)...and I have NO PAIN IN MY ARM! yeah! I spoke with the nurse about my experience last year, and she said she heard many people complain about this very same thing. In fact, she had the same situation and was in some shoulder pain for 6 months following her flu shot. I showed her the exact location where I had my flu shot in 2008 (it was that painful...I remembered the location if you can believe it, as the shot even hurt when it went in), and she said, "Oh my! That is WAY too far up your shoulder! The needle may have hit something that needed time to heal!".
The nurse told me the proper location for the flu shot in the arm: 3 finger-widths below the shoulder (and, this is approximately 2 finger-widths below my 2008 shot location).
She was WONDERFUL, and the shot was barely noticeable! The shot was like they should be...a little prick, some coldness, then soreness for 24 hours that is mild.
My arm does not hurt at all today...not the site of the injection, not the muscle or anything.
If you are thinking about getting a flu shot, and are worried about what you've been reading regarding the pain people have experienced...please talk with the nurse beforehand! I let her know I was not "high-maintenance" and just worried. If she had not reacted in the way I needed (if she was nonchalant, for instance), I would have declined the shot. Instead, she was reassuring, showed me where the injection would be...and that made all the difference!
It really does pay to advocate for yourself, and I hope others have a better experience this time, as well as knowing the exact location where the injection should be given.
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