My last flu shot was in 2008. I fainted. It's the only time I've ever fainted. I was only out for a few seconds, but the doctor freaked out and called an ambulance and the ambulance took me to the hospital. The entire experience was not what I would call positive.
My doctors since then have generally agreed that I should avoid getting flu shots if possible. My anxiety around them is almost as debilitating as the flu would be, and I'm not in a high-risk demographic. However, this year I'm living with a pregnant person, and will soon be living with a tiny newborn baby, and they are in a very high-risk demographic. So I geared myself up and went to the nearby walk-in clinic, figuring they'd have very experienced staff who basically do this all day.
I was so, so, so anxious. I'd made sure to eat solid food and take taurine, but I was still really jittery. Unfortunately/hilariously, X, who had come along to hold my hand, contracted anxiety from me and started feeling dizzy; they had to go lie down in a separate room while I had it done. On the bright side, that both distracted me and put me in a "must be strong and stalwart for this other person" mindset.
The jab itself was nothing. One, two, three, done. "That's it?" I said, the way I say it after every single shot or blood draw I get.
Once it was done, X came back in to keep me company. I lay there for a while and then I sat up and drank some water, and that was fine, so I stood up, and that was fine too. I never even got dizzy at all. We went around the corner to get me a hot chocolate because a) protein and sugar yay and b) good to stay near the clinic for a few extra minutes just in case. I continued to feel fine. We came home and I was fine. I continue to be fine.
1) Get flu shots at a clinic with calm, sensible nurses instead of going to a nervous doctor.
2) Being professionally stabbed is never anything like as bad as I think it's going to be.