Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trip Status: Delayed

Delayed.  :(

Ahhhh, the disappointment.  My trip is now officially delayed.  Red tape seems to be the official pronouncement.  Patience has never been in my list of character traits and waiting to find out when I can once again ramp up on the excitement is exhausting.  You're going, you're not going, your're going,  you're delayed....Ugh. 

In the mean time, my body has been stabbed with too many needles.  New little antibodies are coursing through my veins, or wherever antibodies actually hang out and perform their magic.

We have a Travel Clinic at our local hospital.   I filled out lots of paperwork for my first visit and when I took my papers back to the woman at the desk she said, "You're here for immunizations?  Ohhhhhh, those really hurt!". (Me, blank stare) For God sake woman!!!  Have you not heard the phrase Discretion is the better part of valor??   I said, "Really?  Have you had them?"   She said, "No".  (Me, blank stare.  Perhaps a few blinks). 

 I got a Polio vaccine and an Influenza vaccine in one arm, a Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B in the other, a tiny little box of live Typhoid pills to rush home to the refrigerator, and a presciption for Malaria pills to pick up from the pharmacy.    After giving me the shots, the nurse said I needed to sit in the room for 15 minutes so they could monitor me.  She said "If you have any problems, we're right outside, ok?"  PROBLEMS???   What do you mean PROBLEMS?   Do I crawl to the door?  Scratch on it?  Wi-Fi was unsuable and so was my 4G so without my phone I scanned the walls for 15 minutes waiting to feel something funny.  I squelched the desire to look through all of the cabinets in the room which I was pretty proud of.   After 15 minutes, she came back in and released me.  I passed!  Reactions?   My arms were sore felt like sacks of potatoes later in the day.   Other than that I had no reaction.   

A trip to my regular doctor to make sure I was all ok for my trip added another shot - this time shingles.  Sure!  What the heck.   I don't want to get shingles so bring it on.   More little antibodies joined the gang.  Reaction?  None. 

My second visit to the travel clinic was  because the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine was suggested as an addition to our first round of shots.  Ok.  Reading about these illnesses makes any side effect pale in comparison to the actual disease.  Reaction?  A wicked headache the next day...most of the day.  My fellow travellers complained of this one too although one had extreme fatigue and two others had a stiff neck. 

I decided it was time to start the Typhoid pills.  I was waiting for a good time to start them.  Ha!  What's a good time to introduce a live virus into your body?    The thing with the Typhoid is you take one pill every other day for a week.  You take it first thing in the morning with a beverage that is no warmer than your body temperature and you can't eat for two hours.  It needs to stay refrigerated.  I started on a Monday and by the end of my 2 hour fast, I didn't want anything to do with food.  Blech.  Reaction?  NAUSEA and a dry mouth.  Day two was a day away from the pills so I started feeling better.  Day 3 took another pill.  Worse nausea.  Blechhhhhhh.   Day four is a day away from the pill but I feel lousy and my body hurts.   Day 5 and I am sooooo looking forward to taking that next damn Typhoid pill.  And to make it better, day 5 of my Typhoid and I have to return for my third visit to the travel clinic for my second dose of Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.   So, I army crawl into the travel clinic. (Not really, I just wanted to add some dramatic emphasis and maybe work up a little sympathy in my readers).  The nurse's aide takes my blood pressure, takes my temperature and then leaves to go get the nurse to give me the vaccine.  The nurse comes in and says, "Do you feel ok?".  A change, because this time she's asking me before I even get the shot. Of course the answer at this point is NO but I had to leave work early and I have been sitting in the waiting area so now I waffle between the truth which is NO and just getting the shot over with.  She says, "You have a fever and you're right on the edge of where we can't give you this vaccine".  Seriously??  I told her I wasn't tolerating my Typhoid medicine very well but wasn't otherwise sick.  She gave me the shot.  I waited the 15-minute problem time, stayed upright, and they let me go.  Reaction?  Nothing this time.  No sack-of-potato arm.

Unless something comes up, I have to return to the travel clinic one more time for a second dose of Japanese Encephalitis in two weeks, and a third dose of Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B in 5 months.  Oh, and I start the Malaria pills one day before I leave through one week after I come back.  Wouldn't it be interesting to see what's actually going on inside my body with all of these live viruses competing?  Should there be combat pay included in this?  The great news is I will be protected from the Hepatitises for life and Typhoid for 5 years.  Maybe I should start planning one of my other top 5 bucket list items...a trip down the Amazon!

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