Sunday, July 2, 2006

Ouch.

Vaccinations. Ugh. I knew I had to have shots to go on my trip....didn't know exactly which ones as it had been more years than I could remember since I had been anywhere that required vaccinations of any sort. Probably on my last trip to Malaysia when I spent time in Borneo.

So last week I called our Health Unit, told them where I was going and asked them which shots I needed. The nurse looked up my records and all my previous vaccinations had long expired. Just my luck! I hung up the phone and made a mental note to go to the Health Unit the following day. Might as well get it over with, I thought.

The next day, I went to the Health Unit and as I sat on the edge of the examination chair, I watched the nurse take out 4 needles and 4 vials of vaccine. Having gone through this before numerous times, I asked the nurse if my arms would ache afterwards. She smiled and replied "yes" and then added that nausea might also set in. Oh yay, I thought to myself.... I get to ache and feel queasy, both at the same time.

I took a breath, rolled up my left sleeve and took the first shot, which was for typhoid and that was quickly followed by a shot for yellow fever. I then rolled up my right sleeve and took the third shot which was tetanus and then the fourth and final shot which was for hepatitis A. Two little BandAids dotted each arm to mark the spot of each shot....small badges of honor, I'd like to think :-)

As the nurse was entering in all the requisite immunization information into my International Certificate of Vaccination booklet, she reminded me that I need to get my malaria pills from the main Health Room which will not only protect me from malaria but also from dengue fever. I now have another yellow sticky posted on my monitor to remind me to pick up the medicine.

The good news is that my vaccines will be active by the start of my trip and all but the typhoid vaccine good are for 10 years.

Hours later, both my arms started to ache though no nausea. I hate shots.