Friday, June 19, 2009

Medicine and Miracles

Yesterday, I headed over to the health department to get the rest of my vaccines before I head out in ten (TEN!) days. I didn't really know exactly what I was going to get. I knew I was going to finish up my Hepatitis A and B series, but that was about it. I knew that there were a few other shots, but wasn't sure if they were required, and assumed that we would have to make an appointment to meet with a travel nurse who would give us all of the info we needed.

Well, it turned out that she had an opening right then, and we could go ahead and meet with her as soon as we could. So, my mom went down to figure out all of the payment stuff, while I went in and got my hep vaccines.

Something to note- although I am a HUGE baby with a LOW pain tolerance, shots are not a big issue for me. If the injector doesn't tell  me when they are sticking the needle in, and they are quick, and I don't look, I'm good. I actually kind of enjoy shots as opposed to pills because they are quick and over with. The hep shots sting for about two seconds, my arm is sore for about ten minutes, and I call it a day.

So, I walk back to meet with the travel nurse and she has printed off the CDC's travel disease info about Paraguay, and I impressed her by saying, "Oh, the Yellow Book!", because she even had to look up what it was called. She lists off Yellow Fever (big surprise) and tells me that there's a risk. I'm a show off again and say, "Yeah, the CDC calls it a developing case and it started back in February, right?" Poor lady, putting up with me. So, she then tells me that I also have to get a typhoid shot, which was not a pleasant surprise, as if to say, "Haha, you show off! Didn't know about that risk, did you? Extra needles for you!" So, I get a very cool international inoculation certificate for this thing, and it lets me pass through borders much easier. Yay for that!  She also wrote me a prescription for Doxycycline,  an anti-malarial drug which is often used for acne prevention. Sweet!

My typhoid shot was in stock, thankfully, and so when she goes and gets the injections ready, she sits down and tells me very seriously, "It must be fate that brought you here today. I usually never have a Yellow Fever vaccine dose, because it has been in very high demand lately because of the outbreak. I have one dose left and thankfully, it's not already spoken for. You are very lucky."

P.S. I also didn't know that the vaccine had to be administered 10 days before I left. I got there 11 days before, just in the nick of time. And, by the way, although I can handle shots, that vaccine for Yellow Fever flipping HURTS! Yikes! And the side effects aren't all that fun, either.

So, apparently God really wants me to go, because it's just one more thing that's worked out against the odds. The funds are there, the shots are done, the prescription is in hand. I'm ready to go.

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