You know those people you see walking around in public doing their overhead dumbbell raises (with imaginary dumbbells) and air boxing as they meander down the street? Well, today, that crazy person would be me. I’ve got Human Pincushion Syndrome (HPS) and am walking around the office trying to move off the post injection soreness brought on by today’s trip to the travel clinic. I haven’t felt my back yelping all day.
Essentially, the Kaiser nurse made me into a human-pincushion & my arms are S-O-R-E !
Armed with not only immunity, but also a wealth of knowledge on the risks in India that I am stepping into, the appointment puts me one BIG step closer to heading off for my retreat. It was so much information, in fact, my head is still spinning – so please understand if I get something wrong here.
As I understand it, I might have only needed two injections: Hepatitis A and Polio. The Typhoid vaccine is available orally but can be pretty hard on sensitive stomachs such as mine, so I opted for the injection instead. For those who have not have not had the Hepatitis B series, this is also recommended. Thankfully, mine was up-to-date. I also received a tetanus booster (Tdap) as my last injection was in 2005 after taking a nasty fall while running and apparently my childhood series did not contain pertussis. It pays to have your entire lifetime of medical records consolidated in one place. You gotta love Kaiser for that. They’ve got all the dirt on me.
Speaking of medical history, the anti-malarial drug standardly ordered can cause one to go a wee bit psycho – at least if you have a history (personal or familial) of psychiatric illness. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve ever been crazy but…we all know that I did have a bit of situational depression following Tom’s death. So I opted for the daily dose form rather than the more potent weekly medication.
I was given a nice education on ways to discourage the creepy crawlers and winged buggies from coming near. This includes the use of 30-35% deet, spraying clothing with permethrin spray, wearing closed-toed shoes and light-colored clothing, and avoiding scented lotions. This includes sunscreen, which should be applied 20 minutes before applying insect repellant.
Aside from the critter-transmitted diseases (malaria, rabies, avian influenza, dengue, chikungunya, and leishmaniasis), there are water concerns as well. The rules include drinking bottled water obtained from reputable sources only; no buying from street vendors. Brush your teeth with bottled water only, eat only well-cooked food, and do not eat any fruits which you do not have to personally removed the peal yourself.
I’m sure there is more…but this is all that I remember at the moment. I’ve got a touch of Information Overload as well I guess.