To Africa and Back
I must apologize for my recent absence. The past few days I have been feeling a bit disenchanted about the whole trip and seem to have lost some of my intensity in researching what to do and where to stay. The original stage of researching all the great places I’d go has come to an end, and I’m left with the actual preparation for my trip: the hard work.
Today I went to the Travel Health Clinic of Western North Carolina and got my shots. I think both the doctor and nurse were surprised at how prepared I was for everything – al the paperwork they gave me explaining the vaccines and diseases were from the CDC and other websites I’d already thoroughly read through. My chat with the doctor was pretty quick – I already knew what I wanted and didn’t want, and I knew all about the effects of the diseases. No ice, bottled water, cook your food, peel your fruit. Awesome. It does surprise me, however, that if I’m an abnormal patient with plenty of time in advance as well as well-educated on what I need to get, what on earth is a normal patient? It kind of shocks me that people would just show up at the doctor and take whatever is suggested. No thanks.
I did learn that the longer it has been since your last tetanus booster, the less likely you are to have a severe reaction. Clearly, that is why I waited fifteen plus years. Not because I just hate shots.
And speaking of that tetanus/pertussis booster, it was awful. The other shots didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought they would, although I could feel each one settling deep into my muscle – which was not fun. But for some reason, the tetanus one just stung terribly; I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Fortunately, I had the best nurse ever and she was really nice and talked to me to keep my mind off of things. She told me to keep my muscles active and moving as much as possible because it metabolizes faster and decreases the pain.
Unfortunately, the arm with the typhoid shot seems to be getting sorer and sorer by the minute.
Anyway, I’m glad it’s mostly done. The Twinrix vaccine (a combo of Hep A/B) was the least painful, thankfully, and it’s the only one I need multiples of. I’ve also got a Rx for Cipro in case i get Traveller’s Diarrhea. I was also told that I’ll be able to pretty easily get some cleaning supplies once in South Africa to carry with me in case of an animal (read: rabid dog) scratches or licks me.
So that’s the update for now. There’s so much to do before I leave. I think I’ll send my booking information to Beachside now, so I definitely have a place to stay in Port Elizabeth!