Saturday was a lovely autumnal day. I was up bright and early, ready to head into the city for my appointment with The Travel Doctor. I thought, when I had had my travel consultation back in Ireland, that I was covered vaccination wise for all of my trip and that I wouldn't really be needing any more, and so I really just wanted to have a chat to the doctor about options for malaria medication.
Basically, when I got up that morning, I wasn't exactly preparing myself to be stuck in the arm with lots of needles again.
So, after a long chat with the doc, it turns out that I will be needing a course of Japanese Encephalitis injections at $135 EACH for three. She also stressed that I shoudl really consider the rabies vaccination at $145 each for three. I also need Polio at $55. Then we got to chatting about malaria meds. Lots of expensive options. We agreed on a four month course for $80! Then there was the consultation fee - another $80!!!
After having "pencilled me in" for all these horrendous jabs, she dispatched me off to the nurse clutching a big bundle of leaflets outlining the terrors of contracting rabies, malaria and dengue fever. Lovely.
The nurse was devoid of any sort of tender touch and rammed two needles, one after another into my poor arm. First time ever I felt faint from jabs. She was a goodly sort though and distracted me by giving me a sucky sweet and asking me all about my TYPHOID EXPERIENCE in Peru. She went on to underline everything the doctor had said, going into great detail about the possible diseases and viruses that lay in wait for me in SE Asia. She painted a not so lovely picture of me being chased by rabid dogs, monkeys and bats, water snails multiplying under my skin, mosquitos sucking on my blood, and general merriment and feasting on my body by all manner of ticks, insects and bedbugs!
One's grand vision of one's trip never really includes this sort of stuff. But I suppose it's better to do your best to ward it off nevertheless. So, I signed myself up for the works! I have a few more rendezvous with said nurse before the fun is over!
The depressing part is none of these vaccinations are 100% proof, as I discovered in Peru. So, all you can do is hope you escape! You think it's better to be an informed traveller, but sometimes really ignorance is bliss!