One little problem with adventuring to fabulous, far-away places is that they have some nasty bugs and diseases. Because we were quite spontaneous in booking our holiday, we kind of neglected to think about vaccinations until a bit later.
It turns out there is a pretty long list of recommended vaccinations for Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
We found, among the huge amount of travel advice out there, that the website My Vaccination was pretty good as it provides clear information about recommended vaccinations in an easy to use way.
Mum is not a fan of vaccinations at all, which I can understand, but I don’t want to risk getting some awful disease that might haunt me for the rest of my lift when I could have just got a jab.
We got the name of a travel doctor from our travel agent and so made an appointment. The benefit of going to travel doctor rather than a GP is that they are going to have all the vaccinations there and ready. After much discussion with the doctor, he convinced us to get Hepatitis A and B (which we need to get two more of before the end of the year!), Typhoid and Influenza, and then I had to get Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis one, but Mum has had that recently because of a dog bite.
Mum bravely went first… which I think didn’t turn out that well for me because I had to watch her get needles put into her arm first. I went next to get my four needles – two in each arm. I was OK with the first two, but when the third one went in I started to feel really nauseous. Then all black started to close in my vision and the doctor told me to lay down on the bed. I laid down for a while – I felt much better on the bed – while the doctor talked about malaria tablets with Mum. I started to feel fine, so we went out to pay. Vaccinations are so expensive! Mum very generously paid for me (possibly because I got some sympathy for near-feinting). The bill racked up to $150 for Mum and $180 for me… I guess I’m lucky to not expect to pay at the doctors, I usually flash my Medicare card and it’s all good. I can’t be sure if it was shock from the bill or the needles again, but I my vision started to go all black again and a went all wobbly. The doctor was walking past at the time and rushed my over to lay down before hooking me up to a blood pressure machine and beepy thing to measure my heart rate on my finger. It was quite dramatic, but once I was feeling a bit better again, the lady at reception brought me a scotch finger biscuit. I had to wait a little while before I was allowed to drive home, which makes sense.
Luckily over the next few days all I had were sore arms. After experience getting the needles, I really hope I don’t get sick on holidays!