In a recent post, we wrote about the process of getting vaccinated and immunized for our upcoming trip. Just the other day, we completed the final steps of getting our shots, pills and more. Thus far, this process has been one of the more cumbersome and time consuming affairs to prep for the trip. While at the medical Center on Monday, we certainly got the impression that they don’t have a ton of people coming in for world travel vaccinations. There was revolving confusion, waiting and more waiting. Once back from our trip, we look forward to leisurely paced suburban medical practitioners. You know: Giant fish tanks. Friendly nurses. Etc.
The precautionary steps that Dr. Park recommended included three series of shots to prevent diseases that I’ve only really read about and some that I can barely spell (Hepatitis A, Polio Booster and Japanese Encephalitis), one oral vaccine prescription (Typhoid), and one set of pills to prevent…um…gastrointestinal emergencies (Ciprofloxacin –made famous by the Anthrax scare which also has an efficacy to treat diarrhea). We topped it off with a regimen consisting of boatloads of Dramamine for motion-sick-prone Brooke. Trust us, with sixteen different flights scheduled – she needs it.
The nurse was actually a lot of fun. She told us a few jokes to distract from the combined the six pricks that we received in a few minutes. The shots were overall painless with relatively small needles. One burned just a little bit, but other than that it hurt less than a Tetanus shot and only the Hepatitis burned for a second.
All in all, it put a pretty hefty dent in the wallet: Almost $400 per person. Oof. Insurance should help pay back for a couple of the shots which helps. Are the odds high that we would have contracted these illnesses had we not taken the time and cost to get immunized? Who knows. Probably not very high and we’ll be taking other precautions to stay healthy. But one of the big reasons that we’re taking this tip is because we didn’t want to look back regretting something we didn’t do. And, let’s face it—contracting a horrible, debilitating case of Japanese Encephalitis somewhere in Vietnam because we didn’t get a vaccine falls into the same category.
Now, I have to end this post in order to go to the fridge to take my semi-daily Typhoid vaccine. Hunh. That’s something I never thought I would type.
Categories: Health, Insurance, Trip Prep, Vaccines
Tags: Doctor, emergecny medical, Fish Tanks, insurance, Shots, Travel, Trip Prep, Typhoid, Vaccine, Vietnam
Not surprisingly, prepping for this big trip of a lifetime has required a fair amount of effort, planning and time. Working hard to take four months off has been our marching orders over the last few weeks. One of the more important chores on our to do list is making sure that we’re set on all the vaccines, immunizations , booster shots, and anything else needed when you’re doing a bit of globe hopping. Ensuring we’re set for healthy travel has ended up being one of the more time-consuming but incredible necessary rigmaroles thus far.
We both have the same general physician: Dr. Jayson Park at Beth Israel Medical Center. For years, Dr. Park has been attentive, helpful and just a quality Doctor to have in your corner. After a few comprehensive conversations and a thorough review of the countries and regions we’re visiting, Dr. Park was able to prescribe a small battery of shots and oral medications. While there were some risks in rural parts of Argentina and Croatia, it really is our planned visits to China and Vietnam that got us. If not for those two countries, it looks like we could have bypassed this hassle and cost altogether. As it is, below is what the doctor ordered:
- Typhoid vaccine: Oral prescription for four days and good for four years. Easy enough.
- Adult Polio booster. Learned that shots when you’re a child are apparently not enough.
- Hepatitis A vaccine series: Two shot series. One now and the second booster in six months. First shot is to takes care of us now and gives us sweet, sweet immunity for travel. Second shot is to get lifelong immunity.
- Japanese encephalitis: For the risk that we’ll have in Vietnam.
- Ciprofloxacin. Unique, international food will likely sometimes give us a bit of traveler’s diarrhea. Symptoms include acute abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and lots of Phil whining. Should help immensely and immediately.
Much to our chagrin, our insurance (and apparently most insurance plans) cover very little of this. Our costs may total $300 + a person. But the other option is, you know, running the outside risk of getting Typhoid. And that doesn’t sound like much fun at all. For those curious, we apparently don’t need a Malaria Prophylaxis, Rabies Shot or Yellow Fever vaccine at all. Hooray!
There is a lot to get excited for in planning this trip, but there are certainly some pain-in-the-ass-realities like this we’re working to tackle as well. Hoping they give us a delicious lollypop after our shots.
Categories: Health, Medical, Trip Prep
Tags: Argentina, China, Croatia, Doctor, Medication, Polio, Shots, Trip Prep, Typhoid, Vaccine, Vietnam