Round 1 of our heavy-weight bout with the travel vaccines was last Thursday. For those who’ve never done it, it starts with an assessment of what shots you’ve already had and which ones you need based on where you’re going.
We don’t really know where we’re going (other than our first stop), so we made up a magical fantasy list just to make sure that if we win the lottery we’ll be covered.
We told them we’d be going to Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, aaaaaaand Europe. Just like that, we tacked on an entire continent like an afterthought.
The nurse gave us one of those dead-pan expressions you get from a person who is formulating a professional way of saying “Are you people out of your minds?” in their heads.
The next question we got was “How long are you staying in Sri Lanka?” to which we, of course, replied “Dunno.” No sense in helping the poor lady, right?
She said “Approximately how long 2, 3, 4, 5 months?”.
I said “Yes”
I think at that point she understood that our plans are fairly flexible.
On to the shots, we debated for a while about the two biggies, rabies and Japanese encephalitis. They’re the biggies because they cost around $4000 for the whole family JUST for those two, and they aren’t the only shots!
In the end, they’re a once per person per life kind of vaccine, so we figured it’s more of a long term investment rather than an expense. Also, look at their little faces! Priceless, immeasurably valuable, rabies and encephalitis free.
Elliot, Vero and I had to get 4 shots, two in each arm, Zoë got 5! The nurses have never seen troopers like these, I tell you. Zoë only cried a tiny bit at the 5th shot, and stopped when the nurse handed her a lollipop (or candylop as Zoë calls it). When Elliot saw the candy, he was stoic like a Navy seal through the shots. No reaction. Gimme candy.
We went back last night for another rabies shot and some emergency prescriptions, and the nurse told us they had been talking about our tough little ones all week, using them to shame adults. I’m so proud! hehe
One more Thursday night for the last rabies and encephalitis and we’re done!