Friday, October 21, 2005

The Travel Clinic

Yesterday in preparation for my up coming trip I had an appointment at the travel clinic to make sure my shots were up-to-date and that I had the right medications and the like. In many circumstances I am a brave monkey, but doctor visits are so not one of them. I had initially intended to skip the shots and just risk it but I finally ran out of evasive comments for my boss. Then, she told me that she had gone to the travel clinic. Travel Clinic? What’s that? A travel clinic sounds adventurous and slightly romantic and for some reason reminiscent of Hugh Grant in Notting Hill.

So I called and got an appointment, and yesterday went in. The office had a world map on one wall and wildlife pictures from an African safari on another wall – no anatomy posters, no exam table – it’s seemed ok. The woman started going through the information for each of the countries and asking questions about my travel plans. Talking about traveling, always a good time. Then she started talking about the risks and symptoms of malaria, dengue fever, bird flu, typhoid, and the various forms of traveler’s diarrhea – EEEWWW!

As a side note, I have to admit I am a little worried about bird flu – it is not just that I really don’t want to get sick – it’s more my slightly irrational fear of being the jerk who brings it the USA. Apparently as long as I stay off the farms and out of the live animal markets I am pretty safe. As an extra precaution we’ll be avoiding eating chicken and eggs, although the risk is supposed to be pretty low.

So after the pleasant conversation of fevers, chills, and parasites, the clinic woman excuses herself to prepare the syringes. After a few minutes she comes back with a tray full of sharp pointy needles. After determining that I am right handed she starts with two shots into my left delt. Now those weren’t too bad – naively I ask if one was the tetanus knowing that is supposed to be a painful one. But no, the tetanus goes in my right shoulder because apparently it makes perfect sense to put three really painful shots into my dominant arm. Yeah ok I know I am being a baby but I think she got a certain amount of sadistic joy in not only in jabbing me over and over but in making helpful comments like you think that one hurt well just wait for this one with this slightly frightening smile on her face. Then she adds insult to injury by telling me to go to the gym to really work in the shots. So yeah by this time not the biggest fan of the travel clinic. I think next time its back to the regular clinic where they don't hide the ugly truth that it is in fact a doctor visit behind a National Geographic facade.

-A. Monkey

squab said...

Dude, you gotta turn on comment verification or add Haloscan commenting so you can avoid comment spam like the above. Nice post, tho! I never even heard of a travel clinic. But I'm SUPER glad you got your shots! Hello!

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