Being an adult can suck sometimes, especially when it comes to making doctor appointments. When you research time lines this is typically something that is highly recommended you do in the 6 month to 1 year from departure must do. It is something I highly agree with I mean I don’t want to deal with having to get 10 shots all at once before I leave. I personally prefer spacing that shit out.
Since I know I am going to be leaving any time in the next two years I decided that I really needed to go ahead and knock out medical stuff sooner rather later.
I had to make 3 appointments. One with my medical doctor for a routine check up especially as I wanted to discuss every vaccine I am wanting to obtain to try and get as much covered under insurance as I can. I mean free is better than 100s of dollars, am I right?
I made an eye appointment with my eye surgeon (I had cataracts) and wanted to verify the lens was good to go and discuss any issues that could occur and what to do while abroad.
I had to make a dentist appointment to get that process started. Not kidding I have a lot of dental work to do.
I decided that since there was a strong possibility I could leave any time in the next year and some things take time it was better to get starter earlier rather than right before I left.
Let’s Talk Vaccines.
When you do a routine “what vaccines do you need to travel long term” google search these are common ones that are discussed and often recommended.
Hepatitis A – Typically two shots about 6 months apart
Hepatitis B – 3 doses one at 0, 1 and 6 months
Meningitis – One Stick
Yellow Fever – One stick
Tetanus booster- One Stick
MMR booster (measles, mumps and rubella)– One Stick
Polio– Can be oral or you get a stick
Cholera– single dose but offer incomplete protection
Rabies– 3 doses day 1, 7 and 21
Japanese encephalitis– a 2 dose series
I am leaning towards getting more vaccines than a lot of people due to the fact I will be working with children and if they are covered under my insurance I rather be safe than sorry. Even though I have no plans of visiting Africa any time soon I plan on getting yellow fever as I do not want to miss out simply because I lack a vaccine. I do think I will pass on Cholera, Rabies and Japanese encephalitis. I do not plan on being in a Cholera zone or working with animals. I might need to discuss Japanese encephalitis as I will be in Asia during the peak season but it will likely not be covered and it appears to be very costly. So I will do more research on that.
Confession: I am TERRIFIED of needles but I promise with each vaccination I will blog about it because that is something I think a lot of people don’t do. They tell you what to consider but never give their experience. Don’t worry I will, but guys I really hate needles.
I had to get a tetanus booster before I started my job at the hospital so I will not have to worry about that one. I am pretty sure I haven’t been vaccinated since high school for Hep A and I am pretty positive I have never been vaccinated for Hep B. (my mother says I have but I can’t remember getting that vaccine) Meningitis was not a requirement when I was in college so I am pretty positive I want to get that one, a shot is hella better than having to get a spinal tap in a developing country. SO while I am not planning on leaving soon I am looking forward to having these conversations and getting an idea what is necessary.
My vision is still good from my surgery but I figured it would likely be better to verify my lens from my cataract surgery is good and just make sure I don’t need any light correction. So that should be a an easy appointment to knock out. I will then go to another eye doctor right before I leave to make sure I am set.
The dentist. Groan. I have SO much dental work I need to get taken care of. My prior dentist was horrible and I continued to let them work on my teeth and now my mouth is all screwed up. So my goal is to have my crap in order so when I leave my mouth is all set and healthy. This is the real reason I decided to get all of this taken care of now. If I actually leave in a year vs 2 years I rather get it done slowly vs all of it at once. Plus I have a flexible spending account in 2018 so if I don’t use it I loose it so I am planning on using all the money I have set aside for it to get as much done as possible.
When you travel what medical things do you take into consideration?
Note: Headline image was taken from Scrubmag.com