Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Yesterday, Abigail and I had our appointments at the Travel Clinic. They are the people who say "You are traveling to Ethiopia, so you need these immunizations, and you need to take this anti-malaria medication, and you need to take this medication with you for travelers diarrhea, and don't drink the water and wear this mosquito spray" and all that good stuff.

You may now call me the human pincushion, because yesterday I got 4 shots. Abigail got one, but she has to go back for 3 more at her pediatrician's office, and we both have to go back to the travel clinic for the Typhoid immunization.

If you are interested, here are the shots I got:

Hepatitis A (first of 2)
Yellow Fever
Meningococcal meningitis
Polio (booster)

Here are the shots I did not have to get because I had already gotten them (for work/nursing school/childhood immunizations because I was born after 1980):
Hepatitis B series
Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis (TDap) (booster required every 10 years)
Varicella (I had chicken pox as a kid)
Measles/Mumps/Reubella (MMR)

Here is the one immunization I did not get because I thought the risk was small: Rabies

Abigail got the Yellow Fever shot at the clinic. Otherwise, her standard childhood immunizations were up to date and she will only have to get a few more.

Here is the list of what Abigail needs to get:
Meningococcal meningitis (they only had the adult shot at the Travel clinic)
Hepatits A series (this is now a routine pediatric immunization, but I don't know why this isn't on her shot record? I guess since they made this standard in 2003, she somehow got missed?)

So, grand total, we both will be getting 5 shots. I probably got more than most travelers, but that is most likely because I am a nurse and I have seen first-hand what can happen when you have these illnesses. I think it is my responsibility to protect myself and my child as much as possible from any kind of preventable disease. This is not just immunizations, but things like good hand hygiene and routine physical/dental/eye exams. Not to mention- I cannot possibly imagine coming home with my new child and having Abigail and I be sick with something really nasty!

5 shots. Not really all that bad in the long run (definitely less painful than giving birth), but I tell you, my arms are sore today! Washing my hair this morning was a form of cruel and unusual punishment!


Heather Friesen said...

Hi Grace,

I by no means think you overdid the quantity of your vaccinations.

I took my five kids to the travel clinic to get their immunizations as well! The two five year olds got three shots each: metamune (meningitis), yellow fever, and typhoid. The seven, nine and eleven year olds got the meningitis and yellow fever injections, but will be taking the oral typhoid medicines.

My five year olds had the most difficult time with the shots. None of the others cried. Now the children are suffering with sore arms, but that is much better than the disease. The only one we didn't do was the rabies. The kids are otherwise up-to-date and ready to travel to Ethiopia, Lord-willing!

Eryka said...

Ouch! I hate shots. Or rather needles in general. I get my blood drawn way to often. Not fun. I hope you heal quickly.