Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I feel pretty good considering I'm fighting off small doses of living typhoid, two types of hepatitis, and rabies. Today I accompanied Sunshine to the institute to schedule any shots I might need for our Southeast Asian tour, where--no time like the present--I ended up getting stabbed thrice and sent away with pills I need to keep refrigerated through Sunday. That's the typhoid vaccination, by the way, four orange-and-white Vivotif caplets of living disease. For anybody keeping score, the holes in my left arm are Havrix and Recombivax for hepatitis A and B, respectively, containing minute live doses or proteins from the individual strains; and the hole in my left is due to Imovax, an inactivated dose of the already attenuated Pitman-Moore strain of viral rabies. Okay, so the rabies wasn't alive when they pumped it into my arm (and hasn't been since 2004*). Today's three shots were fabulously candy-colored sci-fi looking serums in automated glass syringes, and each was the first of their series: the rabies vaccination will be three weekly injections, there will be another hepatitis type B injection in one month, and another of each type in six months, administered by the nurse practitioner in Ho Chi Minh City. Next Monday I will begin a three-shot series to protect me from Japanese B Encephalitis, and two weeks later I'll get injected with the standard tetanus slash diphtheria vaccination which is considered a real arm killer but never bothers me all that much. Lastly, three weeks before getting on a plane in October, I'll start my weekly malaria suppressants, which will be a pill routine that will continue, every seven days, for the entirety of our time in Vietnam. Bookmark this entry if you are planning on visiting us over the next two years. [Cavin]

Then, a 2 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Ellie added:

Oh my God! I WAS going to come visit you guys, but now I am having second thoughts. Wow, you are now the human pin cushion.

Friday, July 27, 2007 8:32:00 PM  
To which Blogger Mr. Cavin added:

...or I soon will be, yes. I imagine that there is probably a lighter load for those who are just visiting for a limited time (for example: assuming you are planning on staying in Saigon when you visit, there will be no need to take any anti malarial--I only have to take it for the tree weeks preceding and following any excursion. In other words, pretty much constantly). Plus, I assume new mothers have just had many of the normal boosters that I'm just catching up with. Consult your doctor. Probably it won't be all that bad.

PS: it is also possible that many of the same shots will be suggested for people traveling to Crete.

Saturday, July 28, 2007 10:31:00 AM  

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