Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Round of Needlesticks

I'm not afraid of needles, so the thought of getting vaccinated for Guatemala was no big deal. I spent more time fretting over which ones I should get, and the cost of them. I would have got them all if I could afford it!
Typhoid Fever vaccine capsules

I went to my general doctor last week and tried to talk to her, but she was singularly unhelpful. I knew more than she did. So she finally just looked at me and said, "I will write you a prescription for whatever you want." I told her I was going to go with Hep A and Typhoid, and not Hep B. I have to say that it was purely a monetary decision. I'm awful short of pistos right now. Besides, I'm not planning on engaging in risky sexual behavior or intravenous drug use, the main transmission methods of Hep B. Never have, so why start now?

Well, when I went to the pharmacist to talk to them about it, she was super-helpful, much better than the doctor, and convinced me that I needed Twinrix, which is the brand name for Hep A + B vaccine. She said that you can get Hep B by interacting with infected children, or by being in an accident, or by being raped, and also that Hep B is a serious disease so I really should not take chances. I was thinking, "Yikes, I guess if any of those bad things happen to me, I don't want to have a Hep B infection added onto that!" So I called my doctor back and got the prescription changed.

I took my first Typhoid pill on Monday night. I laughed a bit maniacally, and said to Bert, "I'm now infected with Typhoid Fever!" I love vaccines, they're totally cool, but there is something unsettling about giving yourself just a disease on purpose, even if it is just a teensy-tiny bit. Like, what if I can't fight it off?
I took the pill before bed cuz it had to be on an empty stomach, and then I lay in bed waiting for my body to break out in a fever and rash. Instead, I just fell asleep. :)

Today I went to the doc to get my Twinrix injection. No biggie. My arm feels sore but that's it.
However, I have developed a nasty cough and sore throat since taking my Typhoid pills. Hmmm, wonder if this is a teensy-tiny bit of Typhoid making its appearance? Go get it, white blood cells!! Do your thing!  :)

For reference: I'm in Canada, have no private insurance, and the vaccines aren't covered by OHIP (the government health plan). I got my prescriptions filled at Costco because they have a very low dispensing fee of $3.98.
4 Capsules of Vivotif Berna Vaccine (Typhoid Fever) = $25.59
1 mL Twinrix (Hepatitis A + B) = $51.11
(I will need two more shots of Twinrix.)
Total will be = $178.92 (plus $15.56 for dispensing) = $194.48

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