Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Does that bother you?"

I just got back from getting my travel vaccinations (oowie btw)... which was a really strange experience. First off the nurse described the various health risks for the areas where I'll be traveling (mosquito borne infections & diseases spread by poor sanitation mostly) and which vaccinations were recommended. Hepatitis A & B were an easy "yes" so was Typhoid, the risks are real, the vaccines effective and affordable. Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis were tougher calls. On the one hand, I'll be near high-risk areas for both, on the other hand the vaccines are REALLY expensive. For J.E. I would need a series of 3 shots at $125 each... and they come with a risk of severe allergic reaction for people like me who have allergies. I declined. I also declined the rabies vaccination. I've heard that there are a ton of stray dogs in Thailand and you can't tell an infected dog from an uninfected one, but at least with Rabies - if I can get to a hospital within 24 hours, I should be okay. Of course if I can't get to a hospital - I'll die. Hmmm... I intend to stay far away from any dogs I see there! And maybe I'll look for a clinic in Chiang Mai when I get there - if they've got the same vaccinations for cheaper, I'll get them. It's so strange to be making potentially life & death decisions based largely on cost and blind hope.

We talked a fair amount about "dysentery" and how to tell between what to treat with Immodium AD and what to treat with antibiotics. Considering how sick I got from eating unpasteurized cheese in France, I had her write me a prescription for the antibiotics!

Anyway the weirdest part was talking to the nurse about my plans. I told her where I was going and that I planned to stay for at least a year. Then she asked me "Are you going alone?" and I said "Yup!" and then she asked "Does that bother you?" I had to think for a minute. I mean, that's not the kind of question I was expecting - especially after our lengthy discussion of diarrhea. So I just said "Well, I'm on my own here... and I'll be on my own there, I don't really see the difference."

While I would love to have a companion to go with me... I don't have one...and that's not likely to change any time soon. I decided a while ago that I wasn't going to put off doing the things I wanted to do just because I didn't have someone to do them with me. I also decided, more recently, that I wasn't going to spend any more of my time or energy "looking for someone." But rather I was going to focus on living the kind of life I want to have regardless of who's along for the ride. And if, some day, there ends up being someone right next to me enjoying life with me - well then that's fantastic. But if it doesn't happen, I don't see the point in letting that 'bother me'.

Tangentially - this is why I've totally gotten into the new Doctor Who (well that plus David Tennant is one hot little Scot!). The Doctor travels through time & space, people come and people go, and he just keeps on traveling. C'est la vie, allons-y!

7 comments:

IamSusie said...

Some people are just afraid of doing things on their own and they can't imagine anyone else being able to do this sort of thing. You are definitely up to this challenge! You'll meet plenty of people when you get to Thailand!

Bezzie said...

Dude, when you add other people in the mix it makes it so damn complicated. But speaking of animals--who's watching Sally while you're away?

turtlegirl76 said...

Good for your for the fresh perspective. I'm proud of you and scared and excited too.

mlle b said...

Ah, the cheese incident. Be sure you know the names of foods so you don't accidentally pick intestines!! I'm so very thrilled for you and your experience. When do you leave?!?! I can't wait to hear all about your adventures!

TheEnforcerKnits said...

You know what, I love your outlook on living your life for you! That's so awesome. You're awesome. :D Seriously, all of us on knittyboard are so excited for your travels! I hope you can post pictures of your adventure!

Exuberant Color said...

I hope you will still have a blog while over there. Then all of your friends will be with you (in comments).

Rebel said...

Thanks everyone for your encouragement. I will be continuing the blog when I leave (I might need to take a break during the course though). And I will absolutely post pictures!