Vaccine Time – getting ready to travel

My husband and I are travelling overseas next month. We’ve been planning the trip for nearly 12 months, so we are both extremely excited that it’s nearly time to go. I knew there would be things we had to get organised before we leave, luggage, insurance etc., however I kind of forgot about the vaccines.

August last year my husband asked me “I’ll probably need to get some vaccines done before our trip, won’t I?” and I said yes automatically, as he was never vaccinated for anything, so figured he’d need everything done. After he spoke to the doctor it turned out that I also had to get some as well.

I had all my shots when I was little and as I was growing up, therefore thought I’d be fine. I was wrong. Because of the countries we are visiting the doctor recommended that I get Hepatitis A and a Typhoid shot. “Okay, no problems” was what I originally thought.

Fast forward to 7 weeks out from our trip (yes I’ve left it about as close to leaving to get the shots, but make sure they still work) and I’m forking out $120 (cost of vaccines, doctor was bulk billed) to have the privilege of getting a giant needle in each arm.

I don’t really like needles. When I was younger they didn’t use to bother me (I’d even watch the needle go into my skin), but that changed when I was about 9 or 10 years old. My doctor at the time ordered some blood tests and when I went to get the blood taken it wasn’t great.

I’d had blood taken previous to this, so was happy enough to have it done again, but the lady that did it this particular time botched it up. I had my fist clenched (with the tornique thing around my uppper arm) and she found the vein ready to put the needle in. She put the needle in… then lost my vein! I mean c’mon, was she serious, YES SHE WAS!

Her way of finding my vein to get the needle into it, was to keep the needle in me and just move it around UNDER MY SKIN! Eventually it connected with a vein and the blood was taken, but it HURT! By that afternoon the bruise on my arm was a very deep blue/purple and it was the size of the lid off a mason jar. I was not a happy camper.

Ever since then every time I’ve had to have a needle near me my heart beats fast, I get a tingly sensation all over my body and I get hot and clammy. I can’t look at it being done anymore, I have to look away from the needle as well.

Because I got two vaccines in the one go, I had to get a needle in each arm. The Hep A was first and felt weird after it was in, like a weight was inside my arm. The Typhoid was fine though. After I got that horrible piece of the day done and dusted my mum, sister and I headed down to Wet’N’Wild (water theme park) at the Gold Coast, so I was happy about that!

Is it just me that gets like this with needles? Have you had a bad experience? Do needles bother you as much as they bother me?

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