Why I cringed at the syringe

19 May

WHY I CRINGED AT THE SYRINGE  The thought of medical preparation required for a trip to a developing country can be daunting, especially considering the time and money that should be invested in vaccinations. But I realised it’s often not as bad as people lead you to believe.

I was really dreading the vaccination process and was surprised when I successfully received a jab in the arm today without passing out. It might seem like a minor achievement to you, but it’s a momentous occasion that my close friends and family will celebrate.

Yes, I have a phobia of needles and, while you laugh at me now, it’s far worse than the average person’s cringe at the sight of a syringe. I have been fainting at the thought of medical issues since I was very young. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to hear, “she’s going … going … gone!” The extent of my medical phobia is so severe that I recently saw a good friend and her new son at the hospital maternity ward and passed out. There were no drips, needles, blood or guts in sight. I was simply at the hospital to meet a new baby. But the mere thought of medical issues and the eery feeling of the hospital are enough to put me flat on my back.

You can imagine my angst leading up to the travel health assessment today, which is required as part of preparation for my new position in Vietnam. The program organisers provided an entire manual to assist with the medical assessment process which includes lists and lists of vaccinations. It suggested I would need two months to receive full courses of the vaccinations necessary for South East Asia.

I received a pleasant surprise when my doctor recommended just two vaccinations that are actually available in a single dose. Which means I received only one jab in the arm. It all happened so quickly that I never had a moment to think about it, let alone panic.

The reason I require so few needles is because many of my previous vaccines are still effective. Furthermore, I have a squeaky clean medical history and am fit and healthy so the doctor had no reason to run pathology tests.

Of course, individual experiences are unique and, for some, medical clearance is a time consuming and costly matter. I suggest that, before fretting, carefully consider your medical and vaccination history and book a half hour appointment with your GP to deal with all matters in one session.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re afraid of passing out like me, you may as well get it over and done with. It sure beats getting Hepatitis.

By Marissa Toohey

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2 Responses to “Why I cringed at the syringe”

  1. roulettspel July 23, 2010 at 4:41 AM #

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  2. finance software August 11, 2010 at 7:09 AM #

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