At it again

It may be hard to start anew, but we often forget the lessons of the past and are thus allowed to move forward with more rewarding mistakes. I am "at it again" writing this blog, which begins in in December because I accidently erased it. I am "at it again" living abroad because I I erased from my memory the continous miscommunication and confusion of it. Luckly you can sit back in the comforts of your native language and culture and enjoy my adventures, hopefully with a laugh or snicker.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Shots, a little late

I finally got a Japanese Encephalitis shot on Tuesday. This was the shot for the disese that kills half of the people who get it and half of the survivors are braindead. Well to get the shot in the states is $300-500 dollars. Here they give it to every child and adults can get it for $10. Trick is you have to navagate the Taiwanese health system. I was really worried about it when I came, seeing the statistics and knowing that although all of the people are vaccinated you can still get it from mosquitos who bit infected pigs. But, then I got here and we were past the high season and I was really busy, so it wasn't until I decided to go to Thailand, where they have more incidents of this that I went to get the shot. I also wanted the second Hep A shot as you need a booster after a year. I spent a lot of time with the doctor because he couldn't find the code for Japanese Encephalitis and he kept telling me in Chinese stuff about finishing the whole series before going to a 3rd world country. He would talk and talk and I would turn to my Taiwanese friend and ask, "what did he say?" and she would answer "Nothing important." I didn't find out anything important until we got downstairs to get the shot and I decided it would be good to see how many shots I needed. That's when I found out that I will get 3, 2 two weeks apart and one after 6 months. That's when Annalily came in because she wanted the shot to.

I had no clue what the best course of action was, but Annalily had a lot of questions for the doctor. He had no answers. He didn't know if we would have any protection between the second and third shots (when we will both be in the zone) and refused to offer any course of action other than "I suggest you complete the series here. But that is impossible." Uh yeah, so what should we do? No answer. At one point he suggested we shouldn't have left America without getting all these shots. We opted to get the shot anyway with the presumption that the one after 6 months is more like a booster, but that they don't explain it that way. So I got a huge needle full of vaccine in my arm making it sore, even two days later and leaving a red patch. And I get to go again in two weeks.

I have yet to do good research on the vaccine they used though I asked for the drug information (mostly Chinese). I don't readily trust doctors in the States. Taiwan is definately a first world country, but I really really don't trust doctors here.