While under normal circumstances, I dread a visit to the doctor, there’s something different about a visit before traveling. I love talking to the nurses about where I’ll be headed in July and getting information about different countries from my doctor. It’s just further confirmation that I actually am headed to Southeast Asia.
Years ago, I would have never thought of visiting a travel doctor before going away. I’m also not a very good planner. But after two years of this, it is something that I find I enjoy. So what’s on the agenda for a hypochondriac’s visit to the travel doctor?
To start, a list of diseases I may contract in the countries I am visiting. Sounds a bit crazy, but I like to know what I’m getting myself into. It’s not enough to ever prevent me from visiting a country, but I like to know ahead of time.
Maybe I spent too much time watching medical shows where someone comes back from a different country and is infected with a mysterious illness that takes doctors forever to figure out.
After Fiji, I was convinced I had Dengue Fever. I even had a nightmare last Saturday night, that I got a bug bite in Vietnam, but forgot to take my malaria pills. To say I woke up in a puddle of sweat is no exaggeration. Once I realized that I was actually not in Vietnam; I was happy I had my appointment booked.
I also like to make sure my vaccines are up to date and that I’m protecting myself anyway that’s necessary. These vaccines are not just good to have while on the road, but they also give me peace of mind at home too.
Finally, I like getting traveling with a bottle of antibiotics, just incase I feel ill and no other methods help me. This way I know I can beat anything I come across. I want to spend my time traveling, not dealing with being so sick I can’t leave my hotel room.
Everyone may not need this peace of mind, but I do, and it helps me to be a better traveler. Instead of being afraid of getting sick, I can enjoy the road and all the great stories that come along with it. Maybe, the more I travel, the less concerned I’ll be able this. Let’s hope so!