I previously reported in a Diary Post that the Sri Lankan trip is on so with a little over a month to prepare I thought it wise to investigate what, if any, inoculations would be required. The appointment with the ‘Travel Clinic Health Professional’ did not start well for seeing no chair available to me I did what any rational person would do and made for the examination bed. As I began to recline I noted the curious look beginning to take shape on the face of the ‘Travel Clinic Health Professional’ as she pointed meaningfully at a chair tucked under the other side of her desk. Not wanting to make an issue of her obvious need to disguise chairs as tables I laughed off my mistake and casually sat down as if my actions were perfectly acceptable, although maybe not strictly normal as judged from the look on her face.
A series of questions later a map of Sri Lanka appeared on the monitor we were both staring intently at together with a key identifying what diseases you should look forward to contracting during your stay. It was unnerving that my expectation of this appointment being a chance to confirm my thoughts that I need not worry turned into a ‘needle-fest’ discussion not about whether I would contract something but how many of the list I was going to get. This discussion was extended to include a consideration of how quickly I thought I would be able to get to a hospital when I did inevitably became disease ridden!
This certainly was not going to plan as I sat there considering if my travel insurance was adequate enough to perform a helicopter rescue mid-river, deliver me to a hospital and provide a bed for a long enough period to recover from my malaria, dengue fever, rabies, Japanese encephalitus, typhoid, hepatitis A and not forgetting my unfortunate contraction of hepatitis B from contaminated blood after my transfusion! It was becoming evident that it was more likely to take longer to recover from all of the inoculations that were being suggested than it would if I actually contracted one of the diseases.
rabid_dogNow I like to think I’m a sensible adventure traveller who does his best to mitigate as many risks as possible, however, I am also realistic so weighing up the likelihood of getting bitten, mauled, gored or infected I attempted to find the words that would identify the inoculations I deemed most important without it seeming I was happy to run naked into the wilds of Sri Lanka taunting elephants whilst sporting ‘eau de mosquito’. I must say she took it well as I declined disease after disease, although I hoped she wouldn’t make me pay with clumsy needlework for those I did agree to have!
In the end the inoculations themselves were the least painful part of the whole exercise and were completed in a matter of moments so sporting a slightly sore arm and a much lighter wallet I left with the unsettling knowledge that, if the 'Travel Health Professional' was to be believed, Sri Lankan cats and dogs were already forming an orderly queue to be the first to provide my first experience of the country, Rabies!! Happy travelling everyone.