Last visit with Nurse Marsha…Ouch!

Never in my entire life have I walked into a medical clinic and felt so welcomed. Only minutes after I checked in, Nurse Marsha, head travel clinic nurse at Park Nicollet Travel Clinic, warmly greeted me, telling me how enthused she was to see me on her schedule for my last round of injections.

She knew how anxious I had been about possible side effects through this entire process, having had a few frightening immunizations in the long ago past. My fears were worsened after many hours of relentless online research looking for all the reasons why one should not be subject to such an obvious health risk.

My greatest fear was the yellow fever vaccine, well known for disastrous outcomes in a small fraction of the recipients. Alas, we survived. Tom was a little queasy and flu-like for one day and for me, I lapsed into bed midday for four hours of  uncomfortable thrashing about, to fully recover in time to cook a lovely dinner.  The worst was over.

Nurse Marsha was delightful, bubbly, and concerned for us, for our safety and for our joy. Lively and animated banter ensued between us as my heart grew full with her charm and interest.  For the first time in this process, I freed myself from the monumental tasks at hand, allowing a wave of excitement to wash over me, which I had held at bay all this time, fearful of losing focus.

Upon leaving I handed her our card for this blog, which she enthusiastically accepted, promising to follow along with us. Perhaps, knowing the vital role she played in our health as we travel the world over the next several years. Thank you, dear Nurse Marsha. Thank you for easing us along the way.

Yesterday’s injections:  the final booster of three Twinrix injections, for Hepatitis A and B, (ow, ow, ow!  Painful!), the latest flu vaccine (nothing to it) and the take home Typhoid Live Vaccine.   (Apparently, there is now a shortage of the Typhoid vaccine, which wasn’t the case only a few weeks ago when Tom received it).  

Over a period of eight days, I must swallow one of four live Typhoid vaccine tablets (now safely residing in our refrigerator) every other night at bedtime with a full glass of lukewarm water.  Nurse Marsha explained the importance of taking this pill at night on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of stomach distress as opposed to the morning when one’s stomach would be more empty after a night’s sleep. 

Of course, I complied. At 10 pm last night I poured myself a huge glass of tepid water and chugged the pill. Nothing happened. Good. I went to bed anticipating awakening during the night for a trip to the loo. Well, lately I’ve been waking up at 3:00 am anyway, after a run of convoluted dreams of hotels and other people’s homes, my mind racing with the upcoming tasks of the day.

Oddly, I slept through the night to awaken at my usual 5:30 am, ready to tackle the day, happy to feel well, happy to have slept through the night.

My vaccines are almost over, with three more Typhoid pills to take over the next six nights.  Tom must have his final Twinrix booster after his final waiting period ends November 22, 2012.  Son, Richard gave us the name of his doctor in Henderson, Nevada.  We’ll arrange the appointment soon for one of the few times we’ll be in Nevada in November and December.  

After about 15 injections, my share of needless worry, multiple trips to see Nurse Marsha with only a few hours of discomfort, we’re appreciative of the manner in which she eased the way, by that which she taught us about food and water safety when traveling abroad and most of all, enriched by simply knowing her.

Today will be another busy day; off to the office supply store for an ink cartridge for the printer (ran out of ink with documents to print before we go) and to buy a portable keyboard for my laptop. (We’re buying new lightweight laptops while in Scottsdale after Window 8 releases). In the past few days, the case broke and now the keyboard requires Herculean effort to press a key.  Not surprising, huh?