Holiday-ish travel and fun with the CDC

After the holidays Partner and I are leaving for a vacation to far-flung places.  I am very excited about our upcoming adventure.  (Yes, I am deliberately being cagey about our destinations, but in time you will know.)  This, however, is a trip that requires vaccinations and medications. Ugh.

A few weeks ago, when I realized we were about 7 weeks out from our trip, I called our doctor to see what we needed to do about the vaccinations. When traveling overseas to various places, one is suppose to go visit a Travel Nurse or Travel Clinic, but I knew that we did not need to have too many shots and nothing super-special, so I saw no reason to fork over $350 a piece for each of us plus the cost of meds to go learn what we could learn from the CDC website.  (Insurance seems not to cover travel clinics, and I did not want to bother with the hassle of reimbursement forms.)

The medical-industrial-complex does not make it easy to do things on the cheap.  I spent a good half of a Tuesday on the phone with our doctor’s office, the CDC, the King County Department of Heath, Swedish Hospital, and UW trying to avoid a travel nurse, get some prescriptions for vaccines, get those filled, and take them to our doctor so that she could shoot us up with all of what we needed. Yeah…. it did not quite turn out that way.

At the end of yet another exasperated conversation, this time with our local board of health – which managed to suggest a travel nurse to us that was about $100 less than I had otherwise been able to find – I asked the women with whom I had been speaking if she happened to know of any pharmacy that stocked the three drugs we needed.  I was totally surprised when she said something about Rite Aid in a neighboring town. Dude, I was on the phone to that Rite Aid sooooo fast!

After talking with the pharmacist and confirming that they had everything we were looking for, I promptly called our doctor’s office and left very specific instructions about calling in the prescriptions for the two of us.  It took a bit of doing and a few more phone calls back and forth, but three days later everything had been faxed to the Rite Aid.  AND the pharmacist at Rite Aid would even administer the vaccines to us there so that we did not need to make an appointment with our doctor and drive around with the drugs.

Partner was waaaay better about the shot than I was.  Also, he was fantastic in doing all that he could to distract me from the needle that was being jabbed into my arm.  He even made it all better by bribing me with peanut butter cups and a trip to the movies afterwards.

Now we are fully vaccinated.  One medication we need to start a few days before we leave and continue throughout the whole trip, and I even had a prescription filled for something to help us sleep through the 20+ hour flight.  Soon, it will be onto planning for packing!


About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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