Immunizations, AKA ick!

Sadly, one of the less fun parts of planning travel to more remote places is needing vaccinations/immunizations. It's a fairly easy process, but worth mentioning some specifics.Your regular doctor probably won't have all the immunizations you need.  Find a travel doctor.  For our trip, we called up the travel office at the Camino Medical Group.  They got us in 48 hours later.  At the office we reviewed our itinerary, down to which towns and what transport we were planning.  Our doctor used that info to figure out the various risk factors, and decide what medicines we need.  For us, this meant:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Tetanus
  • Malaria
  • Typhoid
  • Japanese Encephalitis

Hep A and Tetanus are shots.  One hurts immediately, the other for a few days.  My arm was SORE for ~4 days, Olivia for almost a week.  I was still able to move and work out, so it's not debilitating, but it is annoying.For Malaria, they proscribed Malarone.  These are pills you take 1 day before, during, and then 7 days after you potential exposure to malaria.  For us, this is only in Angkor Wat, so just 11 pills each are needed.  Based on suggestions from family who've traveled before, we asked for a few extra each in case we travel longer, drop a pill, etc.Japanese Encephalitis requires 3 shots over 3 weeks, PLUS a week before you leave.  We didn't leave enough time, and won't be in huge exposure areas, so we're skipping it.Typhoid.  I hate this one.  This one is a pill.  4 actually.  They're kept refrigerated, and you take them every other day for a week at the same time - Day 1, 3, 5 and 7.  You need to take them on an empty stomach - at least two hours after eating, and one hour before.  The precautions on taking these pills are scary - don't break them in your mouth, don't take them out of the fridge, don't change the schedule, don't miss one, or you'll DIE!!! Or something.To make it even less fun, these things make me ill.  I've been taking my pills @ 7am.  Day one, around noon, I had such bad stomach cramps I could barely sit still.  I was getting flushed and doubled over in pain for a min, then a few minutes would pass, then happen again.  Cramps died down over the course of the day, by the evening I felt fine.Day two, no problems.  Day three, started feeling cramps in early morning, and they just snuck up on my all day.  Day four, fine.  Day five. Fine.  Minor cramps, but nothing special.  Day 6 - from 8am - noon I wanted to go to bed and hide.  Fine till 2pm.  Hurt for an hour, then fine till 10pm, when they came back with a vengeance.  Day 7 some cramps in the evening, nothing bad though.Then there's Olivia, who didn't notice anything unusually painful.  She's taking hers just before bed around midnight.  Might be a good idea if you sleep well.Finally, it's worth mentioning cost.  This stuff isn't cheap, and may or may not be covered by your insurance.  Without insurance ours ran around $500 per person, plus $7/pill for Malarone.