Nov 30, 2006


I'm attacking SGU's health history forms, and since I'm currently coughing up for Kaiser (I work through a staffing agency, aka a temp agency, thus don't have health insurance, though I'm told I am entitled to steal office supplies), I discovered the wonder that is 'free' vaccinations.

I also discovered that my ovaries *do* work when it comes to bargain hunting, so I said "Fill er up!" Gimme any damn vaccine you have. I even want the smallpox vaccination... because you never know. Didn't have that one though. I did opt out of the Yellow Fever vaccine, because when "multi system organ failure" is listed as a side effect, I figure I'll spring for the mosquito netting, plus I didn't want to run a 25% chance of being nasty sick for the next 2-5 days. I've got packing to do.

And not to worry, Grenada doesn't have Yellow Fever, but I was thinking of impromptu island hopping and a possible trip into Venezuela because I'm a geek for the rainforest stuff... and not just the gorgeous tropical island variety, but the "microscopic brain slugs and jaguars" variety... all of course when I'm not burning countless hours of med school info into my retinas. I wonder if I could do the reading with a microscopic brain slug... while being attacked by a jaguar...

But I digress.

What this means is after shots for typhoid, tetanus, Hep A, Hep B, and two pretty nasty blood draws from a PIT (Phlebotomist In Training) to check my titers, I feel like I've lost a fight. Oh, and to other Phlebotomists In Training, saying "Why isn't it... Shit... is it the tube? Dammit... I'm gonna try using a smaller needle" isn't comforting... No lie, direct quote, and couldn't you have used a smaller needle to begin with?? It's bad when a blood draw hurts 10 times more than a tetanus shot. Oh, and if you miss the vein, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just let it go and restick me as you will eventually need to do rather than rotating the needle 180 degrees in an attempt to rend as much of my flesh asunder as you can before leaving your newly created paint gun cartridge hit-sized bruise on my arm?

Oh, funny side note... while the nurse that gave me the shots (not the PIT) was looking over at something, I leaned slightly out of my chair to 'surreptitiously' look at my file, and she spun around like Bruce Lee, and grabbed for me with big eyes, soon closely matched by mine, because she startled the hell out of me. So don't lean slowly out of your chair when you get your shots because the nurses will think you're passing out and will try to rescue you. Heh.

And I'm due for a full physical, a flu shot (it's free! Free free free free free!), the meningitis vaccine (it's free! Free free free free free!), and a TB test on the 7th.

SGU requires the TB test (it would like it 6 months in advance, or so they claim, but I didn't even GET the health forms 6 months before January), titers for MMR-V (immunization record isn't enough), a tetanus shot in the last ten years (and you need the batch number), and the Hep B series. You don't need the Hep B series to register, but it needs to be complete before you start rotations (and the last shot is six months behind the second one), and again with the free.

You also have to either get a meningitis shot, or say that you are aware of the meningitis vaccine and don't want it because it's usually frigging expensive, and sign off on it. You can't do that with the others. Something about infecting patients, plus I'm sure they don't want you to get anything that will cause you to drop dead before paying off all those loans.

Hep A and Polio are on the recommended list. I opted for Hep A because I'm shameless about what I'll eat (well, within reason; get your minds out of the gutter) and I will eat street meat with impunity though the concept of how one gets Hep A through eating street meat is disgusting (mmm microscopic fecal matter).

Kaiser, in their infinite wisdom, or because they read the above, also gave me a pre-emptive Cipro prescription for the inevitable "bacterial traveler's diarrhea". I'm not going to South America, so I suppose it isn't Montezuma's Revenge... Carib Indians' Revenge? Boo hiss...

All right all right. Enough. Back to packing, and to enjoying the last few days of lumbar supported slumber, since I have a buyer for my bed, which means fortunately, I haven't sold that sleeping bag yet!


Editor said...


I found your blogs through google. Thanks for taking the time to write. I have started an informational website for both perspective and current SGU students at and have included a link to your website in the section titled "Other Resources." I think that others would benefit from reading your stories. However, I understand if you want your writing to remain private amongst your own family and friends. If you would like to be taken off of this list, please let me know.

If you have any suggestions about how the website can be made better, please let me know.

Sincerely, Christopher Kinsella.

Ishie said...

Thank you so much for the add, and I would be honored!