Travel Doctor, my GP Suggested
‘The process may be easier for you if you consult with the Travel Doctor’, my GP suggested. A long time had passed since I had needed mandatory inoculations in order to travel, so I said OK, not quite knowing what a Travel Doctor was. Down to the city appointment with the ‘specialist and very astute’ doctor, who in a short space of time gained specific knowledge of my history, including family members she had run across, and my present needs.
My surprise at the intensity of the process, being two hours rather than twenty or so minutes I had wrongly budgeted for, abated when I walked out with all of my vaccinations, my prescription of legitimate travel drugs and a comprehensive education of possible problems and their cures I may or may not encounter.
‘Now, lets talk inoculations here Dave, we have you covered for Tetanus, primarily because you haven’t had a booster for twenty years’. ‘Yellow Fever is mandatory, and Hepatitis ‘A‘ you pick up by ingesting faeces’, which she described much more directly. ‘ Since that is very likely while in West Africa, I suggest you have that one’. ‘Hepatitis ‘B’ on the other hand Dave, is a disease contracted by’ ( in her own terms ), ‘shagging wild women and other creatures’. She had my attention although a little wide eyed. ‘Do you think you will need that one Dave’? she asked. My reply was obviously convincing when she agreed the three vaccinations would be sufficient.
Either good tuition or good luck sufficed as I didn’t contract malaria, rabies, snake bites or the score of other possibilities. From all of the ethnic and bush food I consumed and enjoyed I had no gut problems. However once, after eating in a westernized kitchen things went a little bad. Thinking back on the wisdom of my travel doctor and the Hepatitis ‘A’ lesson, all I could picture in my mind as being the cause of my bad experience was a cartoon image of the cooks finger going through the toilet paper. It would have been improper to have shared my vision, although it took some time to leave my thoughts. Once again because of earlier advice given me, my problem was quickly alleviated using appropriate travel drugs I had on hand.
On reflection, the travel doctor was beneficial to me.