Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A trip to the Travel Clinic

After people hear that I am going to India, I am typically asked is it safe? Can't you get sick there? While short term discomforts like Delhi Belly can get you, staying away from unbottled water will usually keep you safe. As a self-proclaimed hypochondriac and a junkie, I had an initial surge of hysteria when I visited the CDC website. The Plague, Polio, all varieties of Hepatitis, and Malaria flew across my screen as "CAUTION" or "OUTBREAK." But let's face it, I am no Mother Theresa and my day to day exposure to the diseases should be pretty limited.

I pulled myself together and made an appointment with the Travel Clinic at the local hospital (if anyone else is going to an exotic location, your primary physician usually won't carry the vaccines you need for your trip). This is a good reality check for anyone. You are about to inject yourself with dead viruses to avoid getting live ones; you have to pull up your past, be honest about the present and hope that you have the best future. So I tried to remember the year I had chicken pox, when I got a tetanus shot and give an accurate weight. Now the clinic doesn't really check your medical history, but its best not to fib; however they do check your weight! Like any American woman, I put on my Havianas and lightest dress I could find to minimize any extra pounds.

The recommended vaccines for India are: Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Polio booster and Meningitis. I also got a lifetime supply of low grade antibiotics to fight malaria and some wicked strong intestinal meds. I have also heard that getting a prescription filled in India is like picking up candy at the store... cheap and easy!

I did gain a new level of empathy for my children and their repeated vaccines during their annual check up....I would normally say "buck up" but these shots really hurt! I too needed the supreme comfort a McDonald's happy meal after my trip to the clinic.

So this time I was not only thin soled in flip flops but thin skinned when it came to these shots... Oh and it's not over yet, 1 more round of Hepatitis A and two more Hepatitis B shots!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Decided to go to India!

I accepted a position with my company at our Bangalore location on April 26th, since then my to-do list has grown exponentially! While I am beyond excited and am blessed with support from my spouse and three children... I am a little anxious that I can really make it all happen by August 1st!

While I am away, many things will stay the same. I will still be a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, a neighbor and an employee. However, my daily form of self-expression will be radically shaped by my surroundings from the clothes I wear, the food I eat and whomever I find to tame my carefully treated hair...One thing that will be consistent are the shoes on my feet. So you'll find this well soled expat leaving my mark in the dust or the office in the same stilettos that have carried me from Paris to Shanghai. Good thing feet are not scandalous!

Join me on my journey, I promise to share the preparations, first impressions, best advice and what you must do or avoid so that you can build your dreams too.