Why Yes, I Will Upgrade to the Waffle Cone

May 1st

Did you know when you make an appointment at the international travel desk at your local public health department, the clerk will fully laugh when your destination is Mozambique?
Thankfully, the nurse doesn’t laugh. She just ever-so-quietly lines up the immunizations and doesn’t bother to hide her “Why the hell?” look.
My afternoon went something like this:
Show up late to the county health department — my appointment coincidentally on the same day as a huge immigrant march through the same neighborhood — and meet clerk with brilliant comedic timing.
Clench fists and force a smile at said clerk. Pay $183 for shots that will not with 100% certainty protect my ass from infectious disease but with without fail make me 100% crabby.
Meet nurse, who is fairly pleasant and far too qualified for the crap she must deal with in this role.
Inhale and work on meditating: “Be thankful for the benefits of immunizations.”
Exhale. “Be thankful. Be thankful. Be thankful.”
Inhale, grimace, promising self ice cream after this is said and done: “Just breathe. Mint chocolate chip. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.”
Inhale, “Screw the breathing. Just get through this and we’ll get a double scoop.”

And yet, when it was all said and done? Still better than getting typhoid.

Posted in
Africa, Journal, Public Health, Travel
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30 Responses

  1. Mmm..waffle cones…I must get home and have that fudge bar in my freezer now that you mentioned ice cream!
    Sorry about the shots but they are so much better than getting icky diseases! 🙂

  2. enjoy the ice cream!! You deserve it.

  3. Hey, I always treat myself to ice cream after getting a shot, too. I think it’s because my mom always did that when I was little, and I don’t mind the tradition 🙂 In your case, you definitely deserve the extras this time – double scoop, waffle cone, etc.

  4. hell yeah upgrade to the waffle cone! you really are amazing. and i hear typhoid sucks.

  5. Double scoop? Go for a sundae at that point! And then treat yourself to another one when you get home from Moz without typhoid.

    Yeek. Scary.

  6. I didn’t know you had to get the shots more than once in your lifetime! Have an extra scoop for me! You have to stock up on ice cream now, as they probably don’t have much in Moz! More reason for more now.

  7. Reading your post is like watching a movie. I wish you the best in Mozambique 🙂

  8. and waaaaaay better than cholera.

  9. yesterday? my little one and i fell asleep at 10:30 in the morning, and slept through two phone calls before i realized that it was 3:00 and we hadn’t picked up the big guy from kindergarten. i have no idea how we slept that long! needless to say, i upgraded to a waffle cone. i’ve never in my life gotten the waffle cone, but it seemed appropriate.

  10. doesn’t ice cream make things so much better sometimes

  11. Have you ever tried Friendly’s Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo ice cream? They only have it for a limited time in the summer and I haven’t had any since I moved to LA four years ago. I have had a few blood tests recently (I think that counts) and now I have an IOU or rather an I owe me!

  12. Typhoid was the worst. I went to work afterwards and a customer asked if I was okay. My face, arms etc were covered in big red welts – hives. I hadn’t noticed until the customer pointed it out. Then they were sore and itchy.

  13. Now we know you can take the pain (even without the ice cream) Here’s wishing for 100% protection from nasties.

  14. The D-day is coming fast……….

  15. Doesn’t sound like fun… hope you enjoyed your icecream!

  16. You’re awesome!

  17. Jennifer D May 2, 2007

    I don’t know….3 shots?…sounds like at least 3 waffle cones are in order! You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers on your trip, as a matter of fact if this is just the beginning of getting prepped for your trip, I better add you to my prayers right now! 🙂

  18. Sounds like my Dr. appt. before moving to Korea. I thought, “there can’t be this many shots, Korea is not a third world country.” I stopped counting at 4 and still need two more that I am procastinating while I am here. You enjoy that ice cream, every last little drip!

  19. yep, anything’s better than typhoid… sounds like the ice cream will definitely make it better 🙂
    i have been in denial about checking my vaccinations to go to china and korea next month. e has had both malaria and cholera (at the same time!) so that is a good warning tale…

  20. Yikes!

  21. I hate shots. So much that I would have passed out half way through. Mint chocolate chip does make it worth it, I guess. Well, that and not getting typhoid.

  22. You are such an Awesome person Kelli!
    Hell, I’d go for a 5 scooper, then to a bar for a nice huge alcoholic beverage…you deserve it 🙂

  23. Hmmm…I am terrified of needles and would have cried like a baby. The dentist has to give me laughing gas before those rare occasions when I need work involving novacaine. I’m such a wimp that I’ll never get a tattoo because it involves needles.

    Waffle cones are a great reward for your immunization experience. I admit though that I’d need something stronger–say “Death by Chocalate” or maybe even do the “Chocolate Ritual” first. Anyway, all of your travails are for a worthy cause–think of those poor children who don’t have access to immunizations.

  24. Yes, the shots are better than the diseases. I speak from experience. Typhoid is just one of the merry diseases to which I was introduced when living in Kenya for two years. My husband and I set some kind of record for the most hospitalizations in the Lutheran World Relief East Africa volunteer program (now defunct). And we had had the shots, too. Typoid immunization only lasts for about a year. Anti-malaria drugs don’t work as well as we would hope, and the critters develop resistance. One can get salmonella poisoning anywhere, but getting it upcountry in Kenya is a real adventure. Then riding in the back of a station wagon to Nairobi with a basin was . . . never mind. I lived through it. Glad I had my husband to help me. Of course, he got sick, too. The “sickness and health” part of the vows got a good workout in the first two years of our marriage.

  25. I can’t remember which shot in the ass it was that I got in London before going to India – the nurse who gave me the shot told me to go walk about a mile to get the vaccine working into my system. She said if I went and got on the tube and sat down, I’d be in a world of hurt the next day. So I walked two tube stops up Tottenham Court Road, and amazinly, I was fine the next day.

    And was it the last time I got the typhoid shot that I felt like I’d been hit by a truck the next day?

    I hope you’re feeling fine today. What are they handing out for malaria these days?

  26. Hope you enjoyed that mint chocolate chip ice cream – that is my favorite flavor. I used to live near an ice cream shop that made mint oreo, which was out of this world 🙂 Can’t wait to hear all about your trip to Mozambique. You do such incredible work and are an inspiration to all!

  27. what kind did you decide on? while almost leaving atlanta monday i stopped by bruster’s and got a double scoop waffled cone. first time i had their ice cream. was not terribly impressed. somehow peanut butter cream and coconut chip weren’t as awesome as I hoped.

  28. Ricardo didn’t get his shots (which are FREE in Brasil) before moving to Moz and subsequently got Hepatitis A. I promised him I’d stop rubbing in the consequences of his negligence, but I doubt he’ll ever find this comment…

    Enjoy the ice cream.

  29. I learned in college to ‘reward’ myself with something after a stressful audition – in fact – ice cream was always my reward! Hope you enjoyed it!!

  30. i love the space between “better than getting typhoid” and waffle cone incentives. hilarious! here’s to staing healthy–