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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Unusual Bleeding & Bit by Animals

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

My favourite part of travel preparation is, of course, without a doubt, the realization that there is a foreign plethora of of disease out there, just waiting to thrust their way in to my trusting and delicate little body. The possibilities of infection are endless, as is the process taken to try to fend off the perils of contamination.

Yay for vaccinations!

Looking back at my previous immunization records, it appears that I have been previously vaccinated with Hepatitis A and Typhoid.

Good enough?


Much to my dismay and annoyance, I ended up on an unusually long telephone conversation with a lady at Passport Health. This 'medical professional' fervently insisted that, due to the fact that I was traveling through Botswana, I required a Yellow Fever shot.


Zero argument.

I did a bit of my own research as well in to what and wasn't required for traveling through each country... and it didn't really seem like I needed it... but who was I to argue with Passport Health?

I was positive that I didn't need Yellow Fever.

I would like to take this opportunity to point out the likely side effect of the Yellow Fever Vaccine, making this questionable requirement almost must-get-able; Fever & Headache.Confusion.  My life in a nutshell, really...Muscle pain. Easy bruising.Light headed feeling.  Often a result of too much red wine as well... might get slightly confusing.Unusual bleeding.  I can't make this shit up. What does this EVEN mean? I'm envisioning walking down the street and suddenly noticing that my arm is saturated with blood. "That's unusual!" I would enthusiastically declare...Little to no urination. Another doozie...Vomiting. Loss of appetite. On a positive note, I might benefit from this.Jaundice.Bring it...

Another exciting and tremendously out-putting piece of this particular preparation puzzle was that the only two locations in the entire province of British Columbia in which to get the infamous Yellow Fever shot was Kamloops and Vancouver.  This all resulting, as expected, in an entire day missed work in order to commute in to the city...

And guess what?

I didn't need it after all. I knew it. Didn't I say?

That's right, Passport Health, looks like I know more than you. Here's my resume.

Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Cholera Dukoral, Malaria, yes. Yellow Fever... no.

Trip to Vancouver. Day wasted.

Now this may sound somewhat silly considering I'm bargaining with my own precious life... but the actual cost of the immunizations almost blew me away.


I wasn't financially prepared for this setback.

Pay for this? Ludicrous.

I naturally figured that the Canadian government would have my back.

"This one's on us!  Take care of yourself!  Come back healthy!"

Quite obviously, not the case.

I've been wrong before... I'll be wrong again.

I will admit that there were cheaper options. When I say "cheaper," I am merely implying that there was the possibility of less of a financial burden by opting out of recommended dosages. Many vaccination options were presented to me... all with their own special little price tag.

I tried to choose wisely.

Rabies - hard no. Three bouts of vaccinations - $255 each... and from my extensive 1 minute research on my handy iPhone, NOT covered by benefits.

I made myself a solemn promise to stay away from bats and to try to refrain from coming in to contact with anything that appeared to be foaming at the mouth.

Side note. The customer who frequently takes it upon himself to warn me of the violent dangers of Africa (ie. the savage rapes, countless & senseless murders, bloodthirsty kidnappings and guaranteed shots fired in my general direction) ... well he hit the roof when he discovered that I didn't get my rabies inoculation.

"Joanna.... you are going to get BIT by ANIMALS and die of RABIES!"


Something else to look forward to.

I just want to know if this is going to happen before I get raped or after...

I need to plan my outfits.

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