The Human Pin Cushion

This blog entry was originally posted on August 26, 2003.

A couple of weeks ago, I called up my travel medicine doctor for an appointment for any immunizations I would need on my big trip.  The conversation went something like this:

RECEPTIONIST:  So how’s August 26th at 4pm?
ERIK:  That sounds good.
RECEPTIONIST:  Just tell me what countries you’re going to now, so I can look them up before you come.
ERIK:  Sure.  Um, you gotta pen?

So yesterday I had my appointment.  In my patient file was a massive printout from a medical website outlining all the recommendations and requirements for my 34 upcoming countries.  My doctor’s jawed dropped when he came in the room and opened my folder. 

Dr. Bellomo is a specialist in infectious disease and really knows his stuff.  (In fact, he was rated as one of metro New York’s top infectious disease specialists by New York magazine.)  He knew which recommendations were bogus, which vaccines worked, which didn’t.  I had already had immunizations for Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Hepatitis A from previous trips, and I just needed the “leftovers.”

DR. BELLOMO:  You might want to consider Hepatitis B.  It’s only transmitted through bodily fluids, but sixteen months is a LONG time and you’ll probably get horny.

Using the philosophy that I never want to be abroad and say, “Damn, if I had just gotten that shot back then…”, I bit the bullet and just gave the go ahead to all recommended vaccines, although some weren’t necessary.

So, the dreaded needles were pulled out and inserted into my arms.  Tetanus and Polio went in my left, Hep B and Meningitis in my right.  Then I got a recommended HIV test for the record, in which another two holes were poked into me.  (The first hole didn’t bleed.)

Then I drank a glass or water and it all leaked out my arms.  wink

Next entry: Thanks Alice and Rina!

Previous entry: 61 Days To Go…

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Comments for “The Human Pin Cushion”

  • Hey Mr. E
    I hope you provided Dr. Bellomo with the url of ur site and blog. High time, doctors caught the RTW bug!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/26  at  04:55 PM

  • I have to go for my follow up Hep B in a month; I’ll give it to him then.

    Posted by eeyartee  on  08/26  at  04:57 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Thanks Alice and Rina!

Previous entry:
61 Days To Go…


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