I should note, at the outset, that I think of my body as a machine; every part operating in concert with every other part to carry me to peak performance.
I should then note that this particular machine appears to be a Soviet-era Russian coupe, all shiny cardboard and concrete, with both powerful cylinders gargling nearly in tune as they power the Denny Harris juggernaut erratically down to the corner for the last jar of beets.
Things being what they are these days, I'm not seeing the possibility of trading up anytime soon so I'm trying to make sure I'm tuned up and ready for travel. (Enough of that; my store of automotive metaphor is very limited...)
Staci and I approached our preparations methodically, as usual, with me going through the medicine cabinet to see what sort of interesting stuff was left over from our last trip (Germans have foaming hemmorhoid spray! Honestly!) while she checked the W.H.O. website for site specific information and vaccination suggestions. In short order we ended up at the local travel medicine office. This place actually specializes in giving vaccinations for anything of an infectious nature that's been reported as lurking about an area and possibly up to no good.
I was vaccinationed for Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis, Typhoid and the Flu. As sensation returned to my arms I clumsily maneuvered a stack of prescriptions into my pocket which I later traded for anti-malaria pills and some antibiotics "just in case" as the Doctor said. We passed on the shots they offered us for other forms of pestilence apparently floating about ("Japanese encephalitis? Three separate shots; $450; all the best people are getting them...") as we're not exactly going to be wading through swamps. (At least not intentionally; it is an odd numbered year and you never know where you're going to end up travelling with me.) I'm also going to take my chances with The Heebie-Jeebies, which are primarily affecting the northern border area near Bhutan, as well as the Willies. (Which my younger brother has suffered from for most of his life. Check out his website. Maybe you can help send him to summer camp or something...)
Having taken action to preclude the problems least likely to affect us during the trip, I was now free to fall apart in a more natural and organic manner. My teeth are suddenly giving me trouble (actually the teeth are okay but apparently I'm going to have to have the gums pulled. I really need to find a different Dentist ...), I have tonsilitis, one eardrum has swollen out past the ear where it can be seen pulsing rhythmically and my back has gone out. I also have what appear to be the early warning signs for Heebie-Jeebies.
In the best vampire-film-climax tradition, I've spent the last few days crumbling messily to dust. I've even essayed a few theatrical poses and cries of anguish as I cower behind the blanket to shield myself from the deadly rays of the morning sun... and that draft that keeps getting in. Amazingly, my wife hasn't once been moved to shower me with sympathy and care or draw a cool hand across my brow while cooing "There, there..."; (a particular favorite of mine...) Even more astonishingly, she steadfastly refuses to do my packing for me.
It was worth a try, though.
Now, I suppose I'd better get upstairs and start rummaging through my closet for anything that still fits me and screams out "Tourist!" to the casual observer. More on that later.