Friday, March 18, 2011

Bangkok and Rabies

Well we made it to Bangkok and are staying in a nice hotel for a couple of days before we head to Chiang Mai. Our first order of business for today was to head to the traveler clinic. So in Bali one night I had slipped and fallen on the wet street and banged up my knee a little bit. The next day a little dog came up to my knee and licked it. I didn't think much of it, but after having dinner with some friends I realized that I might be at risk for rabies because of the dog licking a wound. Rabies has been rampant on the island for the last couple of years, but currently Bali is trying to vaccinate the islands' dogs. I went back to where I remembered being licked and tried to find out about the dog. I saw it in a little shop front and talked to the owners but there was definitely a language barrier so I couldn't find out if the dog was vaccinated. Anyway, the dog looked fine to me, but by urging of my cousin who is a physician I went to see the doctor here in Bangkok today.

See the thing is, though the chances of me contracting rabies were very very low, if for some reason I did contract it, there would be no treatment after the disease had set in and I would basically die a painful, grueling, most likely swift death. So I was relieved today when the doctor said yes absolutely I should be treated for rabies and I got my first shot out of five this morning. It will be a bit of an adventure because I will need to get my next in Chiang Mai, the third in Ho Chih Minh City, the fourth in Hanoi and the last back in Bangkok again (based on our current travel schedule). Here is me getting my first shot below :)

Brian and I were so relieved afterwards. I think deep down there was a fear that maybe maybe maybe there was a tiny chance I could have rabies and I was trying to feel inside what that might be like, to die very soon a painful death. A morbid exercise I know, but nonetheless I was trying to calm myself and tell myself that yes, I can deal with dying from rabies. An interesting thing to go through with yourself. A sort of purgatory.

But all that's over now. We have a plan and my body is already fighting of the thing if it is somewhere in the recesses of my body... Hooray!


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