Monday, October 18, 2010
I ended a long run of success in the field of doctor avoidance last Friday, when I finally cracked after a long bout with parental pressure and visited the offices of Passport Health here in Greenville.
We are taking our family trip this year to Costa Rica and I was in need of a vaccine or eight, having not experienced the lovely sensation of being jabbed with a needle for seventeen years. My doctorless streak was a little shorter, dating back to a 1998 visit caused by the fact that the Court Ridge pool at that time was the only place on the planet dirtier than my friend Tim's favorite pornos. Apparently, chlorine can only be expected to do so much in the war against bacteria.
My absence from medical clinics really dates back from childhood trauma that occurred whilst in the office of my personal physician, Dr. Fairey. There are indeed certain effects on a child's psyche when a man named Fairey grabs your balls and asks you to cough. I'm not going to blame the guy for turning me gay or anything, but I figured I should continue to avoid doctors just to be safe. God knows what else they would do to me, right?
On Friday I found just exactly what they could do, breaking my long fast under pressure from my mother, who steadfastly refused to forget that I had not been given a vaccine for twenty years or that I was traveling to a country that along with rain forests and volcanoes, possesses many opportunities to obtain a vast array of exotic diseases.
Passport Health, which I visited in order to attain my vaccination, also managed to remind me of the dastardly dangers Costa Rica holds. As soon as I met my doctor she presented me with a portfolio on the country which explained the 250 different ways in which I could possibly fall ill or die during my tropical vacation. I'm hoping for dengue fever - I've never heard of it and I always wanted to be the first person on my block to die from something.
After having the life scared out of me by the pamphlet of doom, I agreed to four vaccinations (as well as a prescription for malaria pills). I wasn't too worried, thinking they would spread out the shots over a couple of trips to the clinic. Naive me! It turns out that they are legally allowed to pump various weakened viruses into my arm like I was a heroin addict in dire need of a week's worth of fixes.
I was then led into a room where two women awaited. I imagined one would give me the shots while the other held me down and covered my mouth so that the people in the lobby would not hear my anguished screams. Instead, they did the good cop, bad cop thing. One spoke to me about a book I was reading while the other jabbed my arms with pointy things. I highly recommend the technique, as I was distracted and hardly noticed the application of my many-flavored vaccine cocktail. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the deed was done and I had experienced hardly any discomfort.
I have to say that all in all my experience was a good one, the doctor was very pleasant and helpful. She gave me vaccines for Hepatitis A/B, typhoid, and tetanus and managed to do it without causing me discomfort or giving me Herpegonasyphlaids. Despite their best efforts, though, I'm still pretty gay.