How many shots does it take to travel half-way around the world?
About six for Gerard. Umm.. seven for me if you include my flu nasal spray. But I guess that’s not really a shot. Still for sure.
If you know us, you know we’re prone to getting sick while traveling. It almost never fails. So for an extended trip like this, we are getting more than the recommended doses including medications and more.
Shots. Ugh. I’ve never been a good patient. I hate needles and tend to pout and whine my way through appointments. This visit was no different.
Probably the only upside to all of this — health insurance — and thank goodness for that! People, use them while you still got them. While Gerard took it to the Travel Clinic, I made a visit to my local Kaiser Permanente. How did we fare out? Let’s compare.
Ok, never before have I been so grateful for health insurance than on this very day when Nurse M decides to repeatedly pinch my good arm, my writing arm, with what felt like a million pricks. I actually split up my visit into two because I didn’t want to get any more shots. Didn’t even have to pay another copay.
On a side note, why the hell does an MMR shot hurt so much? My arm was sore for days.
A note, Usual & Customary is priced by AITC, a non-profit, fee-for-service clinic that is part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Following the prick fest, Nurse M gave me a list of medications to pick up at the Pharmacy. I had a list of my own from my primary Physician with my usual medications — inhaler for my asthma and birth control.
Malaria pills – We only need enough to get us through India. The problem is figuring out how long we will be staying which will dictate how many pills we will need. Malarone was suggested since it was the only brand available at Kaiser (and has the least side effects). Gerard was quoted a whopping $7 per pill! My entire months worth of pills cost a total of $70, about $2.33 each. A month later, a generic version of Malarone came out. For the same amount of pills, the cost is a copay of $20.
Birth control – I tried everything to ask my Doctor to approve for an advance in my pills. No dice. At the most Kaiser will only allow up to 3 months advance and the rest is private usual and customary fees, nearly triple the price. Fail.
over the counter
I’m no stranger to the nearby Pharmacy. However, I couldn’t pass up a good deal so for the first time ever, I ordered all our meds through drugstore.com.
- Tylenol Extra Strength/Advil
- Imodium A-D
- Salonpas/Tiger balm – because it’s on sale.. and because I’m Asian!
No liquids. Carry-on luggage only remember.
Phew. I get the sense we’re packing more drugs than clothes. And since I’m carrying all toiletry and medications, that doesn’t leave me much room does it? Oh well, I’ll be like Doctor Q, medicine woman. Quite literally.