Thursday, September 30, 2010

On the Up and Up?

This morning I got up at 8:30am and started making phone calls. I managed to get through four calls (bank, insurance, airline and my old cable company [to check status on my refund check]). It was a good, motivational start to the day. After getting out of my pajamas and into my everyday clothes, I headed over to the local pharmacy, where I paid $172 for:
  *acetozolamide (altitude sickness pills for trekking in Nepal)
  *azithromycin (super-strength stuff for serious traveler's diarrhea that occurs with additional bad symptoms)
  *refaxamine (super-strength stuff for regular, E-Coli related traveler's diarrhea).

Tomorrow I go back to the pharmacy for my Doxycycline (Malaria pills), which will be another $50.

Holy expensive, batman!

Next up was calling the doctor's office to see if they could get me in for two shots: TDAP (apparently Pertussis is making a comeback) and flu shot. They said I could come in anytime and that insurance would cover the TDAP but not the flu shot. Once I got to the doctor's office, and called my insurance, I found out that I'm not covered AT ALL for immunizations. I guess my insurance company would prefer to pay for treatment of actual diseases instead of preventing them. Gr. Since the cost of the TDAP shot was $160 and the flu shot was $125, I decided not to get either.

Maybe that's silly, but here's my reasoning: the travel doctor told me that Pertussis has made a comeback and that TDAP has been a highly recommended immunization for all adults since 2006. But the military docs never said I needed it, to include when I went to the public health office on base and informed them of my travel plans. Then, the Public Health office in Durham, NC, didn't even ask about it a few weeks ago when I got my last Hep B shot. And it's not on the CDC website. So I'm not sure where she's getting her information.

As for the flu shot, I usually get kinda sick after each shot, and since I'll be flying in a few days, sick is the last thing I want. So... no shots.

I pitched a fit after the doctor visit, but it was nothing a bit of used book store shopping couldn't cure! I also went to Radio Shack to ask about power converters (and was given a key piece of info which later helped me determine I didn't need one) and Payless (to check on flip flops, which I've decided not to get until Korea). I asked about unlocked phones at Verizon Wireless and Radio Shack, but was just told to find one locally.

Once home from the mall, I started relaxing - or trying, anyway. One very, very nice thing that happened was a surprise FedEx delivery - for me! My aunt and uncle in Duluth, MN, sent me a wonderful card wishing me well on my adventures, along with a lovely necklace and pendant of Lake Superior. It totally made my day!

This delivery made me think and I realize that I've only been posting my frustrations and none of the nice things. For example, on Sunday night, in Miami, I met and had dinner with long time family friends Eileen and Richard. We originally met when I was ten and got interested in astronomy. I convinced my dad to take me to a nearby public observing event, where the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (SCAS) had members with telescopes. It was the beginning of several good friendships and wonderful years of star-gazing. On behalf of Richard, who is very interested in politics, don't forget to vote (and vote Democrat!) in November's elections! It was a great visit with them, as always!

Me, Richard and Eileen!

On Tuesday, my parents and I ran some errands and then went to Duke Gardens. We walked slowly, stopped to smell the roses and relaxed under a vine-laden gazebo, reading books.

Dad and Mom

Last night, after the travel doctor debacle, the family went out to Crook's Corner, a restaurant my dad and brother had been to before, and enjoyed. Although the table next to us had obnoxiously loud people, the food was awesome and we had a nice time together, chatting and laughing and eating!

Me, mom, dad and my brother, Remi

So although my last few days have been stressful, it's been awesome to have great family and friends to enhance the good things, the things I'm sure to miss when I leave.

And miss them I will!


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