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Stories: The Cholera Shot

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The Cholera Shot 06 Mar 2003
Since no one has yet entered a story here's mine. It's been 25+ years but I can still remember all the details. In the olden days it was required to be vaccinated for Cholera. You received your first short before you left and then had to get another shot every 6 months. After 4 months in country it was time for my Cholera shot. My senior companion (who shall for the purpose of this story remain nameless) took me to the hospital in Khon Kaen to get my Cholera vaccination. He went up to the desk and told the attendant what we wanted. He then came back to me with some forms to fill out. As I started into the forms I asked "Elder are you sure all these forms are needed to get a vaccination? I think, they think, I have Cholera and they are admitting me to the Hospital". He disagreed and told me to continue with the forms. I took the forms up to the desk and in the best Thai I could muster told them I did not have Cholera, but wanted a Cholera vaccination. OH! Well then give me the forms go down the hall, take the first right and then the second door on the left. As I entered the room there was a nurse giving some Thais shots. When it was my turn the nurse said "What do you want?" I said "Cholera vaccination". She then went to the medicine cabinet and brougt back a small container. She showed it to me and said "Is this what you want?" I read the English on the label and it read Cholera vaccine. I said "Yes, that is what I want". She then went to get a syringe. She then came back and asked "How much do you want?" I was shocked by the question but I knew the proper amount was 1 cc so I told her I wanted 1 cc. She said "OK" and then filled the syringe. She was about to stick it in my arm when I asked "Aren't you going to clean my arm with alcohol before giving the shot". She said "OK I can do that if you'd like me to". "Please do" I said. So she got a cotton swab and some alcohol and proceeded to clean my arm from my arm pit to my wrist. My whole arm was wet with alcohol. "How's that she said". "OK I said". She then blew on my arm and inserted the needle. I said to myself "we'll at least I'm not being admitted to be treated for Cholera".
Reed B. Haslam Send Email

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