The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Immunization Series - Polio, Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis

While the weather in Saskatoon suggests that March has come in like a lamb(rather than a lion), in my case, it came in like a bee.

Two bees actually. Those evil little black and yellow demons that are forever hell bent to chase me up and down the river path while my friends stop and laugh at me. Serious, apiphobia is not fun!!! This time though, the bees were stealthy, coming in needle shaped form. >Recieving my shot - I don't look too impressed

That’s right. You guessed it. It was vaccination day once again.

Oh joy.

First up: Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis.

The Bare Facts:

  • What is it?
    • Tetanus: AKA “Lock Jaw.” A bacteria that produces a toxin that can cause painful tightening of the muscles.
    • Diphtheria: Another bacteria that produces a toxin which can damage the inner lining of the nose and throat making breathing difficult.
    • Pertussis: AKA “Whooping Cough.” Another disease spread by bacteria that can cause severe coughing spells in infants.
  • Cost
    • Cdn$80
  • How long will the protection last?
    • Tetanus:  10 years, after which boosters should be received.
    • Diphtheria: Currently Unknown
    • Pertussis: Lifetime

I have some rather unfond memories of the last time I received the TdP shot. Back in elementary school, it was this vaccination that gave me my first introduction to the joys of fainting. Intra-muscular vaccinations are not my friend.

Well, no vaccinations are my friend but I digress. . .

Once again, the nurse was kind enough to set up the mat and pillow for me to lay on while they injected me with the vaccine. I at least had my camera in hand and ready. The shot was quick and actually relatively painless, though I did get pretty lightheaded. Thank goodness I was laying down.

Next up: Polio

The Bare Facts:

  • What is it?
    • An extremely infectious disease that attacks the nerve cells in the spinal cord that controls muscles. This in turn causes those muscles to become weak and paralyzed. The damage is permanent.
  • Cost
    • Cdn$80
  • How long will the protection last?
    • Currently, as babies, we receive the vaccine in a series of five small spoonfuls. This protection can last up to ten years. As adults, if one is going to a polio infected region, an adult vaccination is recommended. This shot lasts for a lifetime though.

Polio is a pretty personal one for me as my grandma suffered from Polio as a young child. She was lucky in that it only affected her one foot and her parents were diligent enough that while she was suffering through the worst part, their constant massaging of her foot reduced the amount of damage the disease could have caused. As a result of her having suffered from polio she is completely immune now.

And contrary to what the nurse had told me, I found this one hurt more than the TdP shot, even though this one was injected into the fatty tissue of the underarm(see above picture). Same amount of vaccine, equivalent time in the skin but I swear I could feel it for a good ten or twenty seconds. Almost like a thin sliver that you couldn’t pull out.

Right now, as I write this, they don’t hurt too bad. Even so, I opted to skip my dance class for the evening so as not to overexert my arms. But with these shots down, that only leaves at least two more injections and one oral vaccine. That doesn’t include the three rabies vaccines I will get if I can get into the study group at the university here.

Here’s hoping.

Just no high fives just yet. Low fives are fine though.


  1. That does not sound like a good afternoon. Sorry...but you didn't pass out! ^_^

  2. Chin up. Be a brave boy and you can have a lollipop after then next one! :)