A Pain in the Arm and the Wallet

I type this with a right arm that’s a little bit sore, and a left arm that’s not too bad off, but wouldn’t be happy if you gave it a friendly punch. This morning Jeff and I accomplished one of the big to-dos on our list: we got vaccinated. In an earlier post, we invited you to vote on what vaccinations we should receive. And you should be pleased to know that we listened … for the most part.

I can now say that we are vaccinated against Polio, Tetanus, Meningitis, and Yellow Fever. We are 1/3 of the way towards being vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis. And we have a pack of Typhoid pills hanging out in the refrigerator, and by the end of next week, we’ll be vaccinated against it too. So yes, we got 5 shots in the arm today, and we have two more to go. Fortunately, we’d both already been vaccinated against Hepatitis A & B, so we could forgo that one, and we passed on the Rabies. Although, to be fair, we didn’t have a choice. The rabies vaccine is in short supply right now and is being restricted to those who have actually been bitten. I can’t help but say I’m a little pleased by this, because it means I didn’t have to make a decision.

In addition to all the vaccines, we have a mountain of prescriptions waiting to be filled: two different types of malaria pills, anti-diarrheal pills, and general antibiotics.

We also have two bound books filled with information specific to our trip.

That makes me feel a little bit better about the office visit fee, and to be fair, we were there for an hour and a half, and they were very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. They were also more than a little blown away by our plans. I think they thought we were a little loony. (She did double check with us that we didn’t have any known psychological issues when going through our medical history forms.)

As for the answer to the question you’re all wanting to ask—what it all cost—well my friends, the answer is $1,263. And finishing off the Japanese Encephalitis vaccines will cost us another $540.

For those unable to do math, that’s a whopping $1,803. (You can see how that breaks down in the Details section of our site.)

It’s a phenomenal amount of money when you consider that what we got out of it is some sore arms and the possibility of feeling like we have the worst case of flu ever (that’s a direct quote from the doctor, but so far, so good).

But it’s a tiny amount of money when you consider that it will go a long way towards keeping our brains from exploding, our jaws from locking, our limbs from paralyzing, and our organs from failing.

In the end, you were right. You can’t put a price on your health, and I’m fairly certain that my life is worth more than $901.50.


Next on the to-do list in regards to health:

1. Make a decision on health insurance policies.
2. Get life insurance.

10 Replies to “A Pain in the Arm and the Wallet”

  1. Hey there,

    I remember the first shots I ever got. My arm hurt for like 2 whole days. Did get Malaria pills as well and ended up only taking one or two. They really screwed with me, so I figured that Malaria can’t be that much worse than the side effects. My typhoid shot screwed me even more. 3 years after I got it I got typhoid. That’s what the doctors said I had, although I’m still convinced it might have been dengue, but that’s another story. Good luck on your travels…

  2. $1,803??!!! Why are they SO expensive??!! My God..
    Sometimes I have the weird impression that I’m lucky I come from a tropical country where the viruses love to live. We get most of the vaccines when we’re kids… and for FREE.
    We’ll only need the pills and the Typhoid shot (my brother got Typhoid in India and I wouldn’t give it a chance).. and here in NZ is the same ridiculous price as US..
    What to do? As you say.. your life is worth far more than this! Keep safe guys. =)

  3. Wow, that’s very expensive. I’m not surprised those vaccine are expensive. but with medical insurance, they wouldn’t be that expensive. Anyway, I don’t mind paying for my vaccine because it’s important to protect oneself from getting dangerous disease. Even the level 4 type. The one you’ll find in tropical area (remember incubation period).

  4. What sucks most is that we have insurance, we have awesome, awesome insurance. No deductible, $10 co-pay. They’ve paid for everything under the sun so far, but they won’t pay for these. It’s considered elective….like a boob job or something. We’re going to try to submit it anyhow, and see what happens, but we expect to get rejected.

  5. “But it’s a tiny amount of money when you consider that it will go a long way towards keeping our brains from exploding, our jaws from locking, our limbs from paralyzing, and our organs from failing.”

    LOL I love this, and I totally agree. I think you made the right call, and that it is money very well spent!

  6. You are electing to put yourself in position to possibly be in contact with the diseases you were immunized against.

    Unless there is some danger to getting these diseases/conditions during the normal course of your life, I don’t have a problem with them being classified as elective.

    Now I don’t know much about many of these diseases. Which ones are a possibility in America (Tetanus? Meningitis?)? Wasn’t there a recent push to make the meningitis vaccine mandatory?

  7. Oh, I remember Mr. Mudd paid alot for his when he went to Southeast Asia. Now that he is gallivanting around the world once again, his benefit per vaccine has now doubled (or the cost/benefit has been cut in half, or something like that.)

  8. That yellow fever made me sick for a good 3 days. Fever, vomit, and all I wanted to do was lay on the couch…and the arm hurt major. I’ve got to brag on this one, surprisingly, the insurance from my last job paid for ALL of my vaccines! I was very shocked but very happy since they are not cheap. They did not know I was quitting to travel when I got those vaccines ;).

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