BootsnAll Travel Network

health on the road

i have to admit that i’d never heard of typhoid mary, and only heard passing mention of typhoid itself until just the other day. i probably could have gone my whole life without really needing to know what it is and what it does to you, but now i know…. and that’s because jess managed to pick it up somewhere along our travels!!

she’s been to the ubud clinic twice in the past three days, and has mom here (perfect timing, mom!) to take care of her too. the doctors started her on antibiotics and she’ll go back to the clinic next week for another blood test. she’s doing ok, but still feels pretty miserable!

although doesn’t she look like the prettiest sick person you’ve ever seen?
poor jess is sick!

want to send typhoid jessica a get well card? how about a cool one from

and for those of you traveling to southeast asia anytime soon, (that means YOU heidi & kim!) you may want to consider the vaccine for typhoid. when jess and i were planning our trip, there were TONS of vaccinations for us to think about, not to mention anti-malarials, immodium, and all that good stuff that the CDC recommends you to bring with you when traveling in countries where hygiene standards aren’t quite as stringent as they are back home… for us, and for most long-term travelers, it’s often a personal decision based on discussions with your doctor, cost, insurance, etc. neither of us got the typhoid vaccine because it was too expensive. would we have done it differently knowing what we know now? (jess might say yes!)

for me, having no health insurance and faced with hundreds of dollars in costs for vaccines and anti-malarials (and no vaccine for typhoid is 100% effective either), i made the decision to just stick with the basics – hep A, hep B, tetanus, etc. and we both got travel health insurance, although until now, whenever we needed to visit a doctor, it was so cheap that it didn’t justify filling out all the forms to get our $15 refund check. anti-malarials can also be purchased cheaply in southeast asia, but some doubt the efficacy of medicines here because they aren’t regulated by US standards… but so far i haven’t needed those either. (knock on wood!)

so basically, it’s up to you. the old adage may be true: it’s better to be safe than sorry. but sometimes in the real world it’s more complicated than that, as being safe can make you broke and can also come with nasty side effects (like those for many of the common anti-malarial medications). so it’s important to discuss your health with your doctor when planning a trip to a (beautiful!!) place like bali – make sure you know the risks and benefits of the preventative measures that are out there, and make an informed decision.

a good forum for health-related travel questions can be found here.

but no matter what, don’t let the horror stories deter you from long-term (or short-term) travel! all the things you get to see, learn, and experience while on the road are so enriching. for me, this trip has been utterly life-changing… the moral of the story is: be careful and take precautions when necessary, but enjoy!

get well soon, jess! =)

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6 responses to “health on the road”

  1. Eric says:

    Yes! She is the prettiest sick person that I’ve ever seen 🙂 Get well soon Jess! Malia – I hear that she’s been eating mashed potatoes? Isn’t that the “cure all?”

  2. christy says:

    aww poor jess. give her lots of love from me

  3. kim says:

    yikes…i’m calling the doc right now! jess, i hope you feel better! and i agree, you are the prettiest sick girl i’ve ever seen…xoxo

  4. cousin says:

    get better prestler!!!

  5. jasmine says:

    oh, jess. pls give her get well wishes for me!

  6. wisa arquette says:

    I’m glad your mom is there to help. Take care! Get well soon!

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