So this evening it was off to the doctor’s to get my vaccinations. I got hepatitis A&B in my left arm (which left it numb for about five minutes) and typhoid in my right (which felt fine at the time but has left it feeling heavy and sore today). You have to get them about three months in advance. Both were free of charge, making me feel a rush of gratitude towards the NHS. Thank you!!

Apparently, you need different types of injections depending on where in the world you’re going, and for how long. “South America” is too vague – the nurse wanted to know the precise countries I’ll be going to.

In a month’s time I’ll go back for a typhoid “booster”, and in the meantime I should probably get yellow fever and rabies and maybe even malaria at a travel clinic. It’s going to cost about 50 quid a pop for that, though, so I’m dithering..

I always forget how painless injections are in the upper arm. I can’t look at the needle going in, but it surprises me every time when it’s over – I barely feel the scratch. It’s definitely a different story when donating blood though. The needle they use for that is fat and hangs out of that thin-skinned, sensitive bit in the crook of your arm.



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