Monday, 11 January 2010

Hey here's a tip. Next time you have to do something you're mildly phobic about, such as dentistry or an exam (or in my case a barrage of vaccinations), a good way to reduce the fear response is to make the whole process as much of an absolute freaking hassle as possible.

First I had to walk across town to Sanidad Exterior to get information about Rabies and Hepatitis B jabs for this trip. They couldn't do the Rabies shots there so directed me to Trinidad on Calle Sevilla, other side of town. After a week of trying to ring those guys over Christmas I eventually figured out the number on their site is wrong, got the right one, they said 'why come all the way over town? Go to Salud Victoria, it's closer.'
At Victoria I was advised that they'd be too expensive as I don't have social security in Spain, and I should go to the Hospital Pascual where they could jab me for sure. At least, I thought, this is spiralling progressively closer to my house. However Pascual was all 'we're a private hospital, what are you doing here? Go to Calle Sevilla.'
Not close to my house. Not at all. There I waited twenty minutes in line to be directed two floors up, where the guy informed me that they only prepare the Rabies vaccine there, I would need to have it sent to my local medico. Also to pay (tho on the bright side it was only €40, Exterior told me 90) I had to go to a bank, pay there, then bring back the receipt. That queue also taking twenty minutes.

Fear of needles? About this point I'd have quite happily let them stab me repeatedly with a screwdriver if it would just get this whole shag-around moving faster.

But today, finally, I managed to get at least the first of the three shot course put in me. Tho, in my time honoured tradition of not making things easy for myself, I showed up at the place without the paperwork or my identification. It took the poor woman half an hour to sort it all out.
Damn, people down here are so nice and patient. They really are.

As for the needles themselves, the first was so slight I barely felt it, the second something more like an aggravated assault. At one point I even gasped '¿Como?', which is as close to What the Fuck?! as I can manage in Spanish.

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