We have to be medically cleared for Semester at Sea. One of the questions is, Have you been recently exposed to TB? WELL. I’m a medical student. In South Africa. In the Western Cape. You tell me if I’ve recently been exposed to TB.
So I was honest. Because I have. I’ve had many TB patients. Yes, I’ve taken the necessary precautions, but that wasn’t the question (even though I stated it in the comments). Now I need to have a PPD done. Sigh. In South Africa we don’t like doing PPDs on adults, because so many have been exposed. A positive won’t necessarily correlate with active infection. But regardless, I can’t afford a PPD or a chest radiograph at this point. It’s the end of the year. I just piled double the amount of debt onto my name in order to do Semester at Sea. So tomorrow I’ll go sit in a long queue at the public hospital and get an X-ray done there. For free because I don’t earn an income. I should have lied, how would they know? I know I don’t have TB. This better be worth it.
Got my meningitis and typhoid vaccines too, and malaria medicine. Most expensive medicine ever. About one in two people develop mild myalgia after the meningococcal vaccine. I’m one of those, it seems, and it’s not mild. Owie. I’m grateful, in a way, for the meningitis shot though. It’s not something I would get otherwise, even though it has been on the market for a while. And we have lots and lots of meningitis patients.
I realised today that I am incredibly nervous about this voyage. I am shy. I’m not the bubbly personality that my little sister is. What if I don’t make friends? What if I’m lonely? What if all this trouble wasn’t worth it? I’m not ungrateful, I’m just really scared.