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Mike's Adventures in Korea 1994

Part 0: Pre-Departure

Before we left to go to Korea, we had to ensure we had our shots.  The CDC recommends that all travelers to East Asia have immunizations against typhoid and hepatitis.  So, I went over to the clinic and got my shots.

The shot for typhoid is a small 0.5 mL dosage that goes in the arm.  It's a quick shot that is painless when you get it, but hurts like hell over several days (feels like you have a terrible charlie horse in your arm and a severe cold).

But, the shot for hepatitis is a shot called "Gamma Globulin."  This is a thick, cold, viscous shot.  It's about 2 mL of thick liquid that is shot into by a bigger needle.

Normally, because of the amount of dosage and the viscosity, they like to administer this one in the fleshy part of your buttocks.  However, since I was going to be sitting for several hours on an airplane, I asked if there was any other place I could get it.  I really didn't need a sore ass prior to getting on the plane.  The only alternative that would be fleshy enough was my shoulder, so I got my shot there.

Unlike the typhoid shot, this one did hurt going in.  However, a couple of hours later, the pain wore off.

After I got my shots, I returned to the office.  The sadistic guys I worked with knew I would be getting the gamma globulin, and they were pretty confident I would get it in my ass, so as soon as I got back, they started slapping me on the ass.

So, I knew if I told them I actually got it in my shoulder, they would start punching me in the shoulder (see, I told you these guys were sadistic), so I had to feign pain every time they slapped me in the ass.  "Ow, that hurts," I would say.  Well, after a few minutes, one of the guys walks up and puts his arm on my shoulder.

"Man,  we're just messing with you.  We don't mean anything by it," he says.  All the while, he's patting me on the shoulder, which hurts like hell, but I have to ignore it, or else it would start all up again.

The gamma globulin?  No pain the next day.  The typhoid?  A lot of muscle pain.  It wasn't fun carrying luggage with that arm.

Continue on to Part 1: The Trip Over