My madcap adventures in Germany during my year as a Fulbright Scholar.

13 June 2007

Well, I guess that's not a meme that's going to catch on. I can't believe no one has anything weird in their refrigerator? No batteries, film, angora sweaters? Huh, what a boring bunch you are.

Regardless, I think I can safely say that I would win a "weirdest item in your refrigerator" contest. Take a look:

Let's go in for a close-up:


That's a Twinrix vaccine.

This is where you might ask, "Maureen, why in the world do you have two doses of the hepatitis A and B vaccine in your refrigerator?"

The state of Massachusetts has some fairly strict vaccination requirements for students at their universities, so I have to spend the next two weeks getting jabbed in the arm every three days. I had my tetanus booster and can go back any time for my polio booster, but my doctor doesn't stock the meningitis and hepatitis vaccines since they are not covered by the national health plan. The nurse gave me a prescription and I walked to a pharmacy, very confused and the whole time wondering how it would work: do they just send the vaccine to my doctor? It didn't add up. At the pharmacy (almost 18 months in this country total and I'd never been to a pharmacy until yesterday) I handed over my prescription and waited, only to have the attendant come right back with two small boxes. I paid (€134! Yikes!), and he handed them over, "Be sure to keep them refrigerated. Would you like a bag?"

I couldn't believe that was it.

Keep them refrigerated. Would you like a bag?

I walked out of the pharmacy with two syringes filled with hepatitis vaccine in my purse. I couldn't believe they would just trust me with it. Talk about culture shock.

If I only knew how to administer intramuscular injections I wouldn't have to go back to the doctor at all. But because I can't there they sit. In the refrigerator. Next to the butter.

I have the hepatitis vaccine in my refrigerator.


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