Travelling to a third world country, especially for such a length of time as six months, is no simple feat! To comfortably live in such an environment, there are many vaccinations that I need to have. To organise them was a bit of a kerfuffle, I originally rang up my local clinic to see if I could receive the vaccinations through the NHS, but unfortunately, there is no travel clinic in Wellingborough and I was instead directed towards Boots Pharmacy in Rushden Lakes. The staff were happy to help and I was soon booked into once-a-fortnight appointments, to ensure that I didn’t experience too many negative side effects from being jabbed with all kinds of diseases.
Along with vaccinations, Boots also supplies antimalarials, which is a quintessential piece of my healthy stay in Madagascar, as I shall be there during the monsoon season, when the risk of malaria is higher than average. As I am frequently diving, the antimalarials needed are rather specific as many brands are known to have adverse effects that could either mimic diving related illnesses such as barotrauma, decompression sickness (DCS) and gas toxicities, or increase the risk for such illnesses, a highly undesirable and life-threatening possibility. So I shall be purchasing doxycycline which was one of the antimalarials on the list of recommendations that I received. These need to be taken daily, which will be a difficult, but necessary habit to develop!
With the kind help of centre manager Tina Denny, I have started putting together my personal first aid kit. Previously a nurse, I am sure that her expertise is invaluable and she has already taught me interesting facts that I never knew before, such as the importance of having a personal sterile needle set and other such things to maintain good health!
To become qualified to be a Divemaster, I need to have a fit-to-dive medical. These often consist of a professional evaluating any physical and mental health issues that may cause issues to arise when scuba diving, and confirming officially that one is so-to-say “fit to dive”. I have booked an appointment at a recommended facility in Rugby, so come the 30th of September I shall be heading over! Once that is completed and my insurance, both travel and diving, is organised then I shall be ready to move onto the final stages of my preparation. Packing!
Next week; Good health and healthy eating what I’m doing to self-improve!