Preparing to Travel to India- Hopes and Fears

Traveling to India has taken more preparation than I originally thought. My travel nurse and Austin’s travel nurse just prescribed malaria meds and antibiotics for the inevitable traveler’s diarrhea and we were done. For Landon, I had to set up an appointment with a special travel company that specializes in children (I guess the average toddler is not taking malaria meds these days!) 
This is the stuff I used to soak Landon’s
clothes
The travel nurse there made it her special mission to scare me into taking very good care of my son. Along with malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis are also mosquito-borne illnesses that are common there, and so insect repellent is a must. They said we needed one with DEET, but she sold me a special family formula that will ensure that Landon doesn’t absorb too much DEET and get poisoned that way. We also got some Permethrin solution and soaked Landon’s clothes in them so the mosquitoes will stay far away!
 Oh, and the malaria medication? It can make you have weird/bad dreams.  It is incredibly bitter, but because he is too young to actively swallow a pill, she instructed me to crush it up and try to give it to him in some yogurt or applesauce. Well, our first pill administration today was a fiasco. It is INCREDIBLY bitter, and Landon spit out the applesauce that I mixed it with. Not to be deterred (she also said he must have the whole pill!) I put some of the nasty applesauce on a bite of banana. He ate that about half way, but by the end I was shoving nasty stuff in his mouth and he was spitting it out and screaming and crying. I tried so many different foods and combinations, but the pill dust is so stinking yellow, that whenever I approached him to try something new, he recognized the bright yellow sign of ickiness and backed away slowly. It was sad. I also know from diaper changing experience that Landon can swallow almonds whole. They are bigger than this little pill. My next experiment will be to put a whole pill in yogurt (something he probably swallows whole anyway) and see if he will swallow it without the bitterness knocking his socks off and making everyone cry.

We found out too late about India for Landon to receive preventative rabies shots. So, I have to make sure that he doesn’t get bitten by any stray dogs or monkeys. I guess there is counterfeit rabies immunoglobulin circulating internationally, so if he were bitten, we would be on a flight back to the US to get him the immunoglobulin. That whole scene playing out in my head reminds me a little too much of Lord of the Rings when Frodo gets stabbed by the Ring Wraith and they are racing to get him the antidote. I’m hoping that because we will be out in the middle of nowhere on this refinery campus, there won’t be too many stray dogs. Austin did tell me that there is an African elephant that the refinery owner bought and that is roams through the tank farm nearby. It is now my goal to see that in person before we leave!
Food and water are other concerns for India. We are only to drink bottled water, and are not supposed to even get shower water in our mouths. I’m still trying to decide what I am going to do with Landon, because he drinks a ton of bathwater at every bath. We may have to do some sponge bathing, or I will boil water for his baths, or treat it with bleach or something. I’ll keep you postedJ Also, because of the water concerns, we are not to eat fruit or vegetables that are not canned or packaged that we can’t peel ourselves. This pains me. I love fruits and vegetables. Berries are my very favorite. Hopefully they will have frozen ones over there. Typhoid is a food and water borne illness that Landon is too young to be vaccinated for. So I have to be especially careful with him. The travel nurse says I must wash his hands with antibacterial wipes before he puts anything in his mouth. I am bringing lots of antibacterial wipes because that boy sucks his fingers for comfort and generally likes to put all sorts of random stuff in his mouth like small rocks and sticks and crayons.
In conclusion, the travel nurse thinks we will be fine, but with all her information it scared me into taking really good care of my son while we are there. I think being at the refinery will help because the richest man in India can’t make money unless his workers are healthy, and if everyone is getting really sick then that would not be good for business. I am looking forward to warm/hot weather, playing outside with Landon, running outside in the mornings, focusing on Landon with my whole mommy heart, and supporting my husband in this new job.
I was so blessed to be able to work a little as a PT and use my skills that I worked so long and hard for in school for the past year or so. Now I am blessed to be able to be a full-time mommy, and try my best to teach my son everything he needs to know, play with him, cherish him, and take care of him. 
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One thought on “Preparing to Travel to India- Hopes and Fears

  1. We've never had to take the malaria meds, but they sound sucky. I hope Landon could swallow them, because that sounds beastly. We have to do bottled/boiled water here too. Peter drinks his bath water, even though we try so hard to get him not too. He's been fine so far…I don't know how China and India water compare. I totally feel you on the foods things. Although we have gotten less rigid as months pass…which means we are probably going to get sick and die before we go back home. Moving here has made me more appreciative of things that I had back in America that I didn't realize were super awesome. Lastly- find the elephant, that sounds neat.

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