Never Let Your Husband Get Shots First

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My husband and I leave for Malaysia in about 3 weeks.

Yes, I’m very much aware of the terrible tragedies surrounding not one but two flights having to do with Kuala Lumpur. I’ve had my fair share of total and complete meltdowns since I tend to be already anxiety prone to the act of traveling. The only comforting thing to me is that I will have my boo holding one of my hands and I will be clutching a bottle of anti-anxieties in the other.

pins on wall map

That’s the close up on the very large map that hangs in our living room. We found it here and we stick red push pins for places we’ve been together, green for places we have booked and then we each get one yellow pin for our dream destination!

We are traveling to Malaysia for the 2014 Toastmasters International Convention to network, learn and see our Toastmaster friends for the first part of our trip! Oh, and to also see the new World Champion of Public Speaking be crowned!

If you are a new reader, yes this is a real thing (I didn’t believe it at first either). Second off, I happened to have coached the Youngest World Champion in history and third off, he sleeps in my bed.

world championship ryan avery and chelsea

I have my fingers and toes crossed for a woman to win it this year (no offense to the many talented males competing, some of which are friends but ladies gotta represent!) The above picture demonstrates this well.

We will also be venturing to Phuket, Thailand to get some beach action in because, well, why not! This will be both of our first times in this part of the world and it should be an adventure to say the least!

When you travel to this part of the world, Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines are recommended. I found this out by my trusty researcher friend-Google and the Center for Disease Control.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 11.18.14 AM

When I was taking this screen shot, I was very tempted to select ‘pregnant’ on the left side as my type of traveler just to see if you were paying attention. These are the things that make me laugh but no baby on board this body!

I researched travel clinics in Portland and all of them want you to pay at least $90 to speak with someone about the vaccines you should get (thanks again Google) and wouldn’t even speak to insurance companies about covering the vaccines. This totaled about $400 extra dollars that I would much rather go to our travels.

I ask my friend Beki who is a pharmacist at Walgreens and guess what-they do vaccines! She unfortunately wasn’t working and I guess it’s weird to go give people shots on your day off? We venture to a nearby store and my husband practically begs me to go first because he really doesn’t like shots and if he sees me wince, he’s afraid he’ll chicken out.

I’m a good wife, a nice gal some might say, so I let him.

The pharmacist takes him around the semi-janky ‘privacy shield’ and tells him that the Hep A (we are on a nickname basis with it now) is little more painful so he should get it in his right arm so he doesn’t baby it.


From behind the divider I hear “Oh wow, that’s a bigger needle than I was expecting.”

I peek around the corner as she injects what I can only assume to be a vile full of flammable acid that has been lit by a torch, into his arm-solely based on his reaction.

(This is where the photo would go that I took of him but it wasn’t the most attractive face he’s ever made so you must leave it up to your imagination)


My response: “You ass.


Me: “You were afraid of me wincing and this is the #&%*#! reaction from you?! I’m going to punch you in the throat.

There was more of me laying into him about his horrendous reaction while the poor pharmacist just stood there, caught in our crossfire and injecting his other arm with a vile of anti-typhoid (this one apparently not lit on fire).

Okay, Mrs. Avery, now it’s your turn. Have a seat.”

No thank you. I think I’m going to kick my husband in the shin and run away while knocking everything off the shelves.

I resist and I sit. I am now fueled to show him how a strong woman handles pain and that I’m tougher than him (admittedly still very nervous).

relationship blog chelsea avery vaccines for malaysia

She shoves the needle in my arm. That same, large vile of acid dumps into my arm and instantly I feel the pain-like a sledgehammer smashing into my arm while little demons eat away at my muscles.

My reaction: “So Ms. Pharmacist, tell me more about these anti-diarrhea pills we should be getting because of your terrible experience while traveling in Asia” without even wincing BECAUSE I’M A BALLER (this is really the conversation we are really having).

Him: “Wow babe. I’m really impressed by you-you are handling this very well.”

Those sweet words are all I need to hear and I flinch and say “Ow. That doesn’t feel so good and I’m going to need to get a treat to help me recover.”

So I did. I pick out a king-size Snickers and new mascara.


But you know what? Even a king-size Snickers and my fuller lashes don’t take away the fact that you lovingly let your husband get his shots first and then he had the worst reaction of all time.

I talked with my friend who works at a travel clinic and told him of my experience at Walgreens. Overall, I was pleased with my experience there (minus my husband’s reaction). Insurance covered the Hep A shots (at $109 each) and we had to pay for the Typhoid one at $90 each with no fee to get them administered. He told me that at the travel clinic, they use much smaller needles (the needles all doctors use on babies actually) so it probably would have been less painful, the nurses have a ton more experience (that’s their full time job) but it is a lot more expensive.

If we go back in 6 months to get another Hep A shot, we will be covered for life. That’s a pretty solid deal but it’s going to take a more than some chocolate to go through that again. And I am absolutely going first…so watch out Mr. Avery.

1) Last vaccines you had? How painful was it?
2) Have you been to Kuala Lumpur or Phuket before? Recommendations very welcome!
3) Where would your yellow pin land on a map? Your dream destination?

TIP: Want to relieve the pain quicker after a shot? Do some wall push-ups, recommendation by my very smart mother and they really work!

TIP: Wear loose clothing so they can access your arm. Don’t wear a tank top unless you want to look like a fool with two band-aids promoting a store.


  1. Melinda

    July 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    My 16yo and I had our second Hep A injections a week ago. The needles were tiny, and it just felt like a bruise for a few days. Last year when we had our shots to go to Indonesia (Hep A, Typhoid, Dipheria, Pertussis and Tetanus) it cost us well over $600 all out of our pocket, no insurance at all… Ouch on all counts. I have to let the teen go first, she insists. 🙂

    Have a wonderful time in Kuala Lumpur!
    Melinda recently posted…Steer Your Parachute

    • chelsea

      July 26, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Wow I guess the size of the needle really matter-cannot believe yours only felt like a little bruise Melinda! I didn’t write about it in the article but the pain woke me up in the middle of the night and I had to take advil for it! Still….saving $400 still feels worth it at the moment 🙂 WOW $600 bucks for all those shots is no small price tag but at least you are now vaccinated against all of those terrible sounding diseases!

      Hope you had a marvelous time in Indonesia! I know who to turn to for travel tips when we visit there!

  2. Paula Howley

    July 26, 2014 at 12:16 am

    That there was some seriously funny shit Chelsea. It really made me think of what a great bit of standup that would have made. Have you ever considered that? I mean, you have a great attitude and delivery too. You’d have this great shtick that you could use too – my husband’s the world champ but…….
    Paula Howley recently posted…Public Presentations For Kids

    • chelsea

      July 26, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Ha! Thank you Paula! I take that compliment very seriously from you because I find you to be hillllarious (ps. can you start blogging again about your musings because I miss them)?

      I have not considered stand-up because…well I don’t really have a good reason except comedy clubs intimidate the hell out of me but you’ve planted a tiny seed at the very bottom of my brain so maybe someday. Thanks for reading and commenting ooooon theeeee BLOOOOG!

      You know us bloggers prefer comments on the blog as opposed to FB so thanks 🙂

      • Paula Howley

        July 28, 2014 at 12:13 pm

        I’m considering blogging about teaching the kids this year- not sure if I should pick up the old blog (which I have renewed for a year anyway) or start a new one. I seriously miss it too. thanks for your encouragement.

        I’ve started my memoir project though and have found an accountability partner so I want to make sure I don’t overload myself. Many people suggest blogging while you write your memoir too so……???????
        Paula Howley recently posted…Public Presentations For Kids

        • chelsea

          July 28, 2014 at 3:20 pm

          Well….you have a reader here that would love it! That’s great that you are starting on your memoir project AND have an accountability partner to make it happen. That’s excellent and hope it’s going well!
          chelsea recently posted…How to Accomplish Impossible Things (again)

  3. Beki

    July 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    The needle for both shots (HepA and Typhoid) is the same size!! I think it just seemed intimidating and really the liquid itself just hurt… But I’m proud of you! And you totally deserve all the treats.

    • chelsea

      July 27, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      ravery claims the hep A shot was longer than most so that freaked him out initially but no way was i going to look!!! it was totally the liquid that was painful not the prick and walgreens has choice treat selections! can’t wait to get a flu shot from you 🙂

  4. Robert Bradford

    July 28, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I’ve been to KL several times. It’s a fun city – Malaysia is fantastic! Not too expensive, and most people speak English. The shopping is first rate (especially around the Petronas Towers) , and the night life is energetic. If you have time, take a taxi up to the Batu Caves – not only is it a cool cave, but the temple built inside the main cave is colorful and exotic. I also like the Chinatown area in KL. Make sure you try the fish head soup, nasi lemak and nasi goreng – those are all local staples and delicious!

    • chelsea

      July 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks SO much for these tips and places to visit Robert-excited to try and check out Batu Caves-thanks for the recommendation! I cannot promise that I will have the fish head soup….but time will tell. Thanks again!
      chelsea recently posted…How to Accomplish Impossible Things (again)

  5. Vivien

    July 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You guys are too funny! Somehow this post reminds me of Ryan describing your wonderful “pep talk” just before he was set to go onstage for the Division Contest. So I daresay you guys can be quite evenly matched…

    • chelsea

      July 29, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Hahah I didn’t even think of that Vivien but you are right….who knew 3 years later I’d get pay back in this way 🙂

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