Business as usual

Yesterday, Mike learned that he’s off to Sudan for a month sometime next week. This morning, Lisa wakes up to hear Mike on the phone, saying something every wife longs to hear before breakfast: “I need to schedule an appointment for an HIV test.”

Twenty minutes later Lisa is still half asleep, even after the shower, and putting on makeup.

Lisa: “Do you have to prove HIV negative to get into Sudan?”
Mike: “Sometimes. They’re capricious about it, but better safe than sorry.”
Lisa: “What else do you need?”
Mike sips his coffee and thinks: “Malaria.”
Lisa and Mike (simultaneously): “Typhoid!”
Lisa: “You can get that oral now, did you know?”
Mike (shuffling his briefing documents): “Rabies is on this list.”
Lisa: “I bet you don’t need rabies. They’re probably being conservative. That series only buys you time, anyway. It won’t stop you getting it.”
Mike: “I’ll check the CDC.”
Lisa: “Hepatitis?”
Mike (proudly): “They tested my immunity last year. She said I could swim in a vat of hepatitis B and I wouldn’t get it.”
Lisa: “Lucky you.”

On her way to work thirty minutes later Lisa has second thoughts about cavalierly recommending that Mike not get rabies shots. She calls home from the car.

Lisa: “I just remembered something the travel doctor told me in November. Rabies is on the rise in West and East Africa, and there’s not enough serum in continent. So if you get bitten, go to London straight away, OK?”
Mike: “I did have the series a couple of years ago, but I’ll keep that in mind. Have a good day, sweetheart.”


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