So its been a while since I have posted here, but as I mentioned in a previous post for the next 6 months or so my updates will probably be pretty scarce. As I have quickly come to learn this phase of the application process moves at a fairly slow pace (I’d say slow as molasses, but its more like stopped traffic). As you know from my last post (since you are all obviously avid readers of my blog) I received my medical kit in the mail near the end of October. After a solid month of doctor and dentist visits, shots, tests, exams, blood draws, and samples I FINALLY held in my hands my completed medical kit.
I won’t go into every little detail of completing all of the paper work but even though I was super organized and went through each page with a fine tooth comb before, during, and after my doctor/dentist visits, it still took multiple trips to each place. I feel like I owe the people (mainly the receptionists) at these offices my first born child in return for how helpful they have been through the entire process. I appreciate the fact that some of them were so kind all the time (i.e. No, the doctor has not received your lab results yet, just like I told you 5 minutes ago when you called) and others managed to avoid strangling me as I’m sure they frequently had the urge to (i.e. You were in yesterday for blood tests and got 3 shots, but you want to come back for yet another shot?)
To add insult to injury, I have the added benefit of being the proud owner of the smallest blood veins ever witnessed by the medical world. It took the nurse (through no fault of her own) 9 tries in various places to draw blood. After successfully turning me into a human pin cushion, she sent me next door to the nurse who draws blood from babies and has a smaller needle (where she proceeded to try 3 more times before succeeding). Add to that the 3 shots I had to get and you end up looking like this:
Overall the experience wasn’t too bad. Once my lab results came back from that doctors visit, I went over my paper work again double, triple, and quadruple checking everything (as I was advised, thankfully, by other volunteers and applicants) and realized my polio booster was missing. I had to go back in for one final shot (the doctor, nurse, and receptionist knows me by name now). I brought it home, made sure it was all there, put my name on each page, and made a copy of everything.
I know a lot of applicants are probably interested in the cost of completing the med kit (I know it is something I was really worried about). Unfortunately I can’t be of much help there. I got really lucky and because I am still on my parents more than wonderful insurance (until May 😦 ) I ended up only paying one $20 copay. All of my tests, shots, physical, dental, etc. was completely covered. I can say though (because I saw the insurance claims) that the modest reimbursement the Peace Corps provides will not cover it if you do not have insurance so definitely look into clinics or student health centers!
Yesterday on my way to lunch with my parents we stopped at the post office and I dropped the packet that is (basically) the only thing standing between me and my Peace Corps adventure! Although I still have a long road ahead of me finishing out the application process, this step really made it seem like more of a reality, and I couldn’t be more excited!
I will update periodically as Peace Corps updates my toolkit when they receive and review my medical kit and things. Until then, paz y amor.