Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Helloooooo medical hold! I have a medical hold. It's all because of the idiot-box doctor I saw at the VA hospital. **WARNING** Do NOT, I repeat, NOT let the doctor examining you check off ANY abnormality unless you 1. Know that you have the condition, or 2. You've gotten a second opinion and are willing to trust them both that you have said condition.

Otherwise...their random checks will leave you having to see an ENDOCRINOLOGIST (or some other fancy doctor) for NO REASON. Like me. Just what I needed...another month to be added to my wait for medical clearance.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FINALLY! Some progress...

Woohoo! some of you may know already, when you submit your medical packet it doesn't immediately start getting reviewed. Instead, from my understanding, we go into a queue, and the packets are reviewed in the order of departure date, followed by the date that they received it. I was informed that it could be some time before I would get cleared, because my nomination date isn't until February, and the summer is a busy time for the OMS because there are so many nominees for the summer and fall that they have to get cleared.

Well...finally my obsessive toolkit checking (at least twice a day LOL) produced a bite! I've got the coveted medical hold! Now, that may seem like a BAD thing, buttt, it's not! Everybody's toolkit says medical hold once your packet is actually in a reviewer's hands. At least now I know that I'm once step closer to being cleared, and maybe, if I'm lucky, my date will even be pushed up! (hey..a girl can dream...)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dental Clearance! after waiting a little over TWO WEEKS for my dentist to fill out my dental paperwork, I shipped my x-rays etc. to PC Dental on the 9th, I didn't see the usual email update (though maybe that's just delayed), but I checked my toolkit and there it was..."Complete. There are no dental holds on your account at this time."

YAYYYYYY!! One hurdle behind me. Now, I just have to be patient and let them finish reviewing all of the medical packets for those lucky chaps destined to leave in September and October...


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Floating Thoughts...

* Jeez...this waiting business sure BLOWS!

* What's with all these PCVs meeting locals and getting married in less than a year? I mean, REALLY? (MEANWHILE, watch me come back with an Aztec hubby...LOL)

* Now that I just received information that I may have to move out of my apartment in like a couple of months, or maybe even less time (this is tragic), I'm wondering if it even makes sense for me to find another setup like I have know, with my roommate. Granted, my nomination is for 8 months from now, but if we're signing a 1-year lease, I don't want to leave her hanging! hmm...decisions...

* Grad school? Hmm...does it makes sense for me to apply & enroll in grad school for the fall semester? What if PC turns around and offers me the opportunity to leave early?? I'd be other option is to start this online undergrad's CUNY so it'll be like 500/class...two classes will enable my loans to be deferred. hmm...decisions...

* Love's been kinda rocky lately (what else is new Shadé? ha!) I mean...on the one hand, maybe it's a blessing that my relationships keep coming to screeching halts seeing as how I am planning on jetting across the world in less than a year! (if all goes according to plan) Still! 8 months is a long ass time to try to avoid forming a connection with someone isn't it? I've told myself that I'm just going to go with the flow of things...but at this moment....there is NO flow LOL (oh well...more ME time )

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Medical Packet MAILED!!!

So I know I'm like OVERLY excited about such a simple thing, but dropping that envelope into the mailbox felt so...EXHILARATING!

To answer the question from my last blog, I called OMS this afternoon and confirmed that I COULD send in my medical packet sans dental forms! I wish I had known, my packet's been done for more than a week now...almost TWO actually! No harm done though, I'm just excited to move towards the next step and I'm hoping for no stumbling blocks (no big ones at least!)

Oh...and big ups to Sara M. for the tip/comment...I didn't see it until just now, but I appreciate ALL help! Oh, and yes, we can be invited without dental I guess my kooky old dentist has a LITTLE time after all...LOL

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Exercise in PATIENCE...

That's like the number one lesson in PC right? Patience?

Well..mine is being tested by my dentist. Last TUESDAY I had my final last filling...DONE with alllll medical and dental related procedures. This was a happy day for me. As I'm on the chair and he's finishing up, he mentions something along the lines of, "So, yeah, I'll get these documents (meaning the PC dental forms) to you soon...". So I, mouth full of suction tubes and all, ask, "Can I get them today?" He gives me a look of surprise and confusion, "Today? But you're not leaving till next year right?" Ladies and Gentleman, THIS is the precise moment when I didn't know whether I should have a panic attack or haul off and fling an Ensure at the geezer's head. Umm...YES, I'm nominated to leave in February, but WHAT would make him think that I don't need my paperwork till then? How the heck does he expect me to get clearance the day of departure or whenever the heck he thought he had to give me the papers by?


So then, after I CALMLY explain to him that I need these docs ASAP, he agrees to "TRY" to have them finished by Monday. forward to Monday (yesterday)...I call the office, no answer. Today, I call again, and his trusty assistant informs me that not only are my papers NOT completed yet, but the doc is OUT OF TOWN until MONDAY!

Double UGH!

So now...I'm just playing the waiting game...hoping five million other applicants don't get their medical packets in BEFORE me!

Question, does anybody know if I can send in my medical packet first and then just send my dental packet when my dentist comes back? I mean, this is def a question for my medical coordinator, but I'm just wondering out loud I guess...


Friday, May 29, 2009

Went to a new doctor today...he did my ppd and said he'll gladly pick up where that last doc left off. Realized that I'll be needing two vaccines though, so hopefully it won't cost me a fortune to get them! Once this is done then i'm only waiting to receive my lab results in the mail, and i'm done! sidebar: have you other applicants heard that the medical clearance wait time has doubled to four months now?? Apparently april to august is the super busy season so there's a delay. On top of this, medical packets are reviewed based on departure date, not date received, so i may be waiting even LONGER for clearance since my departure isn't until next year...ugh!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Almost there...

Hey there! I know I haven't put up an update in a couple of weeks, but I didn't want to bore you all with my daily bouts of PC

Anyway, I'm a good ways through the medical process now. I ASSUMED (silly me) that I'd have one doctor's visit, one dentist visit and POOF!, it'd be over. Soooo wrong. Now, before I go bad-mouthing the VA hospital, let me say that I AMMM grateful that we can get free medical exams and labs and all that jazz there. But gee willickers...there is so much frikkin red tape to go through.

There I was yesterday, staring at the doctor that I needed to see...watching her sit idly at her desk, and yet, when I asked her to finish completing paperwork that she started for me TWO WEEKS AGO, she says "Sorry, it's Tuesday, I'm doing Diabetes clinics...I have no time! Come back Friday!". Oh, so you have not even FIVE frikkin minutes to jot down my lab results and sign off on this damn medical form?! You want me to take off of work AGAIN for five. frikkin. minutes.?! Thanks. Not to mention that the last time I left her, I realized that she filled how part of my form incorrectly. She checked off that I had THYROID DISEASE!! Umm...that's a big WHOOPS if you ask ME! least most of my medical is completed. I'm waiting on gyno labs to come in, the urinalysis that she FORGOT to order the first time I came in, HIV test results and umm...the only thing I actually have to do is get the tuberculosis test. This is the only real headache because I can't take off any more days of work right now...I have to figure out a place that will do it for me on my lunch break. Plus with the PPD, you have to return to have the spot where they stuck you analyzed in 72 hours...ugh.

As for dental, besides costing me a million bucks...(okay, $400), it's sooo time consuming...I've now been to the dentist THREE times in one month, and I have to go back for one more filling on the 9th, because my dentist had a graduation to attend, so he couldn't finish yesterday...ahh well! Once these things are complete, off goes my med packet WOOOHOOO!!

Okay, done with my rant/update. :-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Torture Chamber

So...Tuesday was supposed to be my lunchtime dentist appointment. Simple procedure: Take x-rays, Clean my teeth, Tell me I'm all clear for PC. Reality struck, and instead, I spent TWO HOURS letting this 90 year old dentist hack at my mouth like a hibachi grill! Final outcome: I must have my two wisdom teeth removed and get a couple of fillings. Argh!!

The silver lining is that he was one of the ICD dentists that does free exams and xrays for PC applicants so...I can only complain but so much! At least I've gotten closer to completing one of the many steps toward volunteering...follow up torture session: Saturday morning :(

Other than that, my dad came back yesterday from being in Nigeria for a month, so I was finally able to get his take on all of these new PC developments in my life. He really would like me to volunteer in an African country, but honestly, I have my heart set on Latin America...(fingers crossed)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Talk about on the MOVE!

Well, Well, Well...didn't think I'd have this FAB news to share so soon, but I got the call from my recruiter this afternoon. The skill addendas that I had to complete to detail my business experience cleared me for some kind of business development position in Latin America that starts in February 2010!!! Woohoo!!! So yeah...that's my official nomination!

Now...before everyone gets TOO excited, don't forget that a nomination is not an INVITATION. Nothing is definite until I get medical and dental clearance. After that, I believe I have to be approved by the host country, and THEN I may be extended the invitation to serve. So...we still have a ways to go. I just want to hurry up and get these med/den procedures over with! I'm sure they are gonna cost me a fortune. I just hope that the money I have in my flexible spending account will cover the majority of it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And so the wait begins!

Hi Folks! I met with my lovely recruiter for my official interview! I was crazy nervous, but it pretty much went like your standard job interview. Questions about my leadership abilities and conflict resolution tactics etc. etc. Then we talked about things that might make me uncomfortable. For instance, would I have issues dealing with isolation from other volunteers or living in a place where there are strict gender roles. What about a living situation where I'm expected to attend the religious ceremonies or services of the community? (hmm...) I think I answered all of the questions pretty least I attempted not to sound too much like a bumbling idiot!

The next step is to recruiter informed me that most positions are filled until Spring/Summer 2010! That's not the best news...HOWEVER, there is a Business Advisor position that may be available for January! The only problem is that usually those positions are reserved for those who have formal experience owning their own businesses for 5 years or so. She says that there are occasionally exceptions, so she's putting in a call to her DC counterparts to see if I can get in! If not...then I'll just be playing the waiting game, and waiting patiently by my phone for that call with my official nomination. :-)

My plan for the meantime is to resume my preparation for the GREs, apply to grad school (I hear that some schools give you a free ride if you are going into the PC!!) and then attempt to do at least one semester before I'm called to duty. No use in wasting time while I'm still home right? Right.

So yes...excitement level is still pretty high. I do appreciate all the well wishes and love and support my friends (and family) are showing. It may be a long and arduous process...just stick with me!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Here goes nothing!

Hello world.

I started my Peace Corps journey during the second half of 2008. It all began with one of those deep and enlightening convos that Tari and I like to have. The kind where we talk about our life purposes and try to figure out our next steps. She mentioned PC, I googled it the next day, and suddenly I knew that I had found what I'd been looking for all along.

So now...about half a year later, I finally submitted my fingerprints and other assorted documents to my recruiter. Now things seem to be moving pretty quickly, but judging from all the PC blogs I read (yes, I'm addicted), this could all be a big fluke! I submitted everything between Monday and Tuesday, and by Wednesday I had my first interview scheduled for THIS COMING TUESDAY!! Ahhh!!

Now...I've definitely kicked up my blog reading and PC wiki research. I want to get an idea of what's to come. Yes, I know...nothing can quite prepare you for uprooting your life and moving to a foreign place, but I've googled "peace corps horror stories"...doesn't get much scarier than that! So I think that I know what I could potentially be getting myself into: scarcity of food/water, rabid dogs roaming my town, thieves breaking into my home, weird host parents, intense heat, polluted water and diseased mosquitos...pretty much everything you can think of!

For those of you who don't know just what the PC entails...Basically, I'll be shipped off to some "less-developed country" for 27 months. I'm shooting for Central/South America, but for all I know, I may be nominated to go to the Middle East or Africa or even some South Pacific Island! (we'll cross that bridge when I get to it)

The whole point is for me to [attempt to] help a community to help itself. This may be through some small business development initiative, or possibly, some type of special education program. My PC recruiter will assess my skills and my experience and nominate me for the position that she feels will best utilize them.

Am I scared? COMPLETELY. But, I'm also extremely excited. I hope to be placed somewhere where I can access the internet and stay connected with my friends and family, but I understand that there is a possibility that I won't. Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

My next update will probably be Wednesday...that way I can let you know how my interview went!