Saturday, November 14, 2009

Medical clearance! YAY!

I got the 'application status update' in my email account this morning and I checked mytoolkit. I am medically cleared!! YAY!! It took them a week from when they received my missing items/normal lab results to clear me medically. Not too shabby! I am still surprised how fast I went through medical (not counting my deferment period) given that I am a September 2010 nominee. I was bracing for it to take 3 months for them to review my paperwork alone.

I am still on a legal hold, but after talking to the legal assistant, they don't move forward in the second round of legal clearance until you clear medical. I'm sure the legal hold will be removed soon since I have now cleared medical.

As for dental clearance, I won't really be able to take care of the two dental caries until January once my dental insurance kicks back in.

After all the clearances I will wait some more until I get an invite... then wait some more until I leave. I'm going to be an excellent waiter when this process is over.

In other news, my hot water heater has been broken for the past two days and will not be fixed until Tuesday. 6 days without hot water to take a shower! As I boil water on the stove for baths and take ice cold showers, I keep telling myself this is excellent practice for the Peace Corps. As a bonus, I have learned that I know more expletives than I thought I did.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Medical update

I finally got some normal lab results and faxed them to OMS today along with the missing items from my medical packet. I spoke to the screening nurse and things are looking good. Hopefully full medical clearance will come soon (hint hint). After medical clearance there will probably be a looooong wait to get contacted by a placement officer since I don't leave for another 10 months!! But time has been flying by, so the next few months should go pretty quickly.
I really can't believe it's November! I'm already making plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas and (gasp) my 26th birthday. Where have my twenties gone?? It seems like just yesterday I was boozing it up on my 21st... these last 5 years have really gone by in a flash! In a few months I will be finished with my master's degree and practicum at the Board of Health and I really cannot wait. I'm starting to feel a little burned out with school so 27 months spent in the Peace Corps before I get my PhD I hope will provide a nice break (not to mention an awesome experience and the ability to practice public health in the field).
My practicum is going pretty well, getting good experience working with disease surveillance systems and injury epidemiology/prevention. Injury epi came totally out of left field for me, I've always been really into infectious diseases and social epi and never really thought twice about other areas of epidemiology. It's all thanks to a fateful class last spring that rocked my face off and determined my specialization.
My Peace Corps nomination was so vague 'health degreed program' that there are so many things they could want me to do. The website lists "Public Health Education" and I assume it's basically the same program I'm nominated for (they don't list 'health degreed' as a program specifically) but the duties are wide ranging. Everything from KAP surveys, teaching in the classroom, assisting in clinics to epidemiological studies (YAY!!) and social marketing are covered in the description. Truthfully, I would be happy to do any of the above and especially any epi work.

Now the waiting begins again....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Opie the Pug

I am not a fan of dressing my dog in outfits for several reasons including a) they are expensive and b) out of fear that he will chew my leg off in my sleep for making him wear an adorable argyle sweater. But alas, it is both Pugfest and Halloween and I couldn’t resist dressing him in something. So here he is in all his glory….



Note: No pugs were harmed in the making of this post. Whether any Kellys were harmed is yet to be decided. We will see after I go to sleep tonight.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oh medical clearance!

Hello! I've created this blog to document my Peace Corps application process and [hopefully] my journey as a volunteer. I've been in the midst of medical-clearance-of-doom for about a month and a half. I've included my timeline below if anyone is interested.
Went to the doctor again (4th visit and counting...) today and I forgot how much of a dillhole he is. Have to return again in about a month to recheck some labs and see how my new medication is working. Thank god PC reimburses us b/c the jerk refused to bill my insurance for the visit today and I had to pay cash. Did I mention he's a dillhole??!? So much for having sweet government employee insurance to cover my medical care!

My timeline:
Submitted application 7-2-09
Interview 7-28-09
Nomination 8-3-09
French speaking West Africa, Sept 2010, Health Degreed program
Official nomination letter received on 8-11-09
Medical Kit received 8-14-09
Sent back Medical Kit 8-28-09... they received it on 9-1-09
OMS reviewed my file pretty quickly and I have to send in a few more things that were missing like one of the Hep B tests (how on earth we missed this despite taking like 8 vials of blood I'll never know) 9-28-09
Letter arrives from OMS it is a deferral until my lab work comes back normal. As soon as I get those labs normal I should be cleared. 9-30-09
More doctors visits 10/2009 thru ???

In other news... I cannot wait to finish my master's degree. Working full time and being a grad student is really starting to wear me down.