Saturday, November 20, 2010

Favorite 2AM Wake-Up Call

At 2:04AM, I received a notification from Peace Corps. "A decision has been reached regarding your medical review." Since my nurse reviewer had told me that I would be cleared as soon as she received my last two labs, and since I talked to my doctor yesterday and she confirmed "non-reactive" results to these labs sent to PC the day before, I can only believe this means I have been MEDICALLY CLEARED! Hooooooray! I am a really happy girl right now! Next up, placement!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting closer! One more needle prick and I should be good to go!

I received a rather snide email this morning from my nurse reviewer saying that the labs my doctor faxed over were not right and, basically, that if I want to be medically cleared then I need to send over the correct labs. (Okay, I do, so I will get right on it!) Obviously I wanted to call my doctor's office at 6:18am when I got the email but, alas, they don't open until 8 so I had to wait... So I got ready for work extra quickly, took my dog for a walk, and then sat staring at the clock waiting for it to strike 8 so I could make an appointment to get in for the blood draw to run the labs. (This is evidence of my personal growth through the Peace Corps process - I am actually seeking out doctors and needles and blood draws!) I left a voicemail for my doctor's assistant, explaining everything and asking her to get back to me. Then I waited. At 10:53 I called again because I hadn't received a call back. This time I actually got to talk to my doctor's assistant, who I adore. She said she was going to chase down my doctor and get her to send the tests to the lab right away and that she would call me back to confirm as soon as it was taken care of. It's now 11:56 and I'm waiting again to hear from her. Sigh. Honestly, if Peace Corps teaches me anything during this whole application process it's patience. I will most likely get in to the lab this afternoon for the blood draw and hopefully they can put a rush on the two labs. I really want to get everything faxed over to Peace Corps by Friday so that my nurse reviewer has a chance to look it all over and medically clear me by Thanksgiving - it sure would be a nice little side dish to turkey and gravy! Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Almost medically cleared. Almost.

I am almost through medical... ALMOST.

After eight weeks of waiting, I received an email from my nurse reviewer yesterday. She said that my file was missing documentation of two labs and that once she gets them that I will be medically cleared. I immediately called my doctor's office and asked them to fax the labs over. Well, there may be a glitch - they may not have ran one of the tests. I'm not sure yet but I'm almost certain that I will need to go back in and get another blood draw (and possibly a series of shots). Here's the situation: I wasn't immunized for Hepatitis B (routine Hep B vaccinations didn't start until 1991, I was born in 1983, and my pediatrician never said to get it). The first of the labs for Hep B reflected that I hadn't been immunized. According to my doctor's assistant, the subsequent lab would show the same thing so they put a notice of that in with my labs and that was what I sent to Peace Corps (even though I said over and over again that I need all of the tests done regardless because "Peace Corps said so"... sigh.) Anyway, my doctor's office faxed the labs they had to my nurse reviewer. I emailed her to confirm she received everything and to see if there were any problems (hoping she would say no and I would be cleared). As seems to be the case with all Peace Corps ventures, I'm still waiting to hear back from her...

This morning I received a MyToolkit update saying there is now a hold on my medical. I'm not sure if that means my file is still in review or if that means I need to go get the additional labs done. I'm assuming it's the latter. I put a call in to my doctor to let her know that I will probably need to come in again. And, as I do more research on the Hep B immunization, I'm also assuming that I will need to get that series done as a precaution considering I will most likely be living in an area with high prevalance of Hep B...

So that is the story for now. I am almost through medical.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Let us rise up and be thankful"

Tonight's yoga class gave me an overwhelming sense of powerfulness and gratefulness and I wanted to share in the hopes that the feeling will spread to others.

For almost a year I have felt like I couldn't breathe a whole breath in. This is something I struggled with after my dad died but I had healed most of those wounds. This felt different. Honestly, I have generally been pretty happy and have very little to complain about but I obviously had a lot to let go of still. Well, somewhere in the midst of Surya Namaksara B I took a deep breath and realized I was able to fill my whole lungs. I felt empowered. By the hundredth chataranga, when I normally would be getting tired, I found myself pushing for more and feeling stronger. I couldn't help but smile because it felt like mile 12 of a half marathon when the end is finally in sight and you take a deep breath and just go for it. It felt amazing. So grateful.

I found myself feeling grateful for others too. I heard my fellow yogis breathing and I felt grateful that they had oxygen to fill their lungs. I heard a tummy rumble and I was grateful their bodies worked and they had food to eat. And by the time we took rest it had become less about me and I was grateful for all the things that filled the room - the people, the warmth, the energy. It felt like a hug from a long lost friend.

It takes more than motivation and passion to accomplish great things. The strength to do it has to come from within. I needed to find this "friend" again, this more powerful and grateful version of myself, in order to truly make a difference. Tonight was a step at getting that inner strength back. I can breathe again. I am so grateful.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Friendly Reminder from Good Ol' Dr. Seuss

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone! Whether you like it or not. Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

(Trust me, I'm trying to get on my way! Do you hear that Peace Corps? Dr. Seuss says that today is my day! It really is time to push me through to placement!)