Friday, November 4, 2011

And she's back!

Yes, I am back after a short break. Since my last post, I have moved to New Mexico, where I am working as a CNA at a nursing home. I'm at the point where I want to pick up on my Peace Corps application. I like my job okay, just not exactly the place where I work. But I knew I was moving out here for an indefinite amount of time. I wanted a break after college, and that's what I've been doing. I'm basically a workaholic these days, trying to save up for a summer trip to the Philippines with my best friend. We want to go for about two months, and then I want to do the Peace Corps.

Soooo. I have submitted my personal statement about some counseling I had in the spring (only two sessions, so I'll be very surprised if this is a problem). I also e-mailed the counselor I saw some forms the Peace Corps asked her to fill out. Once those are sent in, the last thing I have to do is get ANOTHER CBC. Hopefully, my iron levels will be okay. I've been taking my multivitamin with iron, and I'm trying to eat lots of iron foods. I'm not a vegetarian, but red meat is just kind of nasty to me sometimes. I'm going to try to eat lots of hamburgers and spinach in the next few weeks, though :). I ate clams today (45% of your recommended daily iron needs, just FYI).

I think taking a few months off from the Peace Corps application has been good for me. I realized... guess what? I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Additional Medical Information Received; Expect Update from PC in 1-2 Weeks

Today I called my Peace Corps medical assistant person to determine whether the Peace Corps had received the forms I faxed last Wednesday. I had been checking my Nominee Toolkit periodically, but it still said my application was "inactive" since I'd taken longer than the 60 days to submit the additional medical information they had requested. I didn't want to harass anyone, but also, if I waited, there was the chance that the fax really had never been received. So just in case I called...

I got her voicemail and left a message. She promptly sent me an e-mail saying the information had been received, and that I should expect to wait a week to two weeks to hear back regarding whether I need to send in even more medical information. I pray to God that I am all through with the medical portion. I've got a sneaking suspicion that I am not, however, I am going to be an optimist...

I especially hope I am done, considering my health insurance will run out July 31st when I am no longer a student at my university.


The good news, however, is that once again, I am the one waiting to hear back, so I can just sit back and relax. :D

On a different note, road trip July 23rd across the United States!!! <3

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

$18.39 later, and the forms are faxed

Just a wee update since yesterday. I headed to FedEx today to fax off my 11 pages of additional medical forms that I completed yesterday. I've never been inside a FedEx office, but heard I could fax things there. I wasn't sure the process, but the guy at the counter just took the fax number I got from my medical officer this afternoon and faxed the pages there. I thought there was a slight chance this wouldn't cost anything, but expected a couple of dollars (comparable to the 10 cent/page cost of copying paper). Instead, it was $18.39 because I was sending the forms "long distance." Lol. I was so happy to have everything completed I didn't care too much, but I do question how "long distance" can possibly matter when it comes to faxing. I could have nearly bought an entire cheap fax machine for that price...

I don't know, but like I said, at this point, I'm just ecstatic to have completed another step in the application. Hooray!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Medical Round Two: Fight!

I pretty much beasted the rest of my medical stuff today in one big swoop. I had a 9:30 appointment this morning to get my Polio titers to prove I'm immune. The people at Student Health were bewildered at the titers, and decided it would be easier if I would just get the booster. This shot was the most painless I've ever had, didn't even feel it. The whole appointment took 6 and 1/2 minutes, so I decided to see if I couldn't schedule another appointment with a nurse practitioner to finish off the rest of the forms.

The woman I had today was awesome. She didn't mess around with this Mango allergy nonsense. I told her I couldn't remember what antihistamine they gave me back in 2007 in my hometown, so she filled in what is normally prescribed. Just to reiterate, what a stupid allergy. I got the signatures I needed, filled out my own appendectomy form the Peace Corps sent and wrote a short paragraph "statement" describing what happened. It's rather hazy in my memory being eight years ago. It's amazing how little you remember of things like that. The only time I've ever been hospitalized, and I can barely recall anything about it (except that I was on an all liquid diet afterwards which suuucked).

And then that was that. Everything has been filled out. Tomorrow I'm going to venture to a FedEx to fax all this shizz to my friendly, neighborhood Peace Corps Medical Team, and God willing, I will be able to finally be done with everything.

I will be incredibly thankful, because, as of now, I've felt like I've been in a Steel Cage Death Match with the whole medical thing. Right after I printed off my last form in the library today, I was walking down a staircase to leave and nearly slipped, but caught my footing. Prior to a reality check with myself, my first thought was "NO! If you break your arm, don't you know how many more forms that's going to take???" My second thought was, "NO! If you break your arm, don't you know how much money that will cost... that you don't have???" But, I've won this round, Medical!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

After a short break

I've picked up the Peace Corps application once again. I am graduating college this summer, no matter! (yay!), and then I am moving out to New Mexico, just to change everything in my life up. But, despite this move, I am still working on the PC application. I'm quitting my job this upcoming Friday (I've given months of notice), and that will relieve so much stress, although I'm going to miss my class and the rest of the kids like crazy. However, I feel like my time there has come to an end. It's just time for me to move on.

So, I am planning a road trip in the end of July, driving my worldly possessions out to Albuquerque, seeing lots of the US along the way. I plan to be DONE with the application by then and to only be waiting for the decision.

Yesterday I had the first doctor's appointment I've had in a good month. I had to drive back to my hometown an hour away at eight in the morning. I waited two hours in the waiting room and examination room for the doctor, to get that stupid appendectomy form filled out. He made me get a "physical" (poking my appendix scar) and a CBC for a flat one hundred dollars, which my insurance will not be covering. Then he filled out the form.

And there you go. One hundred dollars (plus forty five for the rental car) to have a man I've never seen before put his hand on my eight year old appendix scar and sign his name to a piece of paper. I will asking PC for a reimbursement of this cost, as I haven't yet used up my *free* $165 dollars that they will cover for a female under 40 years old.

My CBC test said, guess what? I'm stilllll anemic. Hooray. But I think it'll be okay because the additional forms the Peace Corps had sent to me after my initial medical ones said, if the CBC still shows abnormal results, then the doctor needs to write a plan of treatment. I interpreted that to mean, if the doctor thinks I'm okay, then so will the Peace Corps.

So I just need to go have those Polio shots, an MD's signature on that one form that the Nurse Practicioner had signed, and then the mango allergy form filled out. Hopefully, I can get that all done in one appointment at Student Health. Fingers crossed.

I really haven't thought about the Peace Corps at all in the past two months. You might take that to mean I'm not serious about it, but really, I just got tired of the application, especially stressing when I simply had no time to go to the doctor. But now that school has (sort of) settled down, and I'll be quitting my job, and I know I won't be stranded in NC forever no matter what, I have had more time to think, once again, about Peace Corps. And I might even be more excited now that I'm not so stressed about it, actually.

It sounds more like a choice, once again, since I took a break from the application. I guess for a while there it was feeling like the only option, and the minute I feel forced into doing something, I'm not a happy camper. So, basically, what I'm trying to say is, I'm getting my ass in gear and will finish school, move out West to have somewhat of a normal life for a few months, and then, hopefully, head out to a new country.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I finally received my envelope from the Peace Corps detailing the information needed. It doesn't appear to be too heinous, surprisingly. The initial shock of five additional forms has passed, and I'm just going to grin and bear it.

Something I've been turning over in my mind is to change my availability date to sometime this fall. My reasons for this are that I am probably going to miss the July/August cutoff date anyway. If I know for sure I am not leaving until say, October, I will just go ahead and buy a cheap used car and move out West. I've had my heart set on Albuquerque lately, for some reason. I don't know, I think I just want to have a "normal" life for a while. I think a few months will be enough to get it out of my system. Because I do want to do the Peace Corps, I know that for sure, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to leave before September anyway. So it just seems appropriate to kind of a plan a non-Peace Corps life for a few months so I don't get stuck in Chapel Hill. I'm scared I'm going to get rejected or deferred or be invited to leave in December and suddenly have to find a job at the last minute before my lease runs out July 31st. I've put in my last day to be June 10th at my current job at the daycare. Peace Corps or not, I would have done the same because I'm graduating over the summer, and I'm ready to move on. I've been in college for four years, worked at the daycare for two years, lived in the same state virtually my entire twenty-one years of life (minus studying abroad).

I know I would love to do the Peace Corps, but I do wish for a break. It has been non-stop since high school. I was in all the advanced classes in high school, got a job towards the end of senior year. I then worked two jobs over the summer before college. Once I began my degree, I had a job the entire time while being a full-time student.

This past year has been especially crazy. Besides the normal senior anxiety, I've been working on this Peace Corps application for a good year, plus dealing with a lot of family things.

I've only told my best friend Christina about my plans to maybe move out West before the Peace Corps. My grandfather will think it's a bad idea, I already know. He'll wonder what's the point of spending so much money for a move that's so far away, when I'll only have a few months before Peace Corps.

But in my eyes, it's a vacation, even though I'll be working. I will just get a little, non-stressful job. I love the daycare, but I feel like I am too young to have so much stress on me. The longer I've been there, the more responsibility I've had to take on. I started out as an afternoon assistant teacher which was really fun, because I was just a sort of aide to the teacher. For the past half year, I've been the only afternoon teacher in a pre-K classroom, with a class that is one of the most lovable, intelligent, and fun to be around that I've had, but they have needed a lot of extra attention due to specific issues within the class. So basically, I'm worn out right now from my studies, eight children's lives, etc.

So my current plan is to continue with the medical process and when they ask for an updated resume, I will tell them the earliest is November. It seems like a good plan to me????

Your former glories

And all the stories
Dragged and washed
With eager hands

Friday, April 29, 2011


So, yesterday morning, my impatient self decided to call the person assigned to answer my medical questions (via the Peace Corps telephone number provided in the medical kit), as I was curious whether I should expect to have more doctors appointments this summer. My toolkit still just says I have a hold and only need to further info if requested by Medical Services.

Luckily, a Ms. Georgianne both answered the phone and was friendly, but told me...

Not good news. I expected a form or two to be missing/needed, but not FIVE***. Lord. I was in shock. Apparently, I need:

- A post-operative form filled out by the doctors who performed my appendectomy EIGHT YEARS AGO

- A personal statement regarding this appendectomy [wtf? Perhaps they mean emotional attachment problems? I'm not dying, I've got a sweet scar I tell people was caused by a (baby) shark bite] + my original appendix, preserved in formaldehyde and sealed in a Mason jar (just kidding. So far. SO FAR)

- A form regarding my "mango allergy." The bizarre mango allergy I've experienced exactly 1.5 times in my life. Back in high school, I bought a fresh mango trying to be healthy/experimental and accidentally tried eating the skin before peeling it. A day later, I had this gnarly herpes-looking outbreak on my lips that itched like poison ivy, just a week or two before graduation. After much googling, it turns out the skin of mangoes is related to the poison ivy family, and if you're allergic to poison ivy, you have a chance of being allergic to just the skin of mangoes. Anywho, I went to the doctor in 2007, and he gave me some sort of antihistamine thing. Peace Corps wants all this who/what/where info about the mango. "I want to know where the mango at!"

- Missing Polio records... Somehow, my proof of Polio 1 & 2 vaccines have vanished. I swear they were there. I mean, I had the booster shot. Both my doctor and I checked them off the list. Bizarre. I will have to get titers showing I've had them.

- And.... another CBC due to my low iron. Which is what I expected in the first place. I'm a bit worried about this iron thing because I donated blood Monday (four days ago), and despite my taking an iron supplement with 100% of my needs, my levels were at the exact minimum to be eligible to give blood (12.5). It's so weird.

So there you have it. I will now begin writing the sequel to my novel Peace Corps Medical, A Girl in Tears. Just as soon as those forms actually arrive in the snail mail. Ms. Georgianne told me that the forms had been mailed to me on April 21 from D.C., but for some 7 days, haven't arrived in NC. I expect they are enjoying their time drinking martinis in the Caribbean. Weather's getting to be quite toasty there this time of year.

And I am left feeling like a loser for A) Not graduating on time - hello Summer Classes at UNC... again. B) Having no idea what I'm doing after actually, hopefully, probably, most likely graduating in July...... C) saying good bye to all my friends here. Sigh.

My plan so far looks like this:

Graduate, at all costs, in July. If accepted to Peace Corps for August/September, stay in Chapel Hill. If rejected/deferred/or invited for a position beginning October - May 2012 (will the world be here?), buy a car and move to a random city in the U.S., while trying to find a job abroad. I'm so tired of the Southeast U.S. Even the Northeast. I want to go out West.

And there's the plan. Solid gold.

***I'd also like to make a note that I do appreciate the Peace Corps' diligence in ensuring the safety of its volunteers. Seriously. Because if contracting a deadly flesh-eating disease from eating a mango that affects only the anemic, appendixless, Polio titer-less American were to happen to anyone, it would happen to JADE THE BLADE ***