Monday, July 12, 2010


I called the Embassy and got through to an actual human being. Patty asked me to send her some info (name, SSN, phone number) and she would get back to me. So I sent it, and she very kindly called back about 5 hours later. Which was cool, because precedent (described in my previous post) suggests it could take years.

We had had brief back-and-forth of :

"Get the tests done and then call.."

"Wait, what? Schedule tests, embassy physician"

"Embassy doesn't have one, but this one guy is really good at filling out forms...

"Wait, what?"

"Get the tests done, get this guy to do the forms"


Obviously, I was the "wait, what?"er.

My mind was still stuck on the naive fantasy that maybe I could get an appointment, take one day to go to some clinic, get the tests and forms filled, and go happily on my way. Actually, the embassy has no physician they can just schedule appointments with. I get to figure out who's willing to do the examination piecemeal (because the people in charge of the urinalysis aren't checking out my eyes), get the info from them, then take it all to a certain doctor hereafter referred to as Zoidberg who'll fill in the appropriate boxes and give me the physical.

My doctor.

Dr. Zoidberg then looks at the documents I got from the other doctors and fills out all the forms based on that. This isn't as weird as it sounds, the people from the lab probably dont speak much English and have neither the time nor inclination to pore over the annoying paperwork. Zoidberg has worked with the embassy before, so the paperwork is just run-of-the-mill stuff to him (I can only hope) and he speaks English. So all is cool.

I hope to get everything finished by the end of the week (ha!), because school starts again Monday (I'm on vacations at the moment) and will make getting to a doctor that much harder.

A quick rundown of what this entails:

Urinalysis. Take a sample, send it too a lab, pick up the results an hour later. It checks for blood, sugar and protein. I was negative on all counts, which is good. Sugar means diabetes, protein means diseases in the kidney, and blood can indicate some kind of infection.

Eye examination. At least 8 separate tests. I have an appointment on Thursday, so I'll describe them in detail then.

Hearing test. I've yet to schedule that. The last one I took it was in elementary school, they put a pair of earphones on me and asked me to raise the hand corresponding to the side I heard the beep in.

Reading aloud. Hones in on speech impediments. It's just standing and reading a paragraph out loud, this paragraph is included in the instructions, so you can practice and there's absolutely no reason to mess it up because of nerves. The tester stops you sharply if you make a mistake and has you start over. The idea is that if you stutter or stammer in the exact same spot, it's likely a speech impediment, if you make it through, it was probably just nerves.

Complete physical. Everything. Just everything. Mobility and strength of limbs. Skin problems, skeletal problems, GU system, the works.

My high school also made its students get a routine blood test done. Unfortunately, one of my friends has been diagnosed with leukemia. Fortunately, it's in the early stages, he's stable, and will get to participate in the Chemistry Olympiads in Japan. He is that awesome.

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