Top Ten Things to Go Not Quite Right with Medical Clearance (So Far)

>> Friday, December 01, 2006

  1. We were caught in a Catch-22: The PC requires we get married six months before we are ready to depart, and we had to show that before we were nominated. Once we got married, we lost our parents' insurance and so would have to pay for medical clearance out-of-pocket.
  2. We tried to contact VA Hospitals to get our medical clearance done there since (in theory) they are partnered with the Peace Corps and will do it for free. But the VA hospitals in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia, MO showed no interest in helping and were actually pretty mean.
  3. We finally contacted the DOD hospital in Fort Leonard Wood, MO. The woman there was really nice and agreed to help us, but they couldn't see us for two months--until October 20 at 8 am.
  4. Since the appointment on Oct 20 was at 8 am and I am about 3-1/2 hours away, we decided to go to Ft. Leonard Wood the night before and make a reservation at a hotel. But I had a night class the night before the appointment that I couldn't miss and so we didn't arrive until about 12:30 am. By that time, the hotel had given up our reservation to someone else and had no rooms left (we felt like it came straight out of an episode of Seinfeld); the hotel owner assumed that we would have arrived earlier if we were going to come because he saw that my cell phone's area code was from an area code not very far away. Instead of using my cell phone number to call and ask if we were coming, he just assumed we weren't.
  5. Neither of us had ever been on a military base before, and did not know that, post-September 11, it's a pretty big deal. We were required to show the original proof of registration for my car (which was at home) and proof of insurance (and I hadn't gotten my new card yet--the old one had expired not two weeks before). But we eventually made it inside after calling my insurance agent to get the insurance verified and looking up the car registration... that only made us about 45 minutes late for the appointment. :)
  6. The blood work took a few days to be processed, so the doctor kept our paperwork at the hospital and said he'd mail it to us, along with the blood work, once they received it. We did receive all the paperwork a week or so later, but failed to noticed for two additional weeks that he had forgotten to sign both of our packets and forgot to fill out the box on my paperwork that says I'm negative for all the infectious diseases.
  7. We mailed back the packets (after making photocopies of everything) and included Post-It tabs everywhere that the doctor needs to sign, a cover letter kindly explaining what was missing from the forms, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for them to mail the paperwork back to us. We did not know that it would take 10 full days for them to receive the packet because of enhanced security or that they take an extended Thanksgiving holiday.
  8. I had received a dental checkup recently, so the dentist was just able to fill out my paperwork and include my x-rays from that. Paul, however, was due for a checkup and found out he had a cavity. The checkup, x-rays, and filling cost a whopping $488. Yikes!
  9. We mailed in our dental packets on Monday, November 27 and for some reason the tracking number isn't working...
  10. We haven't received the medical packets back from Fort Leonard Wood yet and still don't know if they're filled out completely. Then we have to mail them in and hope they arrive safely...

And then we actually have to get cleared medically. There's a long road ahead...


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