Yesterday I went to Richmond to the Veterans Admin Medical Center. They are kind enough to do the Peace Corps physicals for free for applicants. I really had a wonderful experience there and I just want to share what a good experience that was.
First, the coordinator handling getting me in to see half a dozen different doctors is a total sweetheart. I arrived 30 minutes late yesterday, due to the obnoxious weather we have around here (and a faulty GPS unit). When I arrived the first thing she said was, "I saw that bad weather, and that you were late, and sent up a little prayer to God to deliver you safely to us. I thank Him you made it to us." I love the South for the people who so openly say things like that.
Second, the doctor that did my physical told me I would be her last PC applicant she could work with. The hospital is too busy, and they just can't do freebies anymore. She said they told her to turn me away, but she put her foot down and insisted. She supports the PC and anyone who wants to make the world a better place. So if she has to sacrifice her lunch hours to squeeze in PC applicants, she'll do it. How great is she?
Third, my nurse was also amazing. I have been on a diet for 2.5 weeks now. I practically ran to jump on the scale to get my weight. She said she had never seen a woman do that before, so I told her why. She gave me a high 5 "girl to girl, up high!" Later she told me how she's lost 60 lbs, after seeing her husband, "go back to sit with God, because he loved his sugar too much." Again, I love Southern Christians!
Fourth, the poor medical student in the blood lab that got stuck with me. I shouldn't say stuck. I'm the one who was used as a human pincushion! Even when I'm not dieting, and I have had plenty of water and a good meal, my veins like to play hide and seek. I'm not the easiest "stick" in the world. In fact, looking at my elbows right now, I see no faint blue veins under the skin. Nothing. And then I get stuck with a med student who is in the last few minutes of his one and only phlebotomy rotation. I think he genuinely felt bad. He had to stick me 4 times before anything showed. And then they robbed me of 10 vials of blood! 10!! That's just mean. Between that and the TB skin test, I'm a little tired of needles right now.
But the truly awesome part was the med student. I could tell from him name and his faint accent he wasn't US born. He saw on my paperwork I was a PC applicant (and very obviously not the usual type of VA hospital patient). I asked where he is from and he said, "Ghana. It was a PC volunteer that helped me get my education and go to college. I owe a lot to the Peace Corps!" I thought that was really great. It gave me the extra boost to survive 4 pricks and 10 vials.
(Now I just have to get my dental appointment, eye appointment, gyn appointment, urology, and get 4 different doctors from around the country to send me paperwork from 10-15 years ago, and we are done with this!)
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