I haven’t posted much in the last few months, life in the peace corps seems simultaneously uneventful and horribly busy.
As some people know, I was planning to transfer to PC China following my service in the Philippines. Unfortunately, the medical clearance for China is more stringent than the Philippines. The last 6 months or so I’ve been having stomach problems and it felt like I had an ulcer or some other fun, painful ailment. After asking the PCMO several times, I finally got my B-12 levels checked and it turned out that the problem was a simple vitamin deficiency (exacerbated by months of treating the symptoms with Nexium but not addressing the initial deficiency). When I had these problems, it the office of medical services in PC Washington said that I couldn’t be cleared for China.
After I got the issue cleared up I thought that I’d be OK to go to China, but about one week ago another problem developed. I was out for a farewell dinner with my host family and some friends in Naga, when I started feeling horrible pain in my back and side, I was sweating profusely, I was nauseated. I was starting to think that maybe I had come down with a case of appendicitis- but it was on the wrong side. Eventually, when I got to the bus terminal to depart for Manila with all of my bags, I had to stop the bus as it was pulling out of the station to run to the bathroom and throw up. After that I felt better. The next morning, I was feeling alright so I went out to run some errands in Manila. While I was out, I started feeling sick again and the PC nurse told me to go to the ER (it was a Saturday and the office was closed). When I got there, it was really uncomfortable and they had to give me two different pain meds to put me right. They told me that I had a UTI (that explains the vomiting) and kidney stones.
So, after my first trip to a Filipino ER in my last week, I was sent o n my merry way with a bunch of prescription pain meds and an appointment for a Monday ultrasound. The ultrasound confirmed that I had numerous small stones in both kidneys, but not anywhere else on the path. How fun. At this point, Eloi (our PC nurse) said that she was pretty sure that I wouldn’t get cleared for this to go to China.
It turns out that the office of medical services in DC wants a one-year no problem period in order to clear me for service, but I don’t want to wait a year to go for another 2 years with peace corps. The time has come to revise the plan.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy some quality time at home with family, friends and the vast array of culinary choices that one finds only in the US.