Please call asap regarding your medical clearance.
US Peace Corps
Office of Medical Services
A little bit of history- Elizabeth is the same person who had previously terrified me regarding my medical clearance. She called very early one morning to "discuss" my mosquito "allergy" (I don't have a mosquito allergy). Anyway, the result of that conversation sent me to the doctor's office (for the 9th time) and to an allergist. She scared the crap out of me when we talked and I was just sure that I was never going to be medically cleared. After writing some personal statements, endorsed by my doctor, my clearance finally went through, and I received a letter in the mail from PC saying I was all good. So I was surprised to see this email today. I called Elizabeth and she said that sometimes after a medical clearance is given and the file is forwarded to the Placement Office, they have questions and send the file back to Medical Review. My heart was racing and I felt like throwing up. I'm thinking, are they still flipping out about my non-existent mosquito allergy? Did I need some dental work done? Do they need more lab results? Then she asked me about my lactose intolerance and the pills I take for this. Honestly, I had forgotten that I told PC that I was lactose intolerant because I figured it would have come up before now during the medical clearance process.
Elizabeth: Is it just Lactaid that you take?
me: Yes! I take Lactaid!
Elizabeth: Do you avoid dairy?
me: No, I just take Lactaid.
Elizabeth: If you don't, what happens?
me: I get diarrhea.
PC people really want to know about my shit. I've had at least 3 conversations about poop with PC medical people. Next time, I'm going to tell them how the anxiety of waiting for PC affects my poop cycle.
Anyway, she said that was fine and I asked if she needed another personal statement from me detailing the effects of lactose on my bowels, and she said that we're all set. She also re-asked about the medicine I take for my irritable bowel syndrome (poop again!) and said that it had been approved (so I assume this means that they will be ok with supplying it to me while I am in-country).
This conversation means that someone in Placement has been looking at my file. Maybe it means they are considering possible placements for me- possibly ones where I might consume a lot of dairy. I think Kazakhstan is one of those places where they drink a lot of fermented mare's milk. Aside from the fact that this would no doubt make me vomit, I don't know if it has lactose in it. I don't want to go to Kazakhstan. My sister Katie was there for a few days when she was on her way to (or from?) Afghanistan. It sounded cold. The PC should just send me to Africa, where most people are lactose intolerant and so dairy probably won't be the main staple of my diet...
The March departure countries, according to the PC Wiki page, are Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Albania, Morocco, Belize, Kyrgyz Republic, Ukraine, and Bulgaria. The April Departures are Botswana and Indonesia. The only May departure listed right now is Fiji. June is listing Ghana and Malawi. If I could categorize these into Don't Want, OK, and WANT:
Don't Want: Kazakhstan, Albania, Kyrgyz Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria
OK: Morocco, Dominican Republic, Belize, Indonesia, Fiji
WANT: Senegal, Botswana, Ghana, Malawi
I'm back to being anxious again. Thanksgiving kept me busy and thinking about other things, but this Monday morning wake-up email has brought me back to the purgatory of PC waiting.