Monday, August 8, 2011

Health Exam

It's two words you just don't want to hear in the EA. While i truly do love it here, and enjoy most parts of life here, i'm just not in love with the health system available here.

Daniel and I needed to have a health exam/physical for our university application.

Let me walk you through our day.

We arrive at the larger-than-we-expected health clinic to find tons of people standing in several lines and swarming about. We find 2 other foreigners and they give us a quick synopsis of how the system works.

We stand in the first line.

When we get to the counter we're told we need to go to another line to get an application. I had to sign that i agreed to the following.

It says " I am responsible for the deception."

That really should have been our first clue to how the rest of the day would go.

We get the application, fill it out, go back and get in line #1.

After a quick glance they send us to line #2 which is quite long.

I need to use the bathroom. I leave line and am about to use the squatty and realize a. i don't have any tissue or anything even close to resembling it, and b. i have no hand sanitizer. (i know what you're thinking, i'm in a health clinic surely.....but no). There is a local girl doing her thing too so i waited and begged asked her if she could give me 1 piece of tissue. She does, and i'm grateful. But then i realize we're going to be there a while and I might need to go again. So, yes, i rip the small tissue in half and i'll spare you the rest of the details. Again, no hand sanitizer and i'm already feeling pretty contaminated.

While we're still standing in line #2 we realize everyone else has small pictures to go with their application. We do not.

We ask the kind man behind us and he points to the little shack out front. They will take our pictures for us. We know line #2 was about an hour wait so we took turns leaving the line to go get our pics taken.

We get our pictures and continue standing in line.

We take another picture at the end of line #2 and are told to go to #4. I don't see anything that looks like a #4 and ask the lady more specifically where i'm supposed to go. She told me floor 2.

I go to floor 2. The lady tells me to go to floor 3.

At floor 3 i have to do a urine sample. I'm ever so thankful that i had half a tissue to use for a urine sample using a squatty. I'm mentally preparing myself for any illnesses that might spring up in the next few days as a result of today.

After the urine sample i get in line to have my blood drawn. After waiting a while i get up to the front and the lady tells me i haven't paid yet. (we were actually told to pay at the end, but whatevs)

I go back to floor 1, pay, get another receipt and stamp and go back to floor 3 to have my blood drawn. There are 2 other foreign ladies in front of me and they asked the technician to change her gloves before she draws their blood. I notice that the technicians hadn't been changing their gloves the entire time i've been in line. Not wanting to be the snobby white american, but also not wanting to die, i also ask ever so nicely if my technician will change her gloves too.

Get blood drawn, and am given a long Q tip to put on my arm. No band aids to be found. This is when i start praying and asking that Father protect us from anything and everything that we could catch while at the clinic.

After the blood I get my height, weight, BP, and all that checked. The lady totally rounded up a full pound on the paperwork. I was tempted to change it, but didn't. I tell myself "Big picture Laura."

Then i go to a series of different rooms and have to lie down on the table in each one. Things were really busy and i also noticed that they're not changing the blue liners on the beds at all. One table had hair and wet goo on it. Que prayer.

I reallllllly wanted to ask for a new liner at each station, but i also wanted to get out of there ASAP.

In one room a lady is on the phone and starts putting these very strange looking clips on me. Like huge chip bag clips. I have this intense fear that she's going to do some type of electric shock on me so i started calling for Daniel. Turns out she was monitoring my heart, which  should've been obvious when she put the clips on my ankles.

I also had an eye exam and had to put the same cover over my eye that everyone else had used. Note to self: always carry my own alcohol swabs. You just never know.

The last stop was X Ray. I was warned that females had to take off everything on top and put on a gown. Which would seem normal if you weren't standing in room full of people watching you get your x ray. I was able to change behind a curtain, but have never felt so exposed. i'm trying to block this part of the day out.

After X ray we realize we have to go back to where we received our application to get some stamp thing and a free carton of warm milk. Yummmmm.

Then we go back pick up our x rays and learn we have to come back in 2 days to get our final results.

At this point it's been a confusing day and we are both feeling infected.

We celebrate by going to Subway (yes we have a few here!) and chase away our contamination fears with coke and chocolate cookies. We found a public restroom that had soap and we both scrubbed at least 2 layers of skin off.

Welcome to my life :)




  1. WOW...Bless you heart sounds like a crazy day!! I would have freaked out too thinking about all the germs....Yikes!! I read your blog all the time and never comment but todays post just really cracked me up and made me feel sorry for you all at once :) Keep having fun ;)

  2. Oh my!! I was laughing out loud so hard, then I had to run and tell Mike about it. The clips on your ankles??? Can't quit laughing at that one. I would NEVER have allowed them to take my blood, please tell me you saw her take the NEW needle out of a sealed sanitized bag???