Tuesday, September 7, 2010

medical review day one

I had my dentist appointment this morning to get my x-rays and exam as well as a cleaning because it had been a while. I generally have a good experience when I visit the dentist; I've had one cavity in my entire life, never needed braces, and only had two wisdom teeth that were taken out with no problem when I was 21. Anyway, I got my full-mouth series of x-rays and the chart filled out that all my teeth are healthy and that I don't need any work done. I had my teeth cleaned and an impression taken for a new occlusal splint because I clench my jaw at night. I got one when I was 17 but there are holes where my teeth are sharp :) The dentist recommended that I get a new one made since it's ten years old and worn through, and also so I'll have a spare to take with me. I double checked everything before I left, which i'm super glad I did because they had forgotten to check the box that said I had no oral diseases, the dentist hadn't signed it, and my x-rays were on plain paper rather than photo paper. I got everything taken care of except the x-rays because they didn't have photo paper. Since I'm going back tomorrow to pick up the occlusal splint, I'll bring them some photo paper to print the x-rays on. As I was leaving, the receptionist handed me a stack of polaroids from when I was little. My dentist's office used to take a picture of any kid who didn't have cavities and put them on a bulletin board. I particularly love the one of me at age seven in a bathing suit top. Like, WHY was I allowed to go to the dentist without a shirt on?

After the dentist I made my way over to the health department where I spent two hours waiting around for 10 minutes of actual medical work (so glad my phone battery died too). The immunization department initially tried to send me over to the foreign travel desk, but once it was determined that I didn't know what country I'm going to yet, that I only needed boosters that are recommended to the general population, and that the Peace Corps will give me the serious shots at staging, I was shipped back down the hall to the immunization ladies. I had blood drawn to test for varicella immunity since I had chicken pox but never had that vaccine, I had booster shots for Tdap and Polio, and I had a TB test injection which I get to have checked on Thursday. I asked the woman who drew my blood if she was good at drawing blood and she just laughed. She got the needle in my vein on the first try and drew the vial with no issues, so I guess that answered my question. I used to have a vicious fear of needles and tried to get myself over it by donating blood (this backfired on me because I'm O negative and CMV negative, so my blood goes to babies and immunosuppressed patients, so they call me every two months begging me to come in). The second woman I saw about fell off her chair when I told her all about the Peace Corps - how far away I'm going, not knowing anyone, possibly using a pit latrine, not having air-conditioning, etc. It made me really happy to be excited about all of this rather than anxious. It reminded me of my classroom aide last year who wanted to stay home from the most awesome field trip ever because she doesn't like the outdoors. I don't understand that mentality at all - I love being outside and getting dirty and sweaty, which is a good thing since I'm sure the peace corps offers lots of opportunities for that!

On the way home from the health department the check engine light came on in my car and the speedometer and odometer both quit. I was irrationally scared of crashing until I realized that all I had to do was keep my eyes on the road (duh?) I drove to my mechanics and let them check it out. Verdict? A broken speed sensor. I'm bringing it back in the morning to have it changed and get to spend another couple hundred dollars that I don't really need to spend right now. I guess this is just God's way of keeping my sense of humor in check, since the rest of my life is going pretty great for the time being :)

Lastly with the murder of the PCV in Lesotho, my mom has decided that I'm not to bring my SLR with me. I totally understand her concern, and am not taking my safety lightly, but I think I'm going to wait to find out which country I am sent to before making a decision one way or the other.

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