Saturday, February 21, 2015

Consulate Medical Appointment

On Saturday, January 31, 2015 we had to be up bright and early to meet in the lobby of the hotel to go over for Hannah's medical exam.  All adopted children seeking a US Visa must first pass a medical exam.  This was another big step in the process and also not one of Hannah's happiest days.  This was the first time we got to meet the other families that were traveling at the same time with our agency and it was exciting for us, to finally have others to share experiences with!

Since we were now with a larger group, we no longer took vans everywhere, but instead took small buses on all of our outings.  Our guide told us what to expect as we traveled to the medical center.  The medical center was fortunately not too busy, mostly just our group, at the time we arrived.  Hannah had a photo taken for her visa application and then the exam part of the process began.  There were four stations: 1.) Nurses station where you had height, weight, and temperature checked.  2.) ENT where they checked hearing.  3.) Physician station where they did a routine "exam" of sorts.  4.) Blood draw for TB testing.  We got the super fast pass and got to skip station four--only children aged two and above had to complete the TB testing.  Hallelujah!  No blood draw for our fighter girl.  I will be honest, the whole medical exam process was sort of comical and unorganized.  You just jump from station to station in any order and just make sure you get them all done.  It was also a bit like stepping back in time.  The nurses still wear caps and white dresses and the doctors wear those circular mirrors strapped to their heads.  Some of the "tests" they did were a bit interesting too and I did wonder if they were really truly checking anything at all.  But, whatever, we had no choice.  You have to go if you want a visa and we certainly wanted a visa and back on that plane on Thursday!

Hannah did not (I repeat emphatically, did not) enjoy this part of the process whatsoever.  She was ballistic throughout all of the exams.  With all her fighting and thrashing I again seriously wonder what on earth actually got checked on her during the whole exam process.  The doctors don't tell you anything about the exam and you just wait for a day later to hear from the guide if you passed or failed.  No news means you passed.  Phone call means you failed and have to follow up in some fashion.  The worst part of this process was that we went with a large group and therefore had to just wait for the rest of the group to finish all the steps of the process.  The waiting area wasn't all that clean and this was indeed the day Hannah decided she would throw several fits on the floor and also refuse to wear shoes and socks.  Being the awesome American mommy that I am, I just let her wallow on the floor and gave her a bath later that night.  Thankfully we passed our medical!  Another box checked and one step closer to home!  Man, I was homesick at this point!
ENT station

 Super "official" hearing check with squeaking toys....

 Physician station.  I think the tambourine was a distraction while listening to her heart?  Not super sure.

Nurse station.  Height, weight, and temp.  This did not go over well.  I have visions of what all of her future medical appointments will look like......and it isn't going to be pretty.

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