Jumping Through Hoops

I thought today I would be finished with my medical application to the Peace Corps. That didn’t happen. Last Friday I had all of my blood work done. I gave the nurse at my doctor’s office the e-mail I received from the medical officer detailing the additional tests that needed to be done. My doctor ordered the tests from that e-mail. When I got to the lab, I showed the e-mail to the lab technician, who consulted a reference book and assured me that the tests on the e-mail were being done.

On Tuesday, I went to the public health department and had my MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) shot and a Polio shot. The nurse also suggested a Hepatitis A shot since I was going to the South Pacific. I agreed. Last night I e-mailed those records to the Peace Corps. Today, my doctor’s office called and said they had the results from Friday. I picked them up and then both faxed and e-mailed them to the Peace Corps Medical Officer. This evening, I got the following e-mail:

Mr. Hunsicker,
Unfortunately one of the tests performed was not correct.

We asked that you please provide a copy of the results of your Hepatitis B surface antigen, Hepatitis B core antibody, Hepatitis C serology & G6PD titers. These tests are required for all applicants. There are a variety of tests that can be performed for Hepatitis B. Insist that these required tests are obtained. There are no substitutes.

The result of a Hepatitis B surface antibody test was submitted that was not requested or required, it does not substitute for the result of your Hepatitis B core antibody.

Please provide a copy of the result of your Hepatitis B core antibody test as required.

This means, I’ve got to do it all over again…at least the lab work. I believe my doctor’s office is closed on Thursday, but I’m going to go there in the morning and try and get this done again. If that fails, I’ll try to find another doctor to issue the order, then I’ll get the lab work done. It will take a few days once it is done to get the results, which means probably Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Unfortunately, the lab orders are written in "code" so it is very tough to see exactly what you are getting. At least now I can say I need the “CORE” antibody. I have no idea what that means, and I don’t actually really care. My doctor says I don’t have Hepatitis, not that I had any reason to think I did, and I suspect that won’t change with this latest test.

I can’t really fault the Peace Corps for this one. Actually, I was pretty impressed that I got the response less than an hour after sending them everything. Of course, I also don’t know if this is some obscure test or if both my doctor and the lab just messed up.

If all else fails, I do have a doctors appointment on Monday and I’ll get the new blood work order done then. I just hate to keep waiting. I have a new boss who is starting in just over two weeks. I would hate to have to resign on her first day on the job. That will fuel lots of speculation that she was the reason I left…and I haven’t even met her yet.

As we say in TV, “Stay Tuned”!

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