Monday, October 5, 2009

Health Check.

This morning we had to go to the hospital to get a health check so we can get our Alien Registration Cards. We've been told the health check is somewhat of a joke. We saw two other foreigners who where there for their health checks as well. We talked to them for a little while but they got away before we could exchange contact information, which was a bummer because they were really nice.

It all started in the waiting room. As we sat there people who looked like they were in their last moments of life got carted around on stretchers through the busy waiting room. We felt that it was very awkward and we probably shouldn't be seeing that. People were walking around in their pajamas (they don't get buttless gowns... patients are given scrub-like pajamas) and carrying their IVs outside to have a smoke or go to the convenient store. Lainy, our coworker, lives across the street from the hospital and she said that she often sees hospital patients carrying their IVs in the convenient store.

We then got taken to a side room where a man told Lainy and I to take off our "top clothes". There was a man on an exam table with a big x-ray machine above him. And a man looking at him and a computer screen through a wall and a window. We had to walk behind him and go about four feet away to a small curtained area to take off our "top clothes".

I was put behind the curtain first. I wasn't sure what "top clothes" meant because I was wearing a tank top and an over shirt. I asked if I should take off the top shirt or both.

The man responded, "Yes, sure, okay."

I went behind the curtain and took off both shirts and put on a scrub top that was sitting there. I also saw scrub pants so I started taking off my jeans.

"NO! Not your underwear!" I hear through the curtain.

"Uh... but what about my pants?"

"Yes, sure, okay."

I continue to take off my jeans. "NO! Not your underwear!"

"No pants?"

"Just your top clothes."

"I keep my pants on?"

"Yes, sure, okay."

I put my jeans back on and went out fairly confused. He ushered me to the next room, so I assumed I did it correctly. Andrew was now off somewhere else. The man informed me that I was getting a chest x-ray. He put me chest first against a wall and hoisted my chin up really high. Then he put my arms behind my back almost as though I would be handcuffed and then pushed my elbows forward to touch the wall. This is not at all a comfortable position to be in. He then came back and pushed my chin up higher, and pushed my elbows against the wall again. I had to take in a deep breath and hold it for about 20 seconds until he finally snapped the x-ray.

I then went back to change and was ushered to the next room. I found Andrew in this tiny room, as well as a handful of other people. The lady handed me a dixie cup and said, "urine sample please". She then showed me to the bathroom. I didn't have to go to the bathroom so I couldn't manage much of a sample. I walked back to the room with my dixie cup of pee. I saw Lainy and she took a glance at my cup. I covered the top saying it was my pee. We both had a laugh. I got back to the room and had to set my cup down next to about 30 other dixie cups of pee. She had taken a marker and wrote a number down as identification.

We then all had a blood sample taken. Once that was finished we were again ushered to a different area of the hospital. One by one we were taken in to the room to get our blood pressure checked. Next was an eye exam where the lady pointed so far down on the chart that everything looked like periods.

Next was height and weight. I stepped on the scale. I could hear something mechanical above me. It wasn't until I was hit on the head that I realized a plastic object was coming towards my head. The plastic piece bopped me on the head and went right back up. That's how they told how tall we were.

After height and weight we had to sit in a chair and take a color blind test and hearing test. We were then told to go in the hallway and wait. Once we had all finished (including the other two foreigners) a man came out to talk to us. "Does anyone have TB or Hepatitis?"

We all shook our heads no.

"Okay. Then you are finished. Come back in one week for results."

We walked out of there wondering what the heck had just happened to us.

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