Eyes are bugging out, very tired. So much to do and so little time.
I've posted info on Myspace and Facebook already, but I should post here as well. The hammer has fallen on the whole medical situation with the Peace Corps. I got off lucky with the surgery in Panama. I was given the option to go home to the Chicago area or return to post on SVG. The return to post option was based on my monthly check-ups with the local ENT. I was informed that when it came time for a second operation, I would be separated from service. Gut feeling is leading me to believe this time will be about 6-8 months or so from now. I met with our Peace Corps Medical Officer (PCMO) on last week Friday and she agreed with me on that estimated guess. It is a pity that I probably was not going to make it to the full close of service with everyone else.
Seems as if I a bit premature to think I'd make it even that far. Turns out that the ENT doctor here, while rather good at what he does and very knowledgeable, does not have the equipment required to see deep enough inside the throat to check the problematic areas in completion. That judgment call was determined by PC Office of Medical Services (OMS) in Washington D.C. My PCMO called me just this past Wednesday to inform me of the OMS decision and that I had 7 days to wrap things up on SVG because I was being sent home on a medical separation.
It was kinda like getting hit rather hard in the stomach and I was at a loss for words. I told people here that the med sep day was like a dark rain cloud hanging in the distance. I told them it was as if that rain cloud was blowing in my direction and it would be here eventually--just seems that storm couldn't wait to arrive. Now I'm in the process of trying to reverse myself back into the American world and rediscover how/where to live back home. I spent the last 2 months or so before service getting all my i's dotted and t's crossed so I wouldn't have to worry about anything while I was away. 2 months...and now the PC says I have 7 days to flip back and 'normalize'. I suppose that in of self is better than many med sep. Those who are on medevac don't even get to return to post first to say their goodbyes and gather their personal things. (Those would be boxed and mailed back by PC staff members) At least this way I can get a sense of closure.
That closure hasn't been easy and I'm coming to realize just how many things I've managed to do over the past year and what it has meant for some of the people here. I had a rather tough assignment here when things fell apart with my host organization rather early into the assignment. Since then I dug deep into Spring Village and found niches here to fill. The people of my village have really taken to me come out to show support in my leaving. Many have even asked if they could file petitions and send letters to keep me here--although some of them still think I'm just hoarse and that silly about being sent home for hoarseness.
So I tossed together at the last minute a photo slideshow with music to honor the thngs I've witnessed and embraced over the past year. This tribute is just to my Vincy people that I've shared so much with over the past year. I wanted to have it ready for a going away party that I had on Saturday which much success. I might make one with the wonderful volunteers I've served with if time permits soon.
One hell of a year. Thank you Spring Village and those who reside therein and the surrounding areas.
And on that note, I'm set to come home back to the Chicago area this coming Wednesday. Life will close this chapter and begin another. I still have a desire to pursue law/grad school in the fall of 2010 and now I just need to figure out the best way to fill the gaps till then.
Stay safe and happy,
~your local wannabe jedi