Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Look Ma!! No TB!

Baby Home #6

Happy Tuesday from St. Petersburg, Russia. It's almost 4pm and I have returned from a busy day. Here's a quick run down on the daily events, because you know that you want to hear all the nitty gritty!

Today was the BIG day - Medical Test Day. I have silently, sub-consciously stressed about this day for the past 9 months, since starting adoption #2. Most regions are requiring this lovely step now, so I knew I probably wouldn't be able to dodge it. I didn't WANT to stress about it, and I told myself it was no big deal. But let's face it. Seeing 8 doctors that don't speak your language - not on your list of top things to do. If it is, we need to talk.

I was picked up promptly at 7am and off to the medical clinic we went. I left Rhonda in the hotel to sleep - *I* didn't want to go to the medical so I can't imagine her wanting to follow me around. She's touring the city with a tour company right now (highly jealous!!) It was quite a drive, I don't think we arrived until 7:45am or so. It was a very non-descript building that was very clean inside. Seriously, with the amount of snow and ice they get here, their floors are remarkably clean. The folks in Michigan could take some serious lessons from them. We proceeded down to the super secret big lady in charge's office that apparently only American families get to go in. I came to this conclusion after witnessing the icy stares of some of the other "patients" as we came and went as we pleased many times. That or wait, I *am* in Russia.

There was another family waiting inside the super secret office. The same family that I ran into on the elevator in the hotel last night. They had bags of McDonalds in their hands, weren't dressed in 100% black AND had welcoming smiles on their faces! So yes, I stalked them. However, I am a poor stalker because after that elevator meeting AND spending almost 3 hours (off and on, mostly off though in my defense) I still don't know their names. They're from Colorado though, if that helps. So we'll commence calling them Mr and Mrs Colorado. For now. Until I see them again and can stalk them further!

First stop for me - blood tests. ICK! I hate giving blood. I honestly had the choice of having all the blood tests run in the US and a chest x-ray as well. Then you have to carry them over and have them examined. So am I nuts for not doing this? Possibly - however, here was my logic. It was approximately $50 more to do it all here. The # of tests they run is comical. Between that and explaining to my insurance company why I needed a TUBERCULOSIS test, an HIV test, and every other communicable disease under the sun and then expecting said insurance agency to pay for it, and finding the TIME for all those aforementioned tests in the week and a half before I left -- wasn't going to happen. I was assured it was all clean and safe - and it was. Other than the 5 minutes it took the nurse to find a vein that she wanted to attack, it was about as easy as blood draws go. I'll give her props, once she liked what she saw, it was a tiny little pinch and then I felt nothing. And no, that doesn't mean I passed out! I didn't look at the 6 vials of blood being taken. Yes, I said 6. I know.

After the blood test, it was back to the super secret office. We were offered coffee, tea and a variety of chocolatey dessert type items. Not exactly what I'd expect in a medical clinic. I sampled one of the cookie type items, and I'll give it two thumbs up! My Nestle friends will be happy to hear that she of course served Nescafe. And she was highly impressed to hear that I worked for Nestle.

Step 2 was the an older female doctor who did two roles, infectious diseases and neurologist. Because those two so often go hand in hand? I didn't ask, it saved a step. Lots of questions, nothing major. She was very nice.

Step 3 was a chest x-ray for my new friend in infectious diseases. Shirt off, bra off, stand against a cold machine and hold your breath. Done. No TB. Yahoo.

Step 4 was upstairs for an EKG. Weird little suction cup stickers all over my chest, with shirt pulled up and bra un-done. The details are not to gross you out, but for those who may have to endure this in the semi-near future. Also, odd clamps on feet and wrists. Done in like 10 seconds. "Relax and breathe". Un-huh, sure. Whatever you say.

Step 5 was Psychologist - in the basement. I wonder if this was on purpose. No jumping out of windows, perhaps? My translator friend (who has now seen me shirtless essentially twice, poor girl!) provided him a copy of my homestudy and I had to answer 70 questions (true/false) about a variety of different things. Mostly how you feel. (Do you wake up rested, etc.) Some questions I openly laughed out loud when I was filling out the form. Thankfully he didn't see this part! Apparently, in Russia, I am sane. Thankfully!

Step 6 was 3 more doctors. I don't know why these 3 poor ladies all got lumped together. They were the "general doctor" (really? then why do I need the rest?), the dermatologist and the onocologist. Yes, I got felt up. By a chick. In Russia. Shirt off, bra off - stand up. Then down. Very typical breast exam. Blood pressure taken. Lots of questions asked.

DONE! We said our good-byes in the super secret office with the bigwig lady and we were out the door by 10:30am. Really, all in all not too shabby. And... if that weren't enough, I get a copy of my x-ray that's "good for two years". In case I want to adopt again. WHAT? No thanks, two is good!

We got to the baby home around 11:45am. Traffic stunk. Yet another big surprise for those of you who have been here before. Another difference between St Pete and Vlad? St Pete actually has traffic lights! Seriously!

Baby Soup came teetering again and was shy for about 2 minutes. My translator friend went off to make some phone calls (and clear her mind from seeing the breast exam, I am sure) and left Soupy and I to play. Same outfit today, with an added hoodie. Super cute, smiley boy again today. Not a single tear. At the end of our play date, I got to take him back to his room and see inside. VERY cute little room. He pouted when I had to leave, which of course, made mama happy. And sad.

From there we went off to the notary to sign the official paperwork to send into the court. Yahoo!!

Tomorrow is a Russian Holiday - Defenders Day. Thankfully, we received special clearance to go see the Soupmaster tomorrow. One more visit and then it's time to hit the road Thursday morning. Lots to do to get ready for a little boy who puts EVERYTHING in his mouth! And shopping. He's a chunkochunko, so with his weight, I assumed he'd be in a bigger size, but not so much. Mama needs to get her shopping on! Who wants to meet me @ Birch Run?


Michelle said...

Finally, another blogger from my home state! Glad to hear things are going well for you! I'm just starting out and hoping things move fast!! Your little guy looks like a lil' cutie...from the back any way =)

Sara said...

You're too funny! I'm glad you got the medicals over with, but it does sound like you had a good time doing them. :) Tell Soup we all love him and send me your shopping list - I'll get started on it while you're out. ♥

Gloria said...

What a great post! Glad the little guy is doing so well. Even happier to hear that the Mama is doing even better!

Tracey and Chuck said...

Just catching up on blogs....soooo glad to hear everythig is going great with your little boy!!! T will be so excited to get a baby brother! Safe travels back home and hoping for a quick court date!

Heather said...

I am so happy for you Amy! It sounds like everything is working out. I am loving the St. Pete - Vlad comparisons. Keep them coming!

Stacy, Pat and Aidan said...

Awwww. . . .I miss the chubby little hands stage. . .medical exam sounds much more interactive than it used to be! We did ours in Russia, but wow, no touching then! Baby Soup sounds adorable. . .

Jeanette said...

So glad we were able to avoid the medicals! You gave lots of good info though for those who have to do it. It's nice to know what is ahead!

Congratulations on being one step closer!!!

Becky and Keith said...

You had me laughing out loud! I'm sure your poor translator has done that a bazillion and one times! Glad Baby Soup was a happy kiddo today! :-)

Kristine~Lakeshore Cottage Living said...

Just like Becky, I laughed out loud too! so funny Amy. I so know your pain. I remember my exam in Moscow and our translator and guide for the exams barely got behind the screen while I had my shirt off. I think he saw me...yep...everything...well, at least from the waist up. Oh well. I guess that is the danger of being half naked in an open room, right? only in Russia....only in Russia.

findingourdaughter said...

Um, speaking of shopping.....I have to know his height/weight and sizes!!!
Love this post!
Wish I was following in your footsteps to find a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow!
Hugs and God bless!!

Sarah said...

Oh my, I can't wait to see his little face! Such a beautiful teaser pic!!! You are so awesome to go through all this again. Thanks for keeping us all posted!

Yvonne said...

Me me me... I want to meet you at Birch Run!! I need a girls shopping day... Connor man is with his daddy next weekend and I am off on Friday/Saturday.... let me know!! I am up for a road trip... cabin fever setting in... need sunshine!!! :)

Barb said...

Sounds like we had our exams done at the same place . . . here's my original post from that day: http://holmsweethomeblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/doctor-doctor-gimme-news.html

And here I posted one picture from the clinic http://holmsweethomeblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/this-shouldve-been-up-last-week.html

They were in the middle of remodeling when we were there 2 years ago . . . the entrance was very new and clean but the rest was in the midst of drywalling, tiling, etc.