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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 5AM email

As I mentioned previously, a PC nurse reviewer had requested "one last" medical report and I had mailed it on 11/17/10. I checked the tracking number yesterday and learned that it was at the Washington, DC post office as of 11/29/10. WHAT? It took 12 days for a first class envelope to go from Philadelphia, PA to Washington, DC? No wonder I hadn't heard from the nurse reviewer since 11/19 when the post office had suggested the envelope should arrive at Washington, DC. I settled back into my "wait" mode. But each day dawns anew - - -
Following the blogs of others gave me the basis for a feeling of excitement when I opened my email in-box this morning and saw that I had received a message from PC. It had been sent at 5AM and it stated that "Peace Corps has updated your Application Status account." I immediately opened my PC Toolkit and saw that the Medical Hold had been removed and in its place it stated that, "Peace Corps is currently reviewing your medical documentation."
Well, that certainly feels like good news, but is it true progress? The original Legal Hold is still there.
So, for now, I'll have to retreat back into my "wait" mode. However, this time with an increase in my general anxiety level because a check of PC Wiki indicates that a staging date of January 27 has been posted for my original nomination region (Eastern Caribbean). I have waited waited 40 years to become a serious PC applicant so I suppose another few days are tolerable.
Hopefully, it is no longer a matter of months and not even weeks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nut'n to do but wait - again (!)

Recent communications (phone calls and e-mails) from a PC Nurse Reviewer were great for clarifying what I needed to do in order to get my medical packet totally complete and ready for Placement staff to evaluate and recommend an invitation. Also, during those exchanges I was able to glean just a few more tidbits of information regarding where my application was within the evaluation process. Additionally, I managed to engage the Nurse Reviewer in some discussion about her own experiences as a volunteer and what she recalled about the experiences of her fellow volunteers during this process. She was quite personable and open to sharing helpful information. She told me that my packet, although quite lengthy due to my age and resultant long medical history, was "one of the most complete packets" that she has seen. She congratulated me and my medical resources for having been so thorough in getting it all together and submitted. She had two minor requests in order to totally complete the packet and have it ready for clearance. She requested a copy of a previous lab test that my physician had reported in my packet and an updated audiology report because I had an audiology exam last spring (2010). I followed up on every request within the following two weeks.
My PC Timeline has been updated to reflect everything to date.
NOW, however, I am once again right back in "The Big Wait" with nothing to do but check PC Wiki and read the blogs of others as a means of coping with my RAS.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Does any information indicate progress?

A nurse reviewer has been calling and e-mailing me over the past three weeks.
This is a welcomed development following 13 weeks of waiting after PC received my medical packet.
I have updated my Timeline twice in the past week to reflect these new developments.
Blogs from other applicants also in "The Big Wait" indicate that PC is presently prioritizing those who are projected to leave for staging in January 2011. Also, one blog stated that the review/invitation cut-off has been changed from 6 weeks to 8 weeks prior to staging. Interesting news, eh?
Hopefully, after I submit the recently requested additional information to the nurse reviewer, PC will proceed with the full review and approval of my medical packet. At least the nurse reviewer was amenable to me engaging her in some additional questions about the process and she assured me that I am well within the PC timeline for me to be on track for my original nomination program & region.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sometimes the message is in the action

I have been somewhere in "The Great Wait" following submission of my medical packet on 08/06/2010 and eagerly anticipating a formal invitation to serve. My RAS (Restless Applicant Syndrome)has fluctuated, but generally worsened as time passed oh so slowly. I awake every day thinking / hoping "Perhaps today will be the day I hear from the Peace Corps." I have sent e-mail inquiries occassionally, the most recent being last Friday (10/29/2010). All to no avail.
When my phone rang today and my caller ID displayed an area code 202 number, I was elated. The caller identified herself as Diane and she explained that she is a nurse reviewer at PC Headquarters. she said that she had two questions about my medical packet. 1) Could I have my doctor's office send a copy of the lab results for one of the tests I had when completeing the medical packet. 2) Additionally, she asked if she could (snail) mail another form for me to have my audiologist complete regarding my hearing test.
I immediately acquiesced to both requests and then asked her if I could ask her a few questions. She agreed and we proceeded to have a wonderful conversation ranging from her congratulating me on how complete my submission had been and the status of my packet to discussing her own Peace Corps application, training and service experiences as a fellow age 50+ volunteer. She assured me that I am well within the time frame for my original nomination and that my file is moving along appropriately per PC protocol. (A strong, but silent "Well allll riiigghht!" on my part).
The outcome being that the review nurse making a call for further clarification provided me with 1) assurance that my file is actually being looked at, and, 2) my application process is not lost in limbo somewhere in "The Great Wait."
That's all I need to know for now. My RAS has diminished already.