After having an extremely difficult time finding the correct medical clinic this morning (I'm still working on that post about public transportation, which will help you understand why we didn't know where to get off the bus!), we finally did make it and meet up with Valentina, who was supposed to be helping us through all the hoops. From what Kelly had told us, we knew that getting medical approval included seeing somewhere between 8 and 10 specialists who signed off on various aspects of our health, and seeing most of them included a very long wait outside their office door. We got there later than intended, around 9:00, and so the lines were longer than we'd hoped.
Upon our arrival, Valentina said that she had to get back to work, so she was just going to get us started at the first door and then leave us to figure out the rest on our own! This, of course, meant that Justin would have to be using his Russian skills to talk about medical things, and he was NOT excited about that. However, we didn't have much choice and so he bravely agreed to do the best he could.
We waited with Valentina outside the first door for at least 30 minutes, just to get into the first secretary who gave us our paperwork and told us the next 2 doors to go to. The first two stops were the two I had most been dreading - having blood drawn! I have been known to pass out when having blood drawn before, so I was a little afraid that this may turn into an ordeal. However, I was feeling pretty calm, and we waited for another 30 minutes outside that door before we finally got in. The phlebotomist seemed very friendly and Justin answered all of her questions in Russian. She took our blood and we were fine. Praise the Lord!
Our next stop was to go upstairs to another room where she would just do a finger prick to take more blood. There was no line at that door, and we arrived in there at 10:05. She did our finger pricks and that was fine (although it HURT!), but she said she also needed to take a urine sample before we could do our next stop, but they stopped accepting urine samples at 10:00. Sooooo... We had to leave and we'll need to go back early tomorrow. However, Kelly told us that the first two stops are the only blood they'll take, so we got the two we had been dreading out of the way today.
Tomorrow, apparently most of the stops will just be answering questions and getting physical exams, which we feel fine with. Valentina will also be available to stay with us tomorrow, so she'll be able to help Justin understand the Russian. So altogether it was a successful morning, although we didn't get as much accomplished as hoped. Please pray for us tomorrow, that we can get all the rest of the stops finished and get this medical part of our permit completed!