After 2 days of exhaustively thorough tests in Skopje I arrived back in Kriva Palanka Friday evening. The diligent Dr. Darko called me late Friday night after hearing the results of my knee MRI…the orthopedic surgeon in Skopje is recommending surgery. I’ve apparently torn the medial meniscus (cartilage) of the knee that had the lateral meniscus removed almost 40 years ago. All of the medical records (with translations) have been sent to Washington where they will make the decisions. If they agree that surgery is required they will 1) fly me back to Washington, D.C. for treatment, 2) fly me back to ‘home of record’ (and I’m not really sure if that’s Tampa, where I actually live or Atlanta, which is the city from which I departed), 3) fly me to Thailand. OR, my personal preference 4) disagree with the Skopje Dr. and I don’t need any further treatment……..OK, I can hope!
The thing about the Peace Corps is they have policies and procedures like any government agency, and one of them is that if you are ‘out of country’ for more than 45 days, you get a medical separation……meaning you’re done. Someone goes into your apartment and ships all your stuff home and the last 20 months of application, evaluation, interviews, medical tests, travel, training, study, and cultural adjustment are all down the tubes.
So maybe my last blog was wrong……maybe the low point is yet to come. Or maybe I’ll be flown someplace, treated, rehabbed, and back in-country to continue my service a little bit better for the ‘accident’. I really feel like I’m becoming productive here, and I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be….so I have to view this as an ‘interruption’, an ‘inconvenience’, an ‘unfortunate accident’. But I keep reminding myself that I ‘don’t get a vote’ and that’s why I’m ‘holding’ from the title of this blog.
Dr. Darko says I’m not allowed to go to work tomorrow so another boring day on the couch is in front of me….’holding’. има време….that’s Macedonian for ‘have time’.