Saturday, February 26, 2011

Health Check

(PICTURE: Huyen after her medical test.)

I'm not scared of hospitals or medical centers...but I am scared of sitting next to people who are coughing up a lung especially when there is a large "Tuberculosis Test Room" sign about two feet from me. To make this hypochondriac even more paranoid, I kid you not, upon arriving home from the medical center, there was an article on the cover page of about Tuberculosis being highly contagious and one of the largest killers of people in the world. Oh, the ends I go to to get my wife into America. Oh yeah, this post is about Huyen and not me....

Huyen needed to get her health check done before her visa interview. The Visa Medical Department was located in the back of a hospital in District 5 of Ho Chi Minh City. Upon entering the room, I had a slight case of deja vu from the day before -- the room was filled with people holding identical USA forms as us. Huyen had made a reservation for her check and was the sixth person to be seen that morning. The health check took about thirty minutes (I was counting the seconds as the person next to me kept coughing in my general direction). After Huyen finished her health check both of us became nervous because of two things all the other potential future American citizens told her. Those things were:

1. They were all taking their tests MONTHS ahead of their final interview. In fact, they were very surprised Huyen was doing hers just a few days before her final interview since they said if there's a problem she would need treatment before the interview. Although Huyen finished her health check, she was told that she wouldn't know if she passed until the next day. I'm not sure how these people were about to do this months before their interview since we were told just two weeks before ours about our date; I chalk this up to the Hanoi bias.

2. EVERY PERSON EXCEPT US had an immigration lawyer helping them. Huyen and I had gone through the whole process without a lawyer. However, this only made me slightly nervous since we had someone better than a lawyer advising us -- my friend Steve Song. As mentioned a couple of times on the blog, Steve had gone through this process with his wife Rushana the year before. Our situation was slightly different than Steve's but his advice was huge from start to finish.

Once we left the hospital we had twenty four hours to wait and see if Huyen was in tip top shape. We did what anyone in this situation would do, we went rock climbing...