ID Action and the Doctor’s Office

So, a few things to share today. First of all, I can happily report that our boy Mthandazo’s multi-visit journey through Home Affairs in pursuit of his ID appears to have been a success. As reported in my last blog, he and his mom had to return to Home Affairs this past Monday to complete his interview aimed at proving that he is indeed who he says he is. He passed the interview and now simply needs to wait about seven weeks to receive a spanking new, official birth certificate. From there, applying and receiving his ID number should be a formality. Yee hah! The next thing we need to do is to look into the process and options for post-secondary. I think I’ve mentioned before that he wants to be a teacher (and Geography, at that!) so we need to figure out where and how that can happen.

In other news, I returned to the doctor’s office yesterday. She’s concerned that I’m still on the shelf. I had some blood work done and should get the results today or tomorrow. If yesterday’s blood work doesn’t point to something, the doctor here is recommending a whole battery of other tests. All these medical costs are out of pocket as my emergency medical insurance doesn’t cover ongoing treatment of this sort. I have certainly gotten a taste of the more desirable half of two-tiered health care. Because I can pay to access private health care, I can usually see the doctor the same day, or next day at the most. She’s always been extremely thorough, has called me personally to explain test results, and gives her cell number out on her office voice mail. On the flipside, I waited for hours and hours with a child at a community clinic that is only staffed by one or two LPNs. However, the fact that South Africa has community clinics puts its health care way above the other countries Hands at Work operates in.

In any case, I’m told all the possible tests that I may need done will likely cost many thousand rand. It’s beginning to look like an early trip home might be in the since I am a card carrying member of Alberta Health Care. As well, though I’ve been reluctant to admit it, I think I would ultimately recover better at home. My accommodation here at Hands is very comfortable but I have a hard time sleeping in the heat. That being said, things have cooled down considerably the past few days and May pretty much marks the start of winter. It’s also tough being here and not being able to really be part of the work. Lying around all day has been so frustrating. I still have almost three months here, which seems like forever. The past seven months have been life changing and I don’t really want to go. At the same time, it’s been over four months since I was diagnosed with the mono and I haven’t gotten much better. Anyway, I will make the decision when the time comes.

In other news, my friend Emily had me and the other certified soccer nut here at Hands, Jaap the Dutchman, over to watch Champions League. Man United beat Chelsea 1-0. It was such a treat to watch the game. It’s nice sometimes to be cut off from things like TV because when I do get a chance to watch a game, it’s a real event. Everything is so “instant access” back home, it’s good to yearn for the sight of Sir Alex Ferguson’s ruddy Scottish docklands face and Didier Drogba’s constant pouting. Anyway, I’ll update you on what tomorrow brings.

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One Response to ID Action and the Doctor’s Office

  1. Jennifer says:

    I hope you feel better soon Chris!

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