Sunday, February 5, 2012

Can of Worms: The Basic Scoop

Though not all of my initial questions have been answered, I have a better idea of what RPCV is trying to accomplish.

She served in a Latin American country a handful of years before I was born. I understand that she was never medically evacuated during or medically separated from her service; however, she continues to suffer lasting effects within her physical body--related directly to things she contracted from her PC service. She has had quite the frustrating and discouraging experience attempting to find adequate care for these conditions. Likewise, she has known many other RPCVs to be in the same state, and sometimes worse off than she is. She feels mistreated and neglected by the PC and is hoping that "going public" will cause PC to change and improve service those who have suffered for the cause.

I hope that she found encouragement and faith in my words when I explained a few positive things I witnessed while at headquarters.

(1) The newly hired and instated Victim Advocate rocks. She was another person I never would have thought to communicate with, but Ed knew better and introduced us personally. Volunteers are told that her main duty is to respond to and support victims of sexual assault, but she firmly believes that she is paid to help any and every volunteer who might benefit from her services. The victim advocate was also quite instrumental in helping me understand my options and how to make my desires known.

(2) OMS (office of medical services) was the hardest one for me to handle emotionally. However, once I stated my separation status wishes to my IHC (international healthcare coordinator), she was faithful to communicate that to the decision-making team. In the end, they separated me as I desired.

I was transparent with RPCV, as I am with you. I wrote:

"There was a time during my first med evac in Dakar, Senegal, that I literally thought I was going to die. I remember very clearly lying in the bed at the PCMO crying because I was so sad for my parents and sisters who I would be leaving behind, and feeling guilty because all I really wanted to do was to die. Praise the Lord that He sustained my life and I am now "recovered," typing this message to you. At this point, I am doing fine. i do suffer problems that I did not suffer before service, and that I know are directly linked to my service. But the medical doctors cannot do anything about them anymore. No one really can. It's not anyone's fault and no one is responsible for them. They're just a fact of life now.
'The first wealth is health,' Hippocrates wrote. Yes, I am bummed that I am still suffering physically. But, in a sense, I knew that I was signing up for those risks. And I cannot imagine not finishing that which I've started. Therefore, I am attempting another term in a safer place, physically speaking: Jamaica."

More thoughts on my opinion of what [perhaps little] I understand about RPCV's cause to come...

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