We passed the 8 doctor medicals today. For those of you in process and wondering what this means...here's what happens. First, a guy in a velvet purple jacket and cane welcomes you to his factory...Seriously, the process took 5 hours, but this included waits for doctors and waiting for a letter from the director (required by our region). You are with a translator so you're not on your own to figure out what to do. The first doctor was the psychiatrist who basically said "I hope that you don't drink too much." Then we said "no." Then, "I hope that you have good relationships with each other and family." Then we said "okay." and then he said "done." He counts for two doctors as he signs off as the doctor that talks to you about drugs and alcohol as well as mental health. The next doctor was the general physician who took my blood pressure, listened to me breathe, listened to my heart, tapped my belly and told me I was fit and very young looking (I think she needs to see an eye doctor). I can't recall the order of the others, but the neurologist checked our reflexes, looked at our tongues and had us follow her hammer with our eyes. The infectious disease doctor asked us if we had childhood vaccinations. The pulmonologist listened to our lungs and looked at our x-rays. She told me that my heart is too small (this place is odd I tell you). The dermatologist said "do you have problems with your skin?" We said "no" and she said "I'm not going to look at you" and signed the papers. The oncologist does a breast exam so be prepared. John said her office mate couldn't help but stare at my boobs (I mean who can blame her...I am so young and fit,right?). She also checked lymph nodes. We also had to do labwork (they said Russians don't trust our labs), but don't worry the needles and syringes came straight out of new packages. I think she took three vials. No big deal. Anyway, you basically go up and down the tiny crowded elevator (sadly, not an awesome glass elevator) going to different doors with lights on them (red or green) telling you if anyone is with the doctor. Unlike U.S. doctors where they come out and get you, these doctors wait for you to come in the office and they tell you to come in or come back. The office for the exam is actually their office...I mean it's a tiny room with a desk, a chair, maybe a plant, and an exam table. They often share this office with one other person. It feels like your going to see your professor except this professor might probe you a little or ask you odd questions (my college professors didn't do this, maybe yours did). There is a tiny divider that blocks the door from the room (so when the door is open everyone doesn't see your boobs...or like me I suggest you quickly turn around so you face a window instead of a door where people are outside waiting in chairs for the light to turn green). The process is scary, not because of what they do but because I had a horrible fear that they would find some deal-breaking issue I didn't know about. I don't think anyone can help but worry about this. Anyway, in the end there's nothing to worry about really. It's just some kind of freaky medical Willy Wonka thing. Oh, I didn't mention that the doctors/nurses still wear ridiculous high heels and fancy clothes under their "fitted" lab coats. My doctor at home wears orthopedic shoes. Sticklers for fashion even at the medical center.
After our probing by the Oompa loompas we walked down to Arabat for dinner. We ate at the pizza and Sushi restaurant again...the pizza is good...no waitress in a kimono this time :( We did a little shopping and came back to our hotel (but not before I slipped on the ice...see I told it would happen). No worries, I am fine. In fact BETTER THAN FINE. We leave tomorrow night and take the overnight train to our region. SOON BABY BEE!! SOON!!