Monday, April 28, 2014

Green Card Medical Examination Day!

Today was doctor day in the ongoing process of us getting our green cards to stay in the US permanently.
I have had problems obtaining all of my vaccination history as no where in the UK seemed to still have my medical records. The doctor in England denied having them and the doctor I went to until I was 21 no longer had any records either. I was given some sparse information before we left the UK and had to rely on that. I knew I was missing some vaccinations and that I would need to have them done again. So on Friday I went to see my own doctor for my annual well check and had her give me a Hep B shot and MMR shot. As it was part of my check up I will not be billed anything. (I also had the usual blood sugar check and cholesterol check).

This morning we checked, and double checked, all of our paperwork and got it ready to go. The kids went to school as they normally do but with a note for their teacher that we would be picking them up at 9am to go to the appointment. I had been told on the phone that it would be about 30 minutes per person, so 2 hours in total. We arrived at the office at 9:15am and our appointment was scheduled for 9:30am. For the green card medical you can only have it done with a Civil Surgeon listed on the USCIS website and there are only about a dozen in the whole of South Carolina so there was not much to choose from for us. In the end we went for the one closest to us as it was just easier. There was one slightly cheaper and that did a different rate for kids but calculating gas and time to get there and back, it made more sense to go to one closer to our home.

We went into it with me telling the kids they wouldn't need any shots and I was really hoping that I would not be proven wrong. I would have really moany/whiney/complaining kids if they did end up needing to have a blood test or a shot. Ben ended up needing to get a MMR shot also but this one would need to be paid for ($125) as the Civil Surgeon did it. As neither of us had any proof we have had chicken pox we also needed to have a titre test to check our blood for chicken pox, this is $55 each. If it comes back saying we need the shot then that will be another $175 each. Fingers crossed we don't need the varicella vaccine.

Both Ben and I had the BCG vaccination when we were teenagers, although only my records had the date for it, but we all, including the kids, needed to have the TB skin test. The kids had a regular test but Ben and I had a milder skin test due to having the BCG vaccination. K really did not like having the skin test. She. Freaked. Out. She was not a happy bunny. Z on the other hand just lay on the bed and asked the doctor when she was going to be doing the test only to be told that she had done it already.

At this point I thought we were all done. I was wrong. I had got a list of the kids complete vaccination history from their pediatrician and it showed they were up to date on everything. There was even a box checked showing they had had chicken pox and when they had it. This should be enough right? Nope. To make sure USCIS are happy with it all, I was told to go back to the pediatrician office and ask for a letter on headed paper saying that the kids have both had chicken pox and as a result do not need the varicella vaccination or titre blood test. The doctor could have just done the titre test on the kids but after K's hissy fit following the TB test the doctor didn't want to. I went to the pediatricians office and asked them to do a letter and they said they'd do one with a particular wording and would let me know when they have faxed it. I have not heard anything from them so will check up on it when I call tomorrow to get a prescription for Z's meds. We are due to go back to the Civil Surgeons office on Wednesday afternoon for the results of our TB skin test, the titre tests for chicken pox and the blood tests to see if either Ben or I have syphilis!, so I hope I get the letter sorted before then. I REALLY don't want to tell the kids they need a shot! I want to go there and be told all is good and leave with the sealed envelopes that we can send off to the lawyers. I want that to happen because then it will be done and out of our hands. We will have done everything we can do. The only thing left after that we would need to do is go for finger prints.

Keep your fingers crossed dear readers!

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