11 December, 2009

Another fact of life for missionaries

Yesterday and today our family have trooped over to the other side of Brisbane for medicals. We cannot go back to Japan unless we pass these. This morning I also had a lovely blood test before breakfast. At least this time we don't require x-rays.
We have frequent medicals - as in every two years. Talking with a friend in the armed forces the other day, we figured out that the medicals our mission requires are more detailed than the Australian armed forces require! OMF International really does value its human resources and does a good job of making sure its workers are physically up to the rigours of missionary life. Of course, work in Japan is quite different to work in rural Cambodia. In Cambodia a small medical issue can require airlifting out! So yesterday when I sat down with the doctor's practice nurse he was quite puzzled as to why we had these detailed medicals to do. Basically it comes down to a blanket policy across the board, no matter where you work. However, you might be surprised at some of the difficulties we have encountered with the Japanese medical system. Some areas of the system are very modern, but others are less so. After our second son was born in Japan, it was such a difficult experience that we did our very best to have our third child in Australia (I could write a whole series of posts on having a child in Japan!) So there are medications which we easily get across the counter here in Australia, but which require doctor's prescription in Japan. Then again in Thailand, I know, there are some very powerful drugs available without doctor's prescriptions! The other thing I was surprised by was the exclamation at my waist size and BMI. I haven't changed much in weight or size since these medicals began 12 years ago, but this is the first time someone exclaimed at how "not fat" I am! Amazing, particularly as I'm not actually terribly skinny. Scary, though, that the doctor rarely sees BMIs under 25!

1 comment:

Janet said...

My BMI is usually sitting on or maybe just above 25. Yet I don't think I'm overweight or fat at all ... sometimes I wonder how good a measure the BMI really is.