You may recall that way back in January we had a little bit of a health scare. The prognosis was, and remains, extremely good. And because there was no hesitation to allow me to come back to Cotonou, we figured getting back my full worldwide medical clearance – the clearance I would need to join the Foreign Service (I’m on the Management register) – would be a snap. All we would have to do is fill out the paperwork.

Our first inkling that it might not be so simple came when Alex was bidding on her next tour. To our surprise, we were told I wasn’t fit to go to places that seemed far more developed and with far better medical facilities than Cotonou. It was even implied that it might be a couple of years before those places could be possibilities for me – meaning that my quest to join the Foreign Service would have to wait a long, long time and that I would have to go through the entire arduous testing process again.

Then we filed the paperwork to officially upgrade my medical clearance and this request, too, was denied.

Armed with what seemed like pretty clear regulations supporting my case, we appealed this denial. Thankfully, and much to our relief, we found out on Thursday that our appeal was approved. I once again have worldwide medical clearance.

So what does this mean? Well, it means that I am once again able to join the Foreign Service.

Now the tricky part is trying to find a way for Alex and me to be posted together. After some discussions with another Foreign Service Officer with far more experience than us in navigating the issue of tandem couples, we’ve decided that our best bet is for me to join A-100 as soon as possible. This could be as soon as January. Even though Alex won’t leave Cotonou until July and isn’t scheduled to get to her next post until September, we think that if I join as soon as possible, it will allow us more time to figure out a solution for arranging our next post together. It may mean more time separated now, but it could give us a better chance down the road.

There’s always a chance there won’t be an A-100 class in January this year, or even in March. If that happens, we’ll figure out a plan B. For now, though, we’re just going to take another day or two to enjoy overcoming one hurdle. Then we’ll start making plans to overcome the next.

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8 Responses to cleared

  1. Caitlin says:

    Wow – what amazing news for you Andy! I truly hope that the 170th will be your class as I’ll be on the Welcome Committee for y’all and would love to finally meet you after reading so much of your combined stories.
    Congrats again, not just to your health but also to your professional future.

  2. Daniela says:

    Wow, I am sorry it’s been so hard to get cleared again on top of everything else that you’ve been through! I am keeping my fingers crossed for you and hoping that you get in pronto and that there’s at least one position for you where Alex is going. My husband and I just went through that part of the process and were able to get posted together but it was stressful. Best of luck to you guys!

  3. CC says:

    So happy for you that you’re cleared!!!! The whole health / medevac / Med roller coaster is a tough one. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a smooth tandem process for you.

  4. Natasha says:

    Terrific news! I’m excited to hear about your next adventure.

  5. Jen says:

    Congrats, on the medical clearance. I have been reading your blog while my husband goes through the process. We are hoping for the January 2013 A100 class. Hope to see you there!

  6. Brooke says:

    Such good news! Oh, I’m so glad to hear that things are going better for you guys in the health department. Best wishes for lining up your tours!

  7. STMemory says:

    Great news that the clearance is back. And I truly wish you the best of luck with getting linked up. Some time of separation is probably realistic, but I hope it’s as short as possible. We were apart for 1 year. It was hard, but I really think that it was worth it. I’ll be rooting for you guys.

  8. Ladonna says:

    Wishing you all the best!

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