Thursday, July 17, 2008

5:44 PM

NS medical checkup

But first, yesterday's happenings.

Yesterday was the first training some of my classmates, namely wjc, Gab, kwek and chao. After some persuading, wjc finally relented to join me and Gab for a 4km run around the school. Kwek and chao went to do some fart legs in school.

wjc was quite fit lah, mainly in the lead most of the time. I had to walk in two instances as I was simply too tired. Probably long time din train plus I was not used to the uneven pavements. I really have to thank Gab for encouraging me to complete the entire length, for if not I would have given up much earlier.

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This was what I got two weeks ago regarding the NS pre-enlistment checkup. Kinda counts down to the number of days I have before I have to "serve my country".


So today I went with 11 other guys from our class to Central Manpower Base at Bukit Merah. We planned it all along to make our appointments coincide on the same day and time. Hong Hao told me Ms Shahida found the class "more soothing and peaceful" without us. I guess we cannot verify that. haha

I also happened to meet Dickson Sim there. A former NYJCian, he was in charge of Innovations until last year and the organiser of the 2007 film festival. He was serving NS as a front-line counter staff at the office entrance. Only a minute of conversation before I had to move on. Its really a small world.

The people there are subjected us to a huge battery of tests.

1. The phototaking, got to wear a bogus army uniform and take a picture without spectacles. Passed this smoothly, obviously.

2. Urine test. Well, had to do it into a small cup in the toilet. It was quite easy, dunno why Hong Hao said so hard to aim. His "marksmanship" sure gone case one, LOL.

We had to dip a paper tester into the urine to check for maybe certain boldily chemicals?

3. Drawing blood. I was abit nervous about this as this was the FIRST TIME something was taken out of me. All this while, I was ok with injections. The officer tied a glove around the top of my right arm. Then I closed my eyes as he pierced the needle of the vacuum plunger into my vein. After two seconds, I opened my eyes and looked. Hmm, not bad, my blood coursing into the approximately 10ml tube was abit "exciting". Took about 10 seconds, slapped a plaster and it was over.

Must hammer HH again. The officer sucessfully found the vein in the first try. Dunno why he said it took FOUR times for him. Made us all unduly worried.

I'm sorry if Gabriel and Guo Hao was unduly alarmed by my facial expression. Thats my natural look only. (Just like my natural relaxed look is that of a smile.)

4. Think the next was audio. Wore a headphone in a soundproof room. Then the operator tuned sounds of different frequences into different ears. Raised the corresponding hands in turn. First time feel like a band conductor! PES A for this. An explanation of the PES status is here.

5. Visual. Check eyesight lah, what else? This was slighly different. After a colour blindness test, the attendant asked me to read out the letters with my spectacles on. After I successfully read off the smallest letters, he just took my spectacles and measured the refractivity off it using a machine. Quite efficient sia! PES A for this station.

6. Chest X-Ray. We had to take off our shirt as we took the X-ray. Something like the mammogram done on women as shown in advertisements.

7. Dental. A dentist checked the teeth. He was reading out weird numbers to his assistant, probably indicating the conditions of teeth positions. Then he said my teeth had a weird colour? Huh? Dunno... I was one of the few who had to take a dental X-ray. Maybe to check for the presence of a wisdom tooth?

8. Electrocardiogram. Topless from here on. We took turns to lie on a bed as a medical officer placed about 6 suction sensors on our chest to measure our heart rate. All was fine. We were all surprised that wjc had a slight problem here. He was given an interim PES D pending a hospital appointment.

But its good to detect any potential problems early. Rather than to suffer the dreadful consequences in the field considering the recent spate of NSmen collapse incidents.

7. Height/Weight and blood pressure. I measured 167cm and 45kg. I used to rate myself 168cm and 46kg. Slightly deproved! Many of them also received slightly deproved readings. The blood pressure machine was abit "strong" lah. I though the pressure might even cause my blood to flow out from the plaster (which still ache till now). Thankfully nothing happened.

8. Hmm... What do I call this station? Aha! "Confirmation of being a male station" would be the right answer! (Female viewers please skip this if you cannot take it, you have been warned!)

Went into a room, then the MALE officer told me to pull down my shorts and underwear. He took a quick look and told me pull it back up. No inspection or whatever. Maybe its to verify the presence of that "package" to sieve out any females who pass of as a male? Besides, I wonder how those people can take it by looking at hundreds of "packages" everyday? Must be really numb to it liao!

He said since I was underweight, I was given PES B for the overall checkup!

9. IQ, visualisation ability, language, physics, memory, maths, interests etc tests to determine which part of NS I would go. It was here that I finally got to put on my shirt!

This station was the longest at about 1.5 hours. We had to answer a series of questions on a computer terminal. Some abit no meaning and some that just made me almost tear my head off. There's only so much thinking I can do in such a short time before I cease the ability to concentrate.

So it was all over in the afternoon! Back to school tomorrow!

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Came to life on 5 September 1990



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