Friday, January 21, 2011

Something Is Wrong With This Picture

Let me start this post off by saying that everything is just fine.  And we are truly thankful for that.  Now for my rant.

Fritter has been sick with a stomach flu-like bug off and on for three weeks.  I've hesitated taking him into the doctor, because besides making sure he's not dehydrated (which we have worked very hard on this whole time) I knew there wasn't much they could do.  But when he threw up again on Tuesday night, I felt three weeks was long enough, and took him into his pediatrician to make sure it wasn't something more than just a flu virus.

The PA we saw was very understanding to my concerns, and checked him out pretty thoroughly.  She then decided to run some tests, blood work and X-rays among others.  Thankfully my dear husband was able to get a few hours off from work to come help me, especially with the X-rays.

After a morning spent in waiting rooms, we made it home in time for lunch and naps while I fearfully sat in front of the phone waiting for news of the worst.  When the call finally came, we were told the X-rays showed something that could be serious, but maybe not, and they wanted us to pack a bag for Fritter and take him immediately to the children's hospital here.  We were told they would call ahead so our wait in the ER would be limited (she was afraid of exposing us to yet another flu virus), and would send our test results over to speed things up.

Once there we learned that the PA did indeed call ahead for us, but it made no difference.  She did not make sure any test results were sent over, so my poor Fritter had to undergo another set of tests.  Which meant more waiting, more frustration (not to mention the cost to our insurance company).

After about 4 hours of waiting in a crowded room, and having been told Fritter could have nothing to eat or drink in case they needed to do further tests, I managed to get them to give him some pedialyte.  After another 2 1/2 hours we were finally told that everything was fine, there was no sign of anything serious and we could go home.  We waited another 1/2 hour for them to finish up paperwork and let us leave.

Fritter finally had dinner around 11pm Wednesday night and then was scooted off to bed, safe and warm.

So many things are wrong with this scenario, and my frustration grows the more I think about it.  In the end, I'm very grateful that Fritter is ok.  I will be even more hesitant to take him to the doctor next time he gets sick (though I think waiting three weeks was more than prudent).

After telling this story to a few friends last night, I was amazed to find every one of them had a similar story.  The lady with the daughter who had the $400 flu, the lady who was made to feel like a bad mother for waiting to take her daughter in only to (again) find that it was nothing serious, the lady whose doctor asked her what she thought was wrong, because he didn't have a clue.  There is something seriously wrong with this.  And the waste!  Of money, of time, of health from being forced to sit in an ER while the patients become sicker.

*sigh*.  I don't have any answers, just frustrations.  I'm glad he's fine.  In the end, that's what really matters.


Kate said...

Oh, dear! It is such a shame that you(and especially your poor little sick boy) had to go through all of that!!!But I am so glad to hear Fritter is okay!


Anonymous said...

Uggg. This is all so familiar. We had pretty much the exact same thing happen with us. Except it was for RSV...Long story short we ended up paying the hospital doctors $250 for them to barely look at the X-ray we had brought for them. Never talk to the Radiologist about the report. And tell us "we have no idea why your doctor would have sent you here" even though they were supposed to call ahead. And then get billed $165 to suck his boogers. They didn't even prescibe a breathing treatment for our little guy. Boo. Sorry to hear about your experience. It is disgusting that people go through this scenario so often.


Leila@LittleCatholicBubble said...

Ugh!! I've had similar frustrations!! Made me want to explode!!