Dan- It started about a month ago… our string of random oddities that has left us seeking the council of a physician. Dan had been working on a dealership and had a terrible reaction to the epoxy grout. When I say terrible, imagine sores all over his arms, legs and his face. They itched, were very painful and looked horrible. Dan used every over the counter product available but nothing worked. Finally, 2 days before Christmas, he noticed that his knee was swollen, looked red and felt hot. I had just started us with a local doctor for situations like this, trying to avoid the high cost of med centers/ER’s since we basically have no insurance to pay for it. I figured we would rather pay a Dr’s office than a hospital bill. I call the new Dr’s office only to find that they closed 10 min ago… it was 4:40pm 😦
We decided to watch it and see what happens. We assumed it was infected somehow but it didn’t seem to be rapidly growing. Dan talked to his parents and his dad insisted that he go to the Med Center that night. Dad came and got Dan and took him. They got back a couple hours later, the diagnosis… part of the terrible epoxy reaction. The doctor prescribed 2 types of medications to take orally and a prescription ointment.
Gerrit-Last week Sunday, it was a lazy day for the kids. I tried to catch up on housework and snow blow the driveway. Around 6, Gerrit complained that his back hurt. He had had a lot of stinkers that day and while I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, I had noticed that it was a weird color and not normal. He didn’t want to eat dinner because his stomach hurt and when it was time for bed, he went potty one more time. As I helped him pull his pj’s back on, I happened to glance in the toilet and what I saw surprised me… a puddle of pink. I told Dan to take a look and we both had the same idea… blood. I make a call to his dr’s office and talk with the after hours nurse. I tell her that he’s been acting fine all day except that he has been on the verge of diarhea, it’s weird colored and now we believe he peed blood. She decides we need to take him to the ER. “Wow” I say “The ER, huh? We can’t just take him to the Med Center?” She advises me that we should take him to the ER and not just any hospital… the one downtown with the pediatric unit would be best.
So off Gerrit & I go. Emma is asleep already so we decide that Dan should just stay home. As I drive in the crappy snow/ice covered roads, I think to myself that if I’d known I’d have to make so many trips to the hospital up a big giant hill, I would have waited to sell the Expedition. As I pray myself up the slippery hill, sliding and barely moving forward, I contemplate how much this is going to cost us and hope he’s ok.
We arrive and buddy has already fallen asleep in the van. I carry him akwardly thru the parking ramp and into the ER where there is a line. He’s starting to get heavy at this point but I can’t just lay him down on a bench and leave him while I check in. There’s a couple shady looking people hanging out there and I can’t leave my 4 year old alone. He keeps conking out on me and as the minutes tick by, I have to shift him back and forth as his head rolls back over and over again. Finally, we check in and after about 10 min, we get called back to the triage room. I tell them all the same symptoms as I did the nurse before and she tells me they’ll probably want a urine sample. We go back out to the lobby and wait. We had arrived shortly before 9pm and while they were a little busy, I wouldn’t say it was booming with sick people. As far as I could tell, our wait wouldn’t be long.
2 hours, 3 emergency trips to the bathroom and a urine sample later, I am pissed. The ER lobby is empty. EMPTY! People that came in long after us, that walked in, had already been called back. In fact, I saw a person that had been in the lobby when we came in, come back from being seen and discharged already! What the hell? I walk up to the front desk and ask them if we missed his name being called on one of our trips to the bathroom. She says no, things got messed up and a minute later we get called back.
Apparently, coming downtown for the ped’s unit was a complete loss because they had no beds open in the unit so we were sent to the general population. At this point, it’s 11pm and I am furious. As we sit and wait again for the doctor to come in, I listen as the ghetto chick next to us drops enough F-bombs and sh*t’s to satisfy a sailor for an entire year.
After spending a half hour listening to her loud and ignorant conversations, and watching the clock tick by as my son complains more and more of his stomach hurting, I feel like dropping some F-bombs myself. The intern comes in and spends about 5 min checking him out. She asks good questions and looks him over then tells me she’s going to consult with the resident.
A couple minutes later, he comes in and tells me that there wasn’t any blood in his urine sample. I agree and tell him that it wasn’t anywhere near the same color as what was in the toilet at home almost 4hrs ago. He says that he thinks Gerrit just needs to drink more water and that we should go home. Excuse me? WTF? I’m confused… so what did we see? That wasn’t blood? He tells me that he can’t say that for sure because he didn’t get to see it but they didn’t find any traces of blood cells in his urine now. So he’s thinking he’s fine and he’s looking at me like I’m a ridiculous mother who just rushed her son to the ER when all he needed was another glass of water today.
I’ve reached my limit now. I’m miserable with my own sickness, it’s 11:40pm, I drove through crap to get here and I’ve just wasted almost 3 hrs of my life sitting in a hospital which is going to cost me an absurd amount of money and now the doctor is telling me there is nothing wrong. Now, on the one hand, I’m delighted that my son is fine. That’s what every mother hopes and prays for. But why the hell did the nurse tell me I needed to go to the ER if all they needed to do was a freaking urine sample???
I’m passed the point of politeness and the doctor can tell I’m fuming. He tries to make me feel better by saying that I can at least sleep easy now tonight knowing nothing is wrong. No, not really doc… I still don’t know why my son peed something completely resembling blood and now I get to think about a ginormous bill I get to pay in a month. Sleep easy was a few hundred dollars ago. He does all the pacifying and justifying he can do about why I was told to come there and then leaves. We get discharged and I’m left simmering to myself.
Chris- It seems as though sickness has taken over my body. It might have been something resembling a viscous cold but has migrated into a horrible green sinus infestation. My sinus’ are angry and there seems to be nothing I can do to appease them. It started about 2 weeks ago and has grown and wained back and forth. A week ago, I hit a wall… it was so bad that it was now leaking out my eyes while I slept. I awoke to find my eyes both crusted shut with the same substance that has been living in my sinus cavities. Awful. I got 6 days worth of antibiotics from my sister and some eyedrops used for pink eye. I didn’t think I actually had pink eye but I was willing to try anything.
I finished the antibiotics on Wednesday and felt like I was on the mend even if I wasn’t fantastic but everyday seems to be a slow decline back to the original sinus war. I refuse to go to the doctor after all these bills. I have a distinct feeling that if I were to go, he would say I’m on the recovering end of this travesty and prescribe amoxycillian. In my experience, amoxycillian is about as useful as Pez and won’t do anything. And so I suffer, waiting to get better. Hoping everyday when I open my eyes, there won’t be gunk in them, my nose will be clear and my throat will no longer be raw and my head not feel like it’s in a vice.