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Monday: sick kid, annoying doctors

Katie is under the weath­er, and after I real­ized she’d been exposed to strep throat last week I took her in to the doc­tor today.

See­ing the doc­tor took far less time than find­ing a doc­tor to see. Her “pri­ma­ry care provider” as des­ig­nat­ed on her insur­ance card wasn’t in her office. No prob­lem, I didn’t mind see­ing any of the oth­er four doc­tors in the prac­tice or even a nurse prac­ti­tion­er. We just need­ed a strep test, right?

Not so fast. They didn’t both­er to tell us this when I ini­tial­ly “inter­viewed” them, but Katie’s doc was the only one in the “fam­i­ly med­i­cine” prac­tice who sees any­body under 18 years of age.


I think their def­i­n­i­tion of fam­i­ly is off, to say the least.

They told us to go to the emer­gency room. I don’t think so! We’d still be there wait­ing, and we’d be con­tribut­ing to the over­crowd­ing that caus­es treat­ment delays for those who real­ly have emer­gen­cies.

I didn’t want to deal with that prac­tice any more, so I called the insur­ance folks to change providers. They’d be hap­py to do that, and the change would be effec­tive Octo­ber 1. Oh, we need­ed to see some­one today? Well, if Katie’s doc­tor was closed and nobody was see­ing her patients, we could go to the ER.

I’m begin­ning to under­stand why it took hours to be triaged when I went to the hos­pi­tal (and was even­tu­al­ly admit­ted) back in June.

I final­ly argued some­one into acknowl­edg­ing that she could make a change effec­tive imme­di­ate­ly, after which I called around to find a doc­tor who was
1) on the plan
2) accept­ing new patients
3) the real kick­er — will­ing to see Katie today.

She was miss­ing school already, and I want­ed to avoid hav­ing her miss anoth­er day if pos­si­ble. And hon­est­ly, by then it was A Thing. My child would see a doc­tor today!

I found one, called the insur­ance peo­ple back—and had to edu­cate the next rep­re­sen­ta­tive as to the fact that he could indeed make a pre­ferred provider change effec­tive today.

Final­ly, we went to see the doc­tor. I admit to ask­ing far few­er ques­tions than usu­al, but I was stil­ll floored when we walked in to the exam­in­ing room and I saw a home­path­ic ref­er­ence book sit­ting next to the doctor’s chair. (Yes, her chair. She sits in a rock­ing chair most of the time.)

Had I been seek­ing an alter­na­tive care provider, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have been able to find one. That wasn’t what I want­ed, though. I thought I was tak­ing my kid to a good, old-fash­ioned allo­path­ic prac­ti­tion­er and was giv­en no indi­ca­tion that she was any­thing else. (Don’t even start with me about how much old­er-fash­ioned herbal reme­dies are, much less home­opa­thy.)

Her ver­sion of tak­ing care of things was to give us a mess of arti­cles and emails print­ed out from Dr. Weil’s web site, some of them recipes for herbal reme­dies that we could choose from and “just try any of them.” My judg­ment from read­ing them: expen­sive exper­i­ments that the girl might or might not agree to even taste.

She did, at my insis­tence, do a strep test. The fast test was neg­a­tive. We should know some­thing about the nor­mal test in a day or two.

So now we’re look­ing for a doc­tor, again. This time I’ll be ask­ing, specif­i­cal­ly, if the prac­tice is “holis­tic” or not, as that seems to be a code word for “uses home­opa­thy.”

The girl has been soothed with Tra­di­tion­al Med­i­c­i­nals Throat Coat tea (which con­tains some of the same things rec­om­mend­ed by Dr. Weil), frozen fruit bars, Nyquil and lots of cud­dles.

I have noth­ing against herbal reme­dies, but I know how to read web sites, too. Very well, in fact. We don’t have to go to a doc­tor for that. We can even print out arti­cles right here at home! And, obvi­ous­ly, I don’t have any truck with home­opa­thy at all, and I will not trust the health of my child to a physi­cian who prac­tices that non­sense.

I sup­pose I’ll be on the phone a lot again on Tues­day!

On the pos­i­tive side, my girl has health insur­ance, so we weren’t wor­ry­ing about how to pay to get her to a doc­tor, as many peo­ple would be. I didn’t have to take her to the ER. She did get to see a doc­tor. She prob­a­bly doesn’t have strep throat, so we didn’t have to get on the “will she be aller­gic to this one” mer­ry­ground of antibi­otics.

The day did end on a more pos­i­tive note. Katie is sleep­ing bet­ter due to the Nyquil, and seemed much more cheer­ful after the tea and pops helped her throat a bit.

Sam picked up a new-to-us reclin­er via a gift­ing group. (I’ve want­ed anoth­er reclin­er since mine died a year or two back.) We had yum­my left­overs from his cook­ing yes­ter­day for din­ner (faji­tas) and he and I did a big gro­cery run togeth­er. I’m sit­ting here enveloped by the smell of the flow­ers he snuck in amongst the comestibles now. If I could put my hands on the digi­cam I’d post a pho­to, but I may have to be patient ’til tomor­row for that part.

A good part­ner makes a huge dif­fer­ence after a try­ing day!

1 comment to Monday: sick kid, annoying doctors

  • It’s real­ly quite sad that “holis­tic” car­ries over­tones of “whack­job”

    I’m glad the day end­ed bet­ter, though 🙂