Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. Here I sit, anxiously awaiting a promised call from the doctor on duty at the Urgent Care I took my littlest Patriot to yesterday. I have called twice and still have not received a call back.
Two nights ago, in the middle of the night, our 7 year old went to the bathroom and had blood in his urine. Just a few drops, but still very alarming. He wasn’t having pain, didn’t have a fever and said he felt o.k. otherwise. First thing yesterday morning I called our Pediatrician’s office. This is when I learned that our doctor’s practice has been bought up by a huge local State “medical foundation”. I was re-routed to a new number for an office within this medical foundation, that handles all of the Pediatric offices they now own. A woman who I could barely understand answered the phone. I was hoping to speak with someone *in* our Pediatrician’s office, maybe an advice nurse, to ask what they recommended and hopefully to let them know we were coming right in to be seen. Instead, I was now stuck with this person on the phone who had to repeat everything several times in order for me to understand what she was trying to say to me. She would not transfer me to the actual office. I first had to go through all of the details with her. I told her that as of this morning, my son was now telling me that he was having pain and it was difficult to urinate.
“I give you one appointment. 7:45 p.m.” she said.
“There are four other doctors in the same practice, can one of them see him sooner?” I asked.
“No. There no more appointment.”
She then proceeded to tell me that a doctor at yet another location (and don’t even ask me what the name was as it had about 17 consonants and one vowel) could see him in the afternoon. I declined as I don’t want to take my child to someone I know nothing about. I just wanted to see our doctor who we trust and who knows my son’s medical history.
We live in a nice area, but being California, it’s obviously super liberal. The county we live in is also unfortunately Hippie-ville. We have had enough experience with the healthcare in our county to know that it is too “organic” for our taste, which is why we travel 25 miles to see our regular healthcare providers. You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, but it really does. However, faced with my son in discomfort yesterday and being highly alarmed about the blood, I wanted him to be seen immediately. I called my husband at work and asked, “Do I dare take him over to the Hippie Urgent Care”??
We’ve both gone there for minor emergencies over the years. We’ve had good and bad results…. In the end we decided to keep the 7:45 p.m. appointment with our regular Pediatrician just in case, but go give the Hippies a try in the meantime and see if we lucked out with a decent doctor.
My little guy and I arrived at the Hippie Urgent Care. I wondered if I was wasting my time. Would they send us home with a jar of organic honey? I just prayed someone good would be on duty. Upon check-in, the receptionist was looking up my son’s name to see what information she might have on file for him. I told her he had never been there. She said, “Oh, I see you have an appointment tonight at 7:45 pm” Huh????? It turns out the Hippie Urgent Care has ALSO been swallowed up by the same State “medical foundation” group. Good grief.
We waited forever to see someone. An examination and a urine sample later, it was confirmed (as I suspected) that he has a urinary tract infection. We had a discussion about the cause, options, follow-ups with our regular Pediatrician and finally were sent on our way with a prescription already faxed to our local pharmacy. Four hours had elapsed, however I felt that we had a fairly good doctor and was overall somewhat satisfied with the experience. Mostly just relieved to know what as wrong and to have a prescription for antibiotics.
We stopped for something to eat and then went to pick up the filled prescription. Upon arrival at the pharmacy, I was told that they didn’t have that medication in stock but they would get it at noon the next day. It would be ready to pick up at 12:30. At this point, not knowing what else to do, I decided this was the best option. I was not very happy that my son was missing two doses of this antibiotic, but as it was dinnertime and everyone was closing up shop for the day, I didn’t feel I could do much more. He felt o.k. and kept asking to just go home.
Today I luckily called the pharmacy before heading over there at 12:30. I assumed the prescription was ready as promised as I had not heard from anyone there. I’m so glad I called first. “Oh, sorry that medication is not in stock anywhere. It’s pretty rare and it will be about a week until we get it in stock.” They went on to tell me that they had faxed the Urgent Care doctor for a substitute medication but they had not heard back yet. I decided to call the Urgent Care for myself and try to sort out the issue. Luckily they had a direct number to the front desk on the paperwork I had gotten the day before, otherwise I may have been routed to the main desk in Timbuktu like I had yesterday morning when I tried to reach our regular Pediatrician.
I reached the Urgent Care front desk and spoke to someone. I left a detailed message and he assured me the doctor on duty today would call me back as soon as possible. I felt fairly confident in the person I spoke to. While I was on the phone with Urgent Care, I missed a call from our regular Pediatrician’s office. Another doctor within that practice was calling to say that he somehow had been contacted by our pharmacy….
“We apparently prescribed a medication for your son yesterday that is not available.” (No, actually YOU didn’t do anything. We didn’t even SEE anyone in your practice!)
He continued, “I am going to call in a new prescription for Augmentin for him.” (AUGHHHHH…… IF he had bothered to look at my son’s chart, he would see that my son *CANNOT* take Augmentin!!!) At this point the doctor somehow disconnected himself from the call and that was it for his message.
I called our pharmacy back again to let them know this new development. “Please do not fill the Augmentin prescription as my son cannot take Augmentin.” I asked them if they had accidentally faxed our usual Pediatrician’s office instead of the Urgent Care, but they confirmed they had indeed faxed the doctor on duty who treated my son yesterday at Urgent Care. Because they are all within the same Medical Foundation mess, I guess our Pediatrician’s office was also alerted? I have no idea. It still does not explain why the doctor did not double check my son’s records to see that he cannot take Augmentin.
By 4 p.m. I called the Urgent Care again. I got a new person of course, so I had to go through the whole saga for the umpteenth time. He assured me he would flag my message and have a doctor call me back as soon as possible. I am still waiting. Meanwhile, my son has an infection that is going untreated. This is a taste of things to come. What the heck is going on here? We have good health insurance that we pay a fortune for. In fact, our rates have doubled in the last three years and I fear that with the full implementation of Obamacare, we may not even have insurance by next year. California premium rates are predicted to skyrocket another 146%. Being small business owners, we are some of those who are really paying the price for this joke of a “healthcare act”. But it’s not just the money, it’s the quality of care. The change in policies, the big foundations swallowing up the smaller practices. I prefer a more personal situation. I want to call THE OFFICE. I want to know who the staff is. I want to be able to reach a trusted provider when I have an emergency or a question. I don’t want to have to call 16 different people and explain my situation every single time.
A bladder infection should be a fairly simple situation. Exam, urine sample, prescription for antibiotics, done. This is absolutely ridiculous. What if it were something much more serious? And this is just starting, folks. What is to come?
I might add that my initial reaction was to call my Pediatrician’s office right back after receiving the message about the new Augmentin prescription, except I CAN’T CALL THEM!!! When I call them, I get Pakistan and there is no way to speak to any human being within my doctor’s office!!
UPDATE: 6:30 p.m. After a third call and leaving a third message for the Urgent Care, I tried calling our regular Pediatrician’s office one more time. I of course got Pakistan and I had to talk a blue streak to get them to connect me with our actual office. I have no idea what our conversation was as I didn’t understand what the operator was saying, but I guess my irritation and the Mother’s desperation in my voice worked because the next thing I knew, I was being transferred to the office. Though I was unable to speak to our personal Pediatrician, I did speak directly to one of her associates who was very nice and efficient. She accessed my son’s information and said, “Oh yes… I will call in a prescription for him immediately.” Brother. THANK YOU!!!!
So now, Mister Patriot is headed to pick up the medication on his way home from work and our boy can finally start getting what he needs. What I need is a few Advil for this monster headache. What a nightmare.
UPDATE #2: 8:15 p.m. and *still* no call from the Urgent Care. I didn’t even bother calling them a fourth time to tell them not to bother calling me. As I predicted, they probably don’t have any intention of calling me anyway. It has been 5 hours and 15 minutes since my first call to them.
Ted Cruz, I stand behind you 1000%.
I don’t care what anyone else says, I don’t care how big a hissy fit B.O. throws over this shutdown. Having Obamacare defunded is probably THE most pressing matter we have to focus on at this very moment. We are already seeing the effects and they stink. DEFUND & REPEAL. Stand strong America and #DontBlink