Posted by: monsonmadness | May 10, 2012

104.5 degree fever

When my child has a high fever like this, I usually take them in to the doctors. Not here. What’s the point? Last month Emma had a fever over 102 degrees for over 5 days and we took her in. The doctors acted like we were stupid. “She might have a viral infection” they said, and sent us home to give her Tylenol. Emma and Mary seem to get fevers here a lot. I guess that being in the day care each afternoon, they are probably exposed to a lot of diseases and their little bodies have to work pretty hard to fight things off.

Last week I had another frustrating experience with LBJ (local hospital). I have been having ear pain intermittently for months now, but I don’t want to run the risk of anyone sticking anything sharp in my ears, and the pain usually goes away within a week, so I ignore it. They don’t normally give antibiotics for ear infections these days anyway…well, last week I got my ear pain but it was worse than usual. I couldn’t hear at all in that ear, and the pressure was bad. I figured with an international flight coming up, I should take care of it this time. When I started to get a fever and body aches, I knew I needed to get some antibiotics.

Added to this, Emma had her fever, so I figured if I took her in with me, they could at least look in her ears too and see if she had an ear infection…

I called the hospital at 8am and asked if I could come in that morning (you can’t make appointments in advance). The nurse took all my information and told me that I could come in at 9am.

I quickly arranged for my kids to go to my friends house to babysit, and prepped another teacher to take my class in case I wasn’t back by 11am to teach my class. I set off by 8.05am and arrived at the hospital just before 9am. When I went to check in, the receptionist said, “Oh, did you just call in this morning?” and I said “yes”. She said, “the doctor is not coming in today.”

I said, “But I just called you, less than an hour ago, and you told me to come in”

“Yes, but the doctor is not coming in today.”

“But I just took the day off work and found babysitters for my kids”

“Yes, but the doctor is not coming in today”

Ah. I see. It all makes sense to me now. The doctor is not coming in today. Of course.

WHAT????????

No point in arguing. No-one to complain to. No-one who cares. No doctor.

My options? I get to either reschedule for another day which could quite possibly turn out to be just like this, or I could wait in the ER. (Remember, the ER here is for anyone who doesn’t have an appointment with a doctor and if there was a real emergency, they’d come in in an ambulance instead). Since I already had all my school stuff and childcare lined up, and since I really wanted Emma to be checked out too, I decided to wait in the ER.

MISTAKE.

After 3 hours I still hadn’t been seen by triage. Good job I wasn’t having a heart attack, although I guess I should have called an ambulance to drive me to the other ER door if that had been the case.

Finally the nurse called me back to check my stats and when I told her what was wrong she said, “Well, we can’t see you for that here, you need to make an appointment with an ENT.” Really? Are you kidding? I asked why an ER doctor couldn’t look in my ear and see if I had an ear infection. She got mad and stormed out. I walked out after her, and happened to bump into a friend who is a nurse practitioner who was working in the ER that day. I asked him if he could diagnose ear infections in the ER and he said sure, all of the ER doctors could, but I had to go back to the waiting room for my turn. Another 1 1/2 hours later and I’m finally seen. Turns out that my ear is swollen and red and I need drops, antibiotics, and a return visit to the ENT next week to get my ear cleaned and flushed out. I finally got back to school at 2pm, just in time to pick up my kids from school!

And Emma? Couldn’t find anything wrong with her. She has now had a high fever for 8 days. Last night it was up to 104.5  I am grateful that she is up to date on all of her immunizations, and while the fever persists, I’ll just enjoy all the snuggle time 🙂

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Responses

  1. How frustrating!!! That would be so hard to have to deal with. I hope the antibiotics work quickly for you. And poor Emma. You don’t need any Tylenol mailed to you, do you??

    • We brought two huge boxes of medical supplies with us, so we’re ok! Thanks for asking 🙂

  2. I’m so sorry Helen. Wish I could help somehow! I bet it’s hard to remain patient in those situations. Hope you and Emma feel better very soon!!

  3. I don’t like getting ear infections. I never got them as a kid but lately I’ve been getting one once a year. I can’t understand why kids are fussy when it happens, they really can be painful. I hope yours will go away soon!

  4. I will never take the doctors here for granted again.


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