Thursday, December 15, 2005

The only difference between 6:15 yesterday and 6:15 today is that now we have a name for this sickness that has been plaguing us for the past few weeks: whooping cough. Also I've gone through a whole lot of rigamarole (rigamaroo) today that I wasn't expecting last night. Ed called it back in the beginning when Ethan was turning red trying to hack up his lung.
"Something is wrong with him."
"Aw it's just a cold, he'll get over it."
"No I'm telling you, he doesn't sound right."
"The doctor says his lungs are clear. She's testing him for pertussis just to be sure but she really doesn't think that he has it."
"He has it, I know it."
:ring, ring:
(The Doctor)"Mrs. Prevost? Your son's culture came back positive. You need to tell everyone who has been around Ethan is the last few weeks to get themselves checked by their doctors, including you. The department of health will also be contacting you because they need to track this outbreak. Ethan needs to go on antibiotics and you and Ed will probably need to also."
:ring, ring:
(The Other Doctor) "Mrs. Prevost? You need to go to your doctor right away to get a culture done so he can write you a prescription. They don't give out free samples any more, or else I would just give them to you. Don't worry, in a couple days Ethan won't be contagious anymore, and should get better within two weeks while he takes the meds."
:ring, ring:
(The DOH) "Mrs. Prevost? I need the names, phone numbers and dates of all the people who came in contact with Ethan in the last two weeks. And you need to go to the doctor. Today."

OK I got it, I need to go to the doctor!

So I call the office and can't get a hold of the doctor I want to see. His receptionist is not in. Her voicemail sends me to this other number which sends me to the operator who sends me back to her voicemail. Twice. So I try a different approach and the operator sends me to Mary, the receptionist for some other doctor in the practice. Mary tells me that I can't see anyone today because I'm a new patient (even though I've seen this doctor for seven years and am only 'new' because I switched insurances) and the earliest visit she could schedule was two to three months away. I'd have to go to urgent care to get a culture done today.
OK, urgent care. Can't find it in the yellow pages under Urgent or Health. It's not in the front with all the other important numbers (911 is there though, and who doesn't know to dial 911 in an emergency??) Finally! It's under U in business listings because the names of some of the facilities in the Capital District begin with the word urgent. Who knows what the rest of them begin with. But there's only four listed here; three nearby, and I know that's not all of them in the area. But whatever. I call the first one:
"Hello?"
"Do you do pertussis cultures?"
"Can you hold one second?"
"Sure."
...
"OK sorry, I couldn't hear you very well, you sound sick! What did you say?"
"Do you do pertussis cultures?"
"Can you hold again? Let me ask the doctor."
"Sure."
... ...
"No."

The next facility:
"Do you do pertussis cultures?"
"No."

And the last:
"Do you do pertussis cultures?"
"Yep. Oh wait. No. Sorry."

Great. As a last resort I dig through files of insurance stuff (and at this point Ethan has had enough of sitting quietly by himself) and finally come across a list of more facilities, and not until after calling three more numbers do I finally find a place reasonably close by that does it.

So now I've wasted a whole morning in phone circles but I leave my To Do list, bundle up the baby, go pick up Ed from work and we all head to urgent care. We're in and out pretty quick but pay a fortune to have our noses violated by a long Q-Tip and get a piece of paper that gets us to spend another fortune on medicine we may or may not need. We don't know yet if we actually have it also.
The DOH called back again to remind us that we're quarantined until the results prove that we don't have it. What's even better is that Ed is banned from work for five days. Well it's good for me, but not for him since he's really busy at work right now, and can only do so much from home. It's times like these that we really have to be creative on things to do in a tiny apartment to keep ourselves occupied. No doubt by next Tuesday we'll have cabin fever!

It's been a long 24 hours.

1 Comments:

At 1:03 AM, Blogger Doralynne said...

Sorry to hear about Ethan's sickness. I hope you guys are over the worse by now. It's bad enough when they get normal colds. Hang in there!

 

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