I would never say that a trip to an urgent care center is pleasant, either for the patient, or the harried caregiver. We all know that, and we pack snacks and niceties and good attitudes and sick little babies and we trudge on. HOWEVER. I was at the (unnamed Virginia off Carlin Springs Road) Urgent Care Center tonight and had absolutely the worst experience. It wasn’t the three hours we were there. It wasn’t that my son was maroon-faced and feverish and impatient (he is normally stoic) and, well, SICK. It wasn’t even the dude that was continuously listening to fart and burp noises made to sound like curse words on his cell phone thing-y and looking at me like “What, you don’t think that’s funny?” (I might have, in eighth grade, and even then probably not in a medical waiting room. He was about 35).
It was the pinch-faced (albeit exhausted) spindly Cee U Next Tuesday Doctor that did everything in her power to make me feel like Dreadful Mother Unlike Any Other 2009. Follow along!
Shepherd had pneumonia about a month ago. He took a round of antibiotics and was done with it, but never lost the boogers and I would say was never back to 100%. Last night he didn’t sleep at all, he was babbling and incoherent and feverish, and unhappy. This morning he had a high fever and he sounded like he did when he had the pneumonia. We Motrin’ed him and kept him home and watched and waited. He didn’t improve, and we were just managing a high fever with medicine. So when we both got home, I took off with him to the UCC to see if the pneumonia was making another visit.
When we got in to see the doctor, we had been playing in the waiting room (which involved my walking/jumping/running after a now spry Shepherd) for a couple of hours and he wasn’t having any of it. We went up his nose with a swab and into his throat with a swab and into his butt with a thermometer and into his eyes with a bright light and through all that he was a complete charmer, and I was cooperative and cheerful. The woman just could not have been nastier.
When she first came in, she was looking at the sheet where I had written “lethargic” and “cranky” and “not himself,” and as Shepherd was bouncing off the walls, she said “Is this the same kid you filled out these forms about?” And it wasn’t in a joking way. It was as if she had immediately decided we were wasting her time, or that I was manufacturing symptoms. Then she asked about the pneumonia…when was it…what did we medicate it with. “About a month ago” and “antibiotics” were not answers that were good enough for her. She said “About a month ago. Was it Christmastime?” When she wanted to know what the medication was, she barked “WHICH ONE” when I answered “antibiotics.” Fair enough. I fought off the urge to answer GetOffMyBacitracin or A(poxonyourfamily)icillin, and I said I could make a phone call about it and let her know.
“Who are you going to call?” she asked. What the!? “The pharmacy?” I squeaked. She shrugged her shoulders (this was an actual movement!) as if to say DUH and said “Well, if you must.” I felt like saying, “Do you need to know or not!?” but again I held my tongue.
I was about to throw up when she asked how much Motrin I had given him at 5PM (on the form I put just that…Motrin, 5PM) and I stammered…”A dropper-ful? The appropriate amount for his weight?” I SWEAR this woman practically threw herself on the ground she rolled her eyes so hard and she actually said “I’m not a pediatrician. (change tone to even more condescending) I’m not a mathematician. (audibly grit your teeth and appear even more whore-ish) HOW MUCH DOES HE WEIGH.”
Wait! I know this! 28.5 pounds!! Because we just took that weight in the hallway and it’s right in front of your evil prune-like face ON THE PIECE OF PAPER CALLED A CHART. Do that math, Cruella.
On her way out the door, she asked through pursed lips, “Do. you. have. a. phone?”
I can hardly even finish this story. Shepherd has a double ear infection. They tested for strep and the flu — both negative (she almost turned inside out when I told her we hadn’t gotten him a flu shot). The pneumonia check was…in my lay-person’s opinion, sort of LAME as she didn’t seem to be really listening to his lungs at all (I fear she could only hear the deafening roars of the crusty rotting demon inside her own chest). This after she judged me (again. again. again.) for not demanding that the doc do a chest x-ray the last time (insert fuck-you tone…”Oh, they diagnosed him in the office?”).
I can imagine anyone reading this has had one of those days where you love your kid like crazy — said kid is not doing well, and in turn you are not doing well — and you just need help. I thought by going to a doctor I was admitting that (I need help!) without having to wear it on a sandwich board. I guess not.
So. UCC Doctor woman? Bite me. Bite me again. Draw blood. Tear me open. Leave me on the side of the road…with. my. phone, and I will get the EMTs to take me to VIRGINIA HOSPITAL CENTER to get it looked at. Fuck OFF.
(Amy gathers herself).
In other, lighter news: Ruby informed Shaun and me on the ride home from school that soandso from Hill Preschool had seen her on the playground and announced that he wanted her to be his girlfriend. I almost drove into a cherry blossom tree. She chattered on about how he liked this girl and that girl but Ruby was his favorite and she thought it might be okay if he were her boyfriend but she wasn’t sure if she would go to Hill Preschool in the summer, etc. etc. Shaun and I looked at each other and I said “What, did she turn 9 at recess today?”
She went on to tell us that Anya told her that she didn’t like kissing because it was way too spicey.
This is the kind of memory that you want to whip out on dates and prom nights and when Shaun and I are changing each other’s diapers. Today was the first day that Ruby, four years old, correctly used the word boyfriend in a sentence. I have blogged it. It is so.
REM, It’s The End Of The World As We Know It