Right now I'm fuming. FUMING!!
This seems to be the case when it comes to the medical profession and my children's health. If it was my health, I probably wouldn't care at all. But this is my kid we're talking about. MY KID.
Okay, let me back up a little. Last week, Adelaide had a fever of 104 degrees that lasted for five days. I don't know if you've ever seen a kid with a fever that high, but it's not fun. Actually, it's terrifying. It's particularly terrifying when you can physically see the fever meds wear off -- the glazed look in your child's eyes, the lethargy, the inability to respond to you.
On Day Two we called Telehealth, after the fever meds weren't working. Telehealth sent us to emergency. Who tested her urine (with a catheter), her blood (needles), and her lungs (chest X-ray) -- a process that took all night long. She came back at 6am, with a prescription for antibiotics and no answers. Oh -- I mentioned she's two-years-old, right??
On Day Four they followed up. The fever was still there. Concerned, they called her back in. Repeat the process all over again -- but this time add in a throat swab. Send her home with the instructions to book a follow-up visit with the on-call pediatrician's office.
Just when I was starting to think the worst -- deep, dark, terrible thoughts that you can't help but think when your kid isn't getting better -- the fever broke. We went to the Guelph pediatrician for the follow-up visit, but the results of the throat swab weren't yet in. It was either strep or EB Virus (a fancy name for mono), in the doc's opinion.
A couple days later, after hearing that strep was going around her daycare, I wanted to find out if the culture was in. I know she was getting better, but I just wanted to know, ya know? I called the hospital, who told me that all results would be sent to her pediatrician. Which pediatrician? The Guelph doctor who saw her for her follow-up? Or her Toronto doctor?
Her Toronto doctor.
Okay. So I call his office. No, they didn't receive any information about a throat culture -- and they likely won't for a while. Their fax number isn't listed in the computer system, so the Guelph hospital will have to mail the results.
Just to be clear, they have a fax machine (I had to clarify this with the receptionist). They just don't have the fax number listed. And I guess it would be too much for them to call the hospital to follow up? I didn't think to ask, since I assumed it was implied with my phone call.
Later that day, I received a voicemail message from the Toronto pediatrician's office. "The doctor looked at the report and everything is normal."Okay, so I guess they did follow up for me. How nice. And she didn't have strep. Crap -- I was hoping that was the answer to this riddle.
More terrible thoughts pass through my mind. Why am I worrying about this? She's starting to feel better!
That brings us to this morning -- and the reason that I'm fuming. I received a call from the Guelph pediatrician's office saying that Adelaide's throat culture was positive. She had strep throat.
So I called the Toronto pediatrician. I started to leave a very professional message asking for clarification, when the receptionist picked up.
"I didn't say anything about a throat swab. I just told you the results were normal. If I was referring to a throat swab, I would have said 'positive' or 'negative'."
Oh, pardon me! I'm sorry I didn't know you were talking about other results -- and NOT the results that I had originally talked to you on the phone about.
Ugh. I won't go into the details of the yelling -- yes, yelling -- match that ensued, but I can tell you it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
I'm so sick of dealing with doctors that have answers before the questions are even out of my mouth. I'm sick of doctors that can't remember who my kid is. Who don't even acknowledge that she's a person. Who have such a terrible bedside manner that she starts screaming at the mere sight of them, making it impossible for them to thoroughly examine her.
It makes me nervous. I'm relying on these people to keep my child healthy. When they don't seem interested in doing that, I'm willing to put in the extra legwork to make sure I get all the answers. But even then, I feel like I can't get them.
Am I the only one out there who thinks our health care system leaves a lot to be desired? Or have I just had back luck in landing crappy doctors?