Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You know you've been to the ER too many times when ...

... you get a message on your answering machine from your child's doctor, stating that your insurance has requested the doctor contact you to "remind" you to try to "seek help from your general practitioner, GI Specialist, and/or Neurologist during weekdays and work hours as opposed to going to the ER for non-emergencies." OH REALLY!?! I had no idea that is how it is supposed to work!

Silly me. And here, I thought that maybe, just maybe when your child's mic-key button has been out for an unknown length of time, and you had trouble inserting it yourself, so instead of puncturing your child's stomach you thought it might be best to take her to the ER, just in case she needed surgery.

And silly me. It wasn't my fault that Jenelle had a grand mal at school that lasted over 9 minutes, and they couldn't give her Diastat, so rather than risk a permanent seizure state or further brain damage, they called 911 and had her transported to the ER so she could get IV seizure medication.

And silly, silly me. When I was uncertain as to whether or not my child had swallowed a pony tail holder, and she didn't poop for 4 days and was crying inconsolably I decided she needed an x-ray and went to the ER; in case she needed surgery. Only to learn later the poor child was constipated.

Maybe if my child could talk, I wouldn't abuse the ER so much. Maybe I like the special treatment and attention I get when I taker her to the ER. Maybe I enjoy subjecting my immune compromised child as well as my post-cancer/chemotherapy immune compromised self to the endless patients lining the halls with fevers, coughs and vomit at the ER in hope of getting sicker.

Hmmmm. Wait just a minute. Let's hear that again. Oh yeah. I'm the one forcing my child to make needless trips to the ER for "non-urgent" things like seizures and a missing mic-key button. I'm the reason it takes at least 4 hours to get in and out of the ER, even when you arrive via ambulance. Certainly not the endless individuals lining the chairs and hallways with their cold germs and flu. Certainly, their medical needs are much more "urgent" than mine because we all know, only the ER has the cure for the common cold and the flu, but they just won't let those darn general practitioners in on it.

Or maybe... just maybe... Its because I actually have insurance... therefore the ER has a way in which to contact me to request I not come in so frequently for "non-urgent" matters; as opposed to all those other patients without insurance who are there because they really don't want to fork out money to a doctor when they can get health care at the ER for free.

Yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.


In all seriousness; there was an actual message on our answering machine last Friday from Jenelle's pediatrician, Dr. Patel - whom I love and adore with all my heart. She actually said on the machine that my insurance asked her to call, to make sure I knew not to use the ER for "non-urgent" issues that could best be handled by her, Jenelle's GI or Jenelle's Neurologist. I called her back and we both had a good laugh, but she said that Jenelle's medical group (St. Joseph's Heritage Medical Group) was really "cracking down" on people who frequent the ER. I told her, "You know me. You know I'm not going to the ER unless it wasn't absolutely necessary." She agreed, but said she was just doing her job. She had received a letter from Jenelle's medical group instructing her to call me to discuss the issue. I can totally respect that. I just hope St. Joseph/CHOC ER is reaching out to the real offenders; the patients that go to the ER because they don't have insurance or a real doctor.

Thank you for listening to my rant. Now, for your viewing pleasure, I want to share a video clip I took on Monday of Jack and Jenelle "jumping" together at the Little League field. Jenelle can jump a whole lot better than she does in this video, but it was just too cute not to share. Jack has turned into a wonderful, caring big brother and loves to give Jenelle hugs, hold her hand when we walk her places and take care of his special little sis. It just makes me happy to see the two actually starting to have a sibling relationship.


1 comment:

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

What a cute video! He is a great big brother. :) We were at the St Joseph / CHOC ER last week and it was infuriating!! We were there for increased seizures, had already done klonopin three times and diastat twice. She was gagging, retching, and she was having periods where she would stop breathing. Seemed like an emergency to me. Evidently though, all the people in there with their coughing and snotty kids thought that THEY were having an emergency as well, so we waited two hours before even seeing a nurse! It wasn't until I said "She has just had a 15 minute cluster of seizures. I am going to need a bed to lay her in because when I give a third Diastat, she's going to be barely breathing" that they took us in. So maddening!!