Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Doctors Make Me Sick

Today was not a pleasant day for Kelly. Bailey, who has had a cold since Christmas, got progressively worse and ended up in urgent care on Sunday Night. After a "thorough" exam, it was determined that her desperate cries, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and 103.5 temperature were caused by a virus. I didn't buy it. And, more importantly, the diagnosis didn't help Bailey feel any better.

Last night Bailey was up crying all night....and probably so was Kelly. Thankfully, her well-baby check-up was today and we were all looking forward to what Bailey's "real" doctor would say. Just as I expected, she had an ear infection. As relieved as we were to get a diagnosis, it was frustrating to know that a correct diagnosis on Sunday would have prevented a lot of pain for little Bai. When I last saw Bailey tonight she was asleep, but it was her first sleep since yesterday. It breaks my heart. So, you can imagine what it did to Kelly.

I have little faith in doctors, clinics, hospitals, or any other health care facilities or programs. It's unlike me to be so negative, but when I consider some of the experiences I've had in the past ten years, I think my negativity may be justified. Here are a few:

* My mother had a brain aneurysm when she was 56. She lived in North Carolina at
the time. After researching the best places for her rehab, we decided to bring
her to Sharp's Hospital in San Diego. Our contacts here assured us that timing
was important, so we pulled some strings and had her flown here within days of
her release from the hospital. She was in the hospital here for two weeks before
she was involved in any kind of therapy. But, they did manage to lose her. I
went to see her one day and was told that they couldn't find her. After quite a
search, she was found at another hospital about a mile down the road. She had
simply walked out of the hospital....and no one had noticed.

* About ten years later, Mom had a mild heart attack and was admitted to a local
hospital. It was determined, after a day or so, that she needed an angioplasty,
but would have to be moved to another facility for the procedure. She was moved
by ambulance. She was in intensive care for a couple days, then moved to another
room. The room had no pillow, no water....and no nurses. When I asked for a cup
of water I was told that I shouldn't bother the nurses...I should just ring the
call button. I was in her room for over two hours before anyone bothered to check
on her. Several days later, she had her angioplasty. The doctor performing the
procedure slipped and tore a vessel in her heart. She was scheduled to come home
the next day, but instead, I got a call at 1:00am. She was dead.

* A few summers ago Lindsay fell on her longboard (skateboard) and injured both
arms. We took her to the emergency room at our local hospital. She was in
excrutiating pain, but that didn't stop the x-ray technician from twisting her
arms to position them for the scan. Kelly and I could hear her screaming down
the hall. A doctor looked at the film and said she was fine - had probably just
bruised them. After a week, the pain continued, so we took her to our orthopedist.
He took one look at the film and said, "This bone is broken". Then, he picked up
another film and said, "Ooops, I must have picked up the same film." He checked
again and claimed he had never seen such a thing....but both arms were broken in
the same place.

* Several months ago Kelly got some funky little bump that we all thought was from
a spider. It grew from a small spot into a large one with red rings radiating
from it....and it was incredibly painful. It got so bad that she went to...you
guessed it....urgent care. She was told it was an infection and was given an
antibiotic. It eventually went away. We didn't think much about it, until
another one appeared several weeks later. This time she went to her dermatologist.
He immediately diagnosed it as Mersa, a very serious antibiotic-resistant
bacterial infection. She was put on two hard core antitiotics and was under the
constant care of her doctor. We didn't find out until later that the urgent care
doctor knew it was Mersa, but didn't tell her. By the way, Mersa can be life

* Lindsay was very sick on Christmas Day this year with an extremely sore throat.
Her neck and throat were swollen and she was miserable. It didn't get better the
next day, so we took her to URGENT CARE. They were packed and we were told the
wait would be at least 2 hours. We were asked if we'd like them to make an
appointment for us with a doctor in the clinic. He could see her later in the
afternoon. We returned and Lindsay was told she had a virus. In all his wisdom
he told Lindsay that, "Common viruses are common and uncommon viruses are
uncommon". Not a joke. She should just go home and gargle with salt water. Two
days later he called back to tell her she had strep.

Anyway....I could go on. Note that the reason we always ended up in urgent care is because when we tried to get appointments with our doctors we were told that there were no appointments available. Then, it was suggested that we go to urgent care.
I don't get it. Whatever happened to Marcus Welby? Please tell me that my experiences are unique and that there really is good health care out there. I need to have my faith restored.


  1. First, I hope little Bailey is feeling better!!! There is nothing sadder than a sick baby--for both the baby and the mom (and I'm assuming the grandma!)

    Second, that Urgent Care needs to be shut down!

    I haven't had enough exposure to the medical world to have a strong opinion (luckily). My epidurals worked and my kids have never been really sick. But I know my mama bear instincts would kick in and I would open a can on any doctor who twisted my kid's broken arm or withheld critical information. Crimany!

  2. I would like to know which urgent care you're going to? It was probably the same one I went to, and took my poor kids to down there. Urgent Cares suck. The doctors are tards. Bill always said that to go to Urgent Care was just to make our co-payment twice; once for the Urgent Care - and once for the doctor who we undoubtedly ended up having to see the next day because the doctors at Urgent Care are worthless. Oddly, we've had better luck up here. Mostly because we have a pediatrician who can get us in the same day. Although, with all of the children here, there are many more pediatricians to choose from. Sorry baby Bai was sick. I HATE not knowing what's wrong with my kids. I LOVE it when they can tell me what hurts! BTW - our baby number four is on it's way:) We'll assume it's a girl, until told otherwise. Why in the world would we think it's a boy?

  3. I am so sorry to hear how sick Baby Bailey has been. I'm also so sad to hear about the "care" you mother received. It is criminal what these places get away with. I have had multiple horror stories from instacares and Primary Childrens' emergency room. Luke had Giardia back in September and lost 15 pounds. He was only 50 pounds to start with so that is a huge amount for a little guy. He was just wasting away. We rushed him to Primary's Emergency room one night and they did some tests on him and diagnosed him with a stomach bug. Nice. Another week later I dragged him back to his regular pediatrician who tested his stool and found out he had giardia (which is a parasite.) I then promply got a bill from Primary's and we are still fighting it. I refuse to pay them when they never tested him for Giardia and they did nothing but waste my time. Can you imagine how bad our healthcare system would be if the socialists got a hold of it? It scares the hell out of me.

  4. Finally it's working! I would love to give you a ray of hope when it comes to health care but I think my feelings of hatred are at least as bad as yours. I personally also like when you call to get an appointment and they tell you the next open date is November...in January. And while they are making the "big bucks".. Educators are getting pink slips....what's wrong with this picture?