Mom blog: Going to urgent care

OOOOH, OOOOOOH, DAY THREE!!! Oh gosh, in my technicolour dream last night (I dream in full colour, loud sound, wall-to-wall in my skull every night) I had written everything I had. I had virtually emptied my brain into the computer, and had a tabula rasa* left between my ears.

*DON’T GOOGLE IT – I USED IT, I’LL DEFINE IT tabula rasa: noun, blank slate. From the theory of John Locke, who believed all children began life as a blank slate. I’m mucking up the metaphor – my slate is all scratched and picked and scrubbed clean. But that was only in my dream, not real life. There’s tons of stuff to share.

AN EVENING IN URGENT CARE Nugget one about my daughter: she dances at least 20 hours a week between school and her studio, where she does jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, pointe, musical theater and modern. Two days ago her left foot felt “weird.” It creaked. She could make it creak by moving it. It didn’t hurt, though, so what the heck? Next day, foot looks a little puffy on top. She can’t miss school, so bye bye to an appointment with her pediatrician (I’m hoping she can continue with her pediatrician until she has kids of her own, the doctor is so nice) and hello to the listless souls at Urgent Care. At Urgent Care, the only thing urgent is my need for three Advil and an extra-large Tim’s.

URGENT: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Things are so slow at Urgent Care that the elderly gentleman in front of us drags a chair over so he can sit in line, not at the side where his wife sits. She trusts the system, that we’ll let her back in The Line when her turn comes up, but her husband is having none of that. He’s going to be in that line even if he needs to sit. I’m relieved he doesn’t feel like a little lie-down. That could be trouble. Ahead of him is a worried mom with a six-year-old boy. She confides that his six-year wellness visit is tomorrow with his doctor, “but I didn’t think this could wait” and she points at the base of his skull. Ick. Ahead of them, a woman in her mid-thirties, doing that “I’m fighting a migraine” pinch of the bridge of her nose. Beside us, in a brightly painted pediatric examining room, is a mom with an extremely croupy 18-20 month old, with flared cheeks and a constant, plaintive “pick up!” and “down, down!” loop of cries.

UNHAPPY CAMPERS I’m realizing how long our wait could be when a woman pushes past the line – going the wrong way – shouting, “How could you do this? My husband, three hours you make him wait! He is in pain, and you give him nothing! Three hours!” She is angry. The nurse behind the counter calls to her, a doc looks up from his clipboard, a blanket-carrying staffer looks up, terrified. Another person with a stethescope tries to speak with the woman, but she’s having none of it. “This is disgusting! We go!” And they went. I could have told her from experience that pain meds mask the great indicator – pain – that is often necessary to figure out what’s wrong, and if you’re going to get pain relief, it’s usually a prescription and a drugstore away, but hey, I’m just in The Line.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog to find out what we did next.

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One Response

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