Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Thursday, February 23, 2006
Yesterday morning, we all got up early to have breakfast together and see John and Diane off; they had to be home for rehearsals later in the day. The kids were laughing up a storm, giggling, and being tickled, basically getting all stirred up by their Pa. We saw John and Diane off and started getting ready to head over to Carson City and the Children's Museum.
Suddenly, Jared had gone from a giggling, active, ball of energy to a morose, immobile, couch potato. His eyes were sunken in and he was pretty pale. He seemed pretty warm too. He started shivering and I started getting really worried. My first thought was to go to an emergency room in Carson City or Reno, but as he seemed to get worse, I gave up on that. Unfortunately, Healthnet's web site sucks to high heaven. I couldn't even find a phone number to call. Luckily, Rachel, ever prepared, had her insurance card which had an 800 number.
I called, waded through the prompts, got a live person, and explained our situation. He wasted a few minutes explaining that the web site wouldn't cover Nevada before I got him to shut up so I could ask him for a local, nearby emergency room. By this time, I was pretty panicked, especially after the story of a first grader who had a stroke at school last year. The guy put me on hold and after five minutes of sitting there listening to nothing, I gave up. By this time, Rachel had pulled out the phone book and I opened it to hospitals. There was a full-page ad for a hospital in South Lake Tahoe -- half an hour away -- and a sixth-page ad for an Urgent Care clinic a few miles up the road.
Jared was now falling asleep -- not a good sign in my mind (especially recalling the sled run where he pulled a George-of-the-jungle into a tree). I called the Urgent Care clinic to see if they could see him. They could, so we packed up the kids and took off. I wasn't too worried about it being some backwoods hick doctor shop; I figured there were places a life flight helicopter could land to get him to Children's in Oakland if necessary. Well, it turns out it wasn't necessary.
We were seen by a young doctor who seemed to know her stuff. I suppose it didn't hurt that the clinic was in the same building as a local elementary school. A nurse took his vitals, including his temperature -- 102+. The doctor took a swab of Jared's throat (with my and a nurse's help) to test for strep throat. Sure enough, the kid had strep. He's a little young to have it, but it's easy enough to fix. A ten-day course of penicillin would do the trick. A combination of Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Motrin (ibuprofen) would take care of the fever and any pain. After leaving the clinic, we stopped off at Raley's to pick up supplies and the prescription.
Unfortunately, nothing is ever that easy for us. We got the medicine and the kids home and tried to give Jared his first dose. He threw up. I don't mean gagged a little or spit out the medicine, I mean a full-blown, milk-solids vomit. The penicillin was in a "bubble gum" flavored liquid and Jared simply couldn't swallow it -- literally. Not that I blame him -- whatever corporate moron thought that "bubble gum" was a good flavor should be strapped down and forced to eat every meal for the rest of his life covered in "bubble gum" flavor. That still left us with the problem of a little boy with strep throat and no antibiotics in him.
Fast forward past the yelling, the vomiting (many times), the arguing, the bribes, the threats, and so on. I finally called the pharmacy to see if the penicillin was available in a different flavor. Unfortunately, no. Zithromax, however, was another antibiotic that was available as a cherry flavoured suspension. So, I rang up the clinic and left a message for the doctor. Eventually, she called back -- they were swamped -- and agreed that a switch to a different medicine was the solution. She faxed over a new prescription and I ran out to pick it up.
I brought it home, gave it the Jared test, and we are now home free. Five days of 2.5tsp once a day and he's good as new.