Thursday, November 29, 2007

Don't like white medicine

Last night I noticed Mason had a little draining from his right ear. I hopefully thought, it might just be my imagination. I'll look again tomorrow. Being that Mason sits to my left at breakfast, it was easy to look at his right ear. Sure enough, more drainage. Yuck. So, I say outloud (to myself), which ear has the tube in it. "The right one" Lauren says. Mark & I chuckle. I pull out one of his medical notebooks to verify. Yep, the right ear. On the way to school, I call & schedule an appointment. By the time Mason gets back into my car after school, more drainage.

Yep-the doctor confirms the ear infection. So, we head to Bartell's to pick up the 2 new prescriptions. Well, at Bartells, they know us by name before we reach the pharmacy counter. "Oh, for Mason"? "Yes, I answer...for Mason". She pulls out the Zithromax (he takes 3 days on, 11 off...but that's another story). "Oh, no not that one today" I say. So, they go back to their little place and mix up the other stuff. So, we leave Bartells with ear drops and Omnicef.

After we return home, I tell him it's time for his medicine. His response (before even seeing it) is "no like white medicine. Like red medicine". I explain that the white medicine is for today & that the red medicine (Zithromax) was for last week. But, not to worry, he's due for the red medicine after he finishes the course of the white medicine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Update on scheduling

Well, after I last posted. Guess who called? That's right, Children's Immunology Clinic. The immunologist will "allow" Mason to have an appointment in the clinic. You heard me right. Apparantly, their process is as follows.

1. Pediatrician faxes in referral
2. The referral coordinator at Children's reviews the referral.
3. The referral and chart notes are then sent to one of the Immunology doctors.
4. That doctor reviews the information and then will decide if the patient can be seen in the clinic.
5. The doctor then reports back to "the scheduler".
6. The "scheduler" then calls the parent to schedule an appointment.

The first available appointment (which we took), is January!

Scheduling at Children's

Has anyone tried to schedule an appointment at Children's Hospital recently? Clinic scheduling at Children's falls into 3 categories, as far as I'm concerned. And I base my "expertise" in the fact that Mason has been seen in at least 8 DIFFERENT clinical specialties there! Seriously. Some clinics allow you to schedule with ease. Just call and make an appointment. Others are more difficult. Your pediatrician must fax in a referral (even if your insurance doesn't require one). After Children's has received the referral (and any other chart notes they deem necessary), you can then schedule the appointment. Then, there are the really difficult clinics. Immunology clinic would classify as "one of those" clinics.

Mason's pediatrician called us last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) to let us know he'd fax in the referral to the immunology clinic and that we should call to schedule an appointment. He called back on Friday and left us a detailed message with more instructions. He called back again Friday to make sure we received the message and to tell us that the referral process was complete and to call and schedule the appointment.

So, I did. I called immunology clinic, followed the appropriate prompts, and left a message for the patient care coordinator (a fancy name for scheduler, I guess). I tried calling back a few more times in hopes of actually talking to a live person. No such luck. So, I called again Monday. After being transfered to the wrong specialty, by luck, I actually talked to "the scheduler". "The scheduler" informed me that yes, the referral was there. However, she needed to contact the immunologist to discuss when to schedule the appointment. She insisted that he responds promptly and would call back ASAP. Her view of ASAP and my view differ a bit. I called back Tuesday and left another message. I called again today and left another message. Finally, I decided I would follow any prompts and pretend I didn't know which "scheduler" we were supposed to speak with. So, I ended up with another scheduler. She indicated she'd put me thru to "the schedulers" voice mail. I quickly said that I really wasn't interested in leaving yet another unreturned voice mail message. So, she puts me on hold. She talks to "the scheduler". She returns to the phone and tells me, they are still waiting for SOMETHING. Only, she can't clarify what SOMETHING is. Yes, the referral is there. Yes she knows we would like to schedule. But, SOMETHING is not there, and therefore you can't even schedule an appointment. She suggests I call our pediatrician.
So, I do. I talk with the nurse and apologize for bugging them. See, I work very part time at the office, and know that we are VERY short staffed right now. In fact, I'm filling in while Mason is at school for the next 2 weeks (and a day here and there for the past 3 weeks). She kindly asks what he's missing. Apologetically I reply that I have no idea...the referral is there, and that's what I know. Anyway, she'll have our pediatrician contact immunology clinic again. UGH!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


It's not that I have an issue with urine (also known as pee, potty, etc). I'm a nurse, so dealing with it when I work is a norm for me. In fact, last weekend, I had to catheterize an infant for the sole purpose of obtaining urine. I've also been through potty training with both kids. And frankly, everybody pees.

What I don't like is urine where it doesn't belong. In this case, it was the dog. We've had Maggie since she was a puppy. In fact, her 5th birthday is in February. She potty trained quite easily in comparison with the kids. Today, however, she must have forgotten WHERE she should potty. When we're gone, she stays in her crate in the garage. Today I was gone for 3 hours. When I arrived home and let her outside from her crate, I noticed her leg and backside appeared wet. I think to myself, what the heck? So, I go look in her crate. Sure enough, it looked like splattered pee.

So, it was bath time. Now, some of you might think "no big deal...just put her in the bathtub". That's not an option for me. You see, Maggie is big. A big black lab. A big black lab who sheds. A lot. When I've tried the "indoor bath", I spent the next hour wiping off dog hair from all the walls. From that time on, I vowed never to bathe her in the bath again.

Thus, the option was the hose. Good news, is that it was sunny and temperatures were above freezing and I have great boots from Costco (new in October). Some of you may be thinking 'torture'. I'm thinking 'sanity'. I'm also thinking, 'she's a dog - by nature a hunting dog - and hunting dogs swim in cold water'. So, after changing into clothing that is unfit to wear in public, I tie her up, hose her down and wash her with shampoo. I dry her with a towel and let her sit in the sun to dry. All in all, the bath experience took under an hour. And no walls were cleaned in the process. Hooray.

P.S. The picture is not from today - it's from last January.