January 10, 2013


Shrinky Dink and I just got back from a visit to her dad's in Illinois.  Nature Boy likes him some road trips, and he's a fan of nice grandpas, so he came too.

Unlike my son, I am not a particular fan of road trips.  Riding in a car is just something I have to do to get where I'm going.  Besides, Crohn's disease and long car trips are not great bedfellows.  (I won't go into detail.)  (You're welcome.)

But I didn't want Shrinky Dink to have to make the 8 hour drive alone, so I agreed to accompany her.

Unfortunately, Nature Boy got sick with a cough and shortness of breath the day before the trip.  At night. On New Year's Day.

Which means there was nary a doctor's office open.  Since we were supposed to leave on our trip the next morning, I called several urgent care clinics.  Only one was open.  The receptionist told me to bring my son right in.  We's country folk now, so it took us a good 40 minutes to get there.  We walked in, and I told the receptionist that we'd called ahead and been told to come in.  And the chick had the nerve to say, "I'm sorry.  We just filled our last spot, like, 10 minutes ago."


I was all, "I called ahead!  You told me to come in!  We live 45748975685 miles away and this is the only place open!"

And she just said, "We usually refer to the ER down the street."

I stormed out.  It was dramatic.

What Miss Nonchalant failed to realize is that it was January 1st of a new year, and medical insurance deductibles start over.  Ours is $2000, and it applies to all hospital services, but not to primary care or urgent care.

Her "helpful" referral to the ER meant the difference between a $20 urgent care copay and a $2000 deductible.

So we decided to wait until the next day and go to our primary care doctor.  I set my alarm for the (ridiculously early) hour of 8:30AM and got the earliest appointment I could.  I didn't want us to get too late a start on our road trip.  And wouldn't you know, the appointment took ALL FRICKIN' MORNING!  There was some kind of communication snafu between the medical assistant-in-training and our doctor, and we sat in the exam room for an hour before I was like, "Give my kid some medical attention, yo!".

I know.  I should have spoken up sooner.  But our doctor's office has really good magazines and Cartoon Network, so Nature Boy and I were distracted.

By the time we were done picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy, it was nigh on 2 o'clock.  Too late in the day to leave for Illinois.

Plus, Shrinky Dink had discovered that her driver's license was expired and she couldn't find her birth certificate to get it renewed.


So we had to postpone the trip another day.  Amazingly, there were no flat tires or acts of God on the way to Illinois.  And other than being one space heater and a can opener short, there were no major traumas during the trip.

Still, it's good to be home.

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