Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sick Lambs

I knew the Lambs were sick when two of them fell asleep as we made dinner on Valentine's Day. They get a runny nose a couple of times a year, but nothing to worry about. The last time I remember taking the Lambs to the doctor for sickness was in 2009.

Saturday we started out on some errands but the Lambs weren't feeling well so after one place we came home. Sunday they were worse so we didn't go to church. Monday and Tuesday Lamb 1 and 3 had it the worst. Lamb 2 acted better so I allowed him to go to Vision Therapy. He didn't have a fever and his runny nose and cough had improved. Ram took Lamb 2 to VT on Monday. On Tuesday I took him and stayed in the car with Lamb 1 and 3 so they didn't get anyone in the waiting room sick.

I'm always indecisive about when to take the Lambs to the doctor. Does it just need time to heal or do they need antibiotics? We have a little more freedom on this since I am a SAHM and not in a hurry to get back to work. We pushed water and tea on the Lambs, used the cool mist humidifier every night, and gave them honey at bedtime instead of cough syrup.

I have to admit that I accomplished a lot this week while they were sick. I finished getting our info together to give to our tax lady. I have been cleaning out our schoolroom closet. (Joelle, next time you visit I'll allow you to look inside!) A whole lot went in recycling and some is going to be donated to a LCMS school. Some treasures for homeschooling were rediscovered. It was nice to not be allowed to go anywhere because they were sick, but I wasn't sick too.

Today at lunch time Lamb 2 complained of an earache. He has a very low pain tolerance compared to the other Lambs. I followed Susan's advice a few years ago and bought an otoscope. I bought mine at Walmart for about $10. Since the Lambs are never sick I had not used it before. I looked in his ear that he said was normal and then in the ear that he complained about. Wow, was there ever a difference! So that answered that it was time to go to the doctor.

Our family doctor has a clinic next door that you don't need an appointment. I took all 3 Lambs with me. The receptionist said our family doctor happened to have 2 openings so we could go there instead of the clinic. Lamb 2 did have an ear infection. Lamb 3 tested negative for strep. The doctor said if Lamb 3 had tested positive she would have treated all 3 Lambs. I did not have her look at Lamb 1 because he seemed to be getting better.

She called an ear drop prescription in to our pharmacy and gave me a paper prescription for antibiotics. She said to try to ear drops for a few days and if he was still sick then start the antibiotics. But she wasn't worried if he took the antibiotics because it had been 5 or 6 years since he took antibiotics. She couldn't do anything for Lamb 3 because he tested negative for strep.

Then I drove across the street to the pharmacy and went to drive up. I told them I had just been to the doctor and could they see if I could have it then or should I come back later? She answered that it should be simple to call the doctor if the order hadn't arrived yet and it shouldn't take long. I told her I had sick kids in the car and I didn't want to come in. Then the waiting began. I kept thinking they were almost done and I really didn't want to come back later. Lamb 2 cried the entire time we waited because his ear hurt. After 45 minutes she came back with it. Only she didn't just have the ear drops, she had the antibiotic too. It had taken so long because they couldn't figure out the antibiotic. She didn't ask or I would have told her that I had a paper prescription for that one. If I had only known. After all that waiting I decided to get the antibiotic too since it was ready. We have high deductible insurance and we haven't met our deductible yet. I have no idea how much the doctor visits for two will cost. When I got home I discovered that the ear drops were $11 and the antibiotic was $13. I wasn't even supposed to get the antibiotic today and it cost more than the ear drops.

Then it took forever to figure out our insurance, they had some previous info in the computer for our family that was incorrect. It took forever to get that info deleted and put in the right info. This pharmacy usually gives Dum Dums to the kids. But today they were out of Dum Dums. Seeing the doctor took about an hour. Getting the prescription took more than an hour. Then when I put the ear drops in Lamb 2's ear he screamed that it was cold and it hurt. He is not eager to put drops in again. All this makes me thankful that the Lambs rarely get sick. It will also make me even more indecisive about taking them to the doctor the next time they do get sick. It sure was a pain to find out that they don't have strep!


Anonymous said...

I always love reading your blog. I'm glad that you haven't stopped blogging. I do think it's interesting that you might consider that a mother who works outside of the home would be anxious to run a child to the doctor since she had to "get back to work". Working mothers face the same dilemma that a stay at home mother might, that is, is this something that requires a doctor's visit or will time and nature heal this wound? I see this issue as more of a cultural issue in that some families rush off to the doctor for each sniffle and others, like ours, give nature a while to do her thing while we continue to be diligent for symptoms.

Esther said...

I completely agree. I'm a working mom, and I'm never in a hurry to rush my child to the doctor. My employer knows that my children come first. I know it's easy to lump working moms into one big category, but please don't make assumptions.

That said, if Lamb's ear is hurting that bad, I would start the antibiotics. Ear infections are nothing to mess with.