How is it that my Monday was a Wednesday this week?
And why wasn’t I issued a tube of KY before I left the house, if this was the kind of day I was going to have?
I should have known it was going to be a bad day when my son had to come and wake me up at 6 am.
My alarm should have gone off at 0530.
The morning wasn’t bad. I didn’t have to rush too badly and we all made it to where we were all supposed to be at the appointed times. I was even 10 minutes early for work.
On the way out the door my oldest son, who has been recovering from pneumonia, stated that his ear hurt. I was hoping it wasn’t an ear infection and that he had just slept on it wrong or something.
Yeah, and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
At 1030 I got a call from the school nurse. My son had an ear infection. Seems that augmentin, the antibiotic he is currently on is for use in respiratory issues only. Cause, it’s just not a multitasking kind of drug. Hence, the ear infection.
I called the clinic on base and, miracle of miracles, I got him an appointment at 1245.
Let me pause a moment here. I would like to remind you that I have been in this job for less than 2 weeks. In fact, this Friday will mark my first two weeks on the job. Yesterday, I had to leave 3 hours early to take my son to a therapy appointment that I had made a month ago, long before I knew I was going to have this job. My son couldn’t miss it and my boss was super understanding. In fact, she was letting me make up the lost hours this week by taking 1/2 hour lunches and staying a half-hour late one day this week to make up the lost time.
Today shot all of that out of the water.
I left the office at 12 to pick up my son from school. We got to the clinic at 1235. We were seeing the PA by 1 (had to check in, etc, etc) which was some kind of record. By 110-ish, it had been determined that my son needed a shot of antibiotics and that was the only thing they could do for his ear infection.
Now, my son is autistic. He hates shots. Autism + hatred for shots = anxiety and disaster waiting to happen.
They move us into a treatment room by 120. We wait for the meds to come from the pharmacy. My son is telling me he doesn’t want the shot, that he isn’t going to get the shot, that no power on Earth is going to make him take the shot.
I’m in full on bribe mode, mixed with a fair share of hard-ass.
The meds come from the pharmacy in powder form. The PA realizes that she needs saline to dilute the medication and make it injectible. She calls in 4 – yes, you read that right, 4 – people to discuss what kind of saline they want to use to dilute the medication. This takes the better part of 10 minutes before they come to a consensus.
It then takes them 20 minutes to find the saline, which some doctor had in his drawer.
Because this is where you should store vials of sterile water.
The Captain (a different person from the PA) then, finally, comes in to mix the medication.
Now, this entire time, my son is getting more and more anxious. It doesn’t help that the needles are right there for him to look at. Cause they had to prep the medication in the same room as my son.
The Captain dilutes the first two medications, putting in the saline and rolling the vials around a bit to make sure all the powder is diluted into the saline for the injection. The third vial is giving him some trouble. He keeps rolling it around, then rolling it between his hands like a bottle of nail polish. He holds it up to the light and then repeats the process. Over and over and over again.
He then leaves the room to complain that the medicine isn’t doing what he wants it to do. He complains to a tech and then to the PA. This whole time, my son is so anxious that he is starting to sweat.
At this point, I have had enough. It’s now 215, over an hour since they first announced that he would need a shot. I am PISSED.
I walk out the door, close it quietly behind me, then walk over to the Captain. I then say, in that whispered undertone that your mother used with you in public that let you know that she meant business:
“Sir, you have 5 minutes to adminster this shot to my son. He is anxious, to the point of sweating, and I won’t have it any longer. You have 5 minutes to adminster this shot to my son or I walk out of here and take him to the after hours clinic tonight. And when Tricare asks why I went to the after hours clinc when I had an appointment this afternoon, I’ll be sure to fill them in on the incompetency I saw this afternoon and I will lodge a complait with the patient advocate about this entire episode.”
He tried to apologize and I told him that the time for apologies had passed about 45 minutes before.
Two minutes after this, he walked in and adminstered the shot.
All told, my son was an absolute wreck and I was a basket case. I had a chance to drop him off at home and then get back to work 2.5 hours after I had left.
I have been going to military medical clinics my entire life. I am hard pressed to think of a time where I witnessed the level of idiocy that I saw today.
All in all, I got totally screwed and not so much as a “Thank you, ma’am,” for my troubles.
The capper? They didn’t apologize to my son.