Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Trip to the Doctor

Those that follow me on Facebook know that Sean has been under the weather. The short story is "he is feeling better" the long story..

Sean had a chipped wisdom tooth extracted a couple Fridays ago.. but then as it healed he had a sore throat.. I don't recall having a sore throat after my wisdom teeth (3) were extracted, but I had a different procedure I think.. Sean got his at the dental office, and I went elsewhere & was knocked out as they had to do minor surgery on my mouth to remove the impacted molars.

To be clear we don't think the extraction was the ultimate cause of his sore throat.. this was just something considered at first when this started happening "oh maybe it's your mouth healing from the extraction?"

Sean was gargling regular with warm salt water but that wasn't helping. His throat/roof of his mouth continued to swell and he was unable to talk. He was running a fever from at least Wednesday of last week.

Friday after my contact lens follow up.. we walked down to 7th Street to catch the "E Dash" bus and headed to City West area of Downtown. We got off at the stop by the Mayfair Hotel and walked the 2 or 3 blocks to an Urgent Care place, (which was only a couple blocks from Good Samaritan itself). Sean doesn't have a doctor still (but one of our DTLA neighbor friends gave us a referral so maybe we'll go with that one?!)

The urgent care place, ("US Healthworks") on a Friday mid-morning was not a bad situation.. Unlike the Walk-In ER at Good Samaritan there were no drunk, unbathed patients throwing up on themselves. There were no mentally ill people bothering the nurses station for a bed, (maybe that happens at night?)

At the US urgent care place we had a place to sit while we waited, there was no line of people in the hallway having to stand because there was no place for them. The room was actually clean and pretty quiet given how many people were in there. There was a TV in one corner mounted to the ceiling, and a couple vending machines (one a big coffee vending thing I didn't get near.. the candy machine I just glanced at, but it didn't have anything healthy in it at all). The whole process was a LOT shorter too.


We were there a total of maybe two hours. When at the walk-in ER it can take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours just to be seen. While the urgent care place isn't ideal (it's best to have your own doctor and make appointments but sometimes you just can't, either because you don't have a doctor or you don't have insurance.

That's often the situation in many US cities.. Downtown LA isn't much different.

****END EDIT***

Part of what sped the process was that Sean had printed and filled out the paperwork at home and brought it in with him. He signed in and got called up twice: once for his paperwork and a second time to pay his co-pay. Sean has insurance through work. I know many people don't and have to go to the walk-in ER or hopefully to places like this which are a cleaner and more pleasant experience.

We waited again to be called to see a doctor. That part took about 30 or 40 minutes. The entire process took about two hours. The longest waiting was waiting to be called up to be processed. Somehow knowing you are going to be seen soon makes it a little easier. I checked my twitter and watched Dr Oz for some of the wait. (I'm still trying to figure out what Walnut Oil does for you... I couldn't hear that part of his program I just was advised it's good against "belly fat" (do you cook with it?? put it on salads? what?!) I may never know!)

Sean was diagnosed with advanced Strep throat.. So he's taking antibiotics twice a day with food.. He's still a bit run-down but he's doing much better and we were able to go see our 'double feature' yesterday.. "Sunset Blvd" at Last Remaining Seats in the morning and meeting up with friends from out of town in the afternoon for Cars 2 and dinner. We even had some ice cream at the Disney Ice Cream parlor before we headed home.

He's at home working today and hopefully will be taking it easy and not going out. He doesn't have much of an appetite and is leaning towards tea and hot soup and salads. I'm hoping by Wednesday he'll be 100%. Wednesday is "Safety Last" and the last our Last Remaining Seats tickets.


Love and Hate LA said...

WOW what an ordeal but i guess that is part of our sucky NON existent national health care.
I too have private insurance and ive always hated medical facilties of all kinds- offices, hospitals etc. with a passion.
I have friends that are paramedics and a few filipino nurses (yes i went there lol) and they always remind me that hospitals are not all about sicks and death but also birth and healing.
Im too much of a germ-a-phobe, you can call me Dr. House lol

Isnt it interesting how when you want time to go by fast it goes slow and when you want it to go slow it goes by fast.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. :)
If you can't make it into med school you become a chiropractor or i right?

I have 4 dentists in my family :)

but seriously they say oral care says a lot about your health and overall well being.

ok thanks bye.

meekorouse said...

Actually it wasn't so bad.. the ordeal was when we had gone to the Walk In ER earlier this year. THAT took forever.. like 10hrs and then they ended up admitting him for observation and kept him for like 3 nights! ugh... The best thing would be for us to have a regular doctor.. If we had a regular doctor we wouldn't be going to walk in clinics. I guess there's no excuse but that the spouse just doesn't like to go to doctors. We have a dentist & an optician but that's because I initiated those myself.

I think the thing about time is that if you have a regular doctor you KNOW you will be seen. If you wait, you don't wait more than 20minutes.. If you are in a walk in clinic of any kind you never know how many people will be seen before you or how long it will take.. There's an anxiety that is already there.

The fact we only spent about 2 hrs there was a great relief. The fact there were no (seemingly) crazy people there was like a blessing. I used to have to use Charity Hospital in New Orleans when I lived there b/c most jobs I had didn't have insurance but they expected you to have a note from a doctor when you were ill. So you'd spend the day you should be resting in the Walk IN ER waiting to be triaged.

Anyway,keeping a sick person company when you yourself are NOT sick is a crap shoot.. After the hours at the Walk In ER and visiting Sean in the hospital I ended up getting sick with the flu after that.. LOL

My uncle is a dentist and is STILL working.. (he's in his 70s) so I think that must be a lucrative career. I have a needle phobia and get queasy with the sight of blood so the medical field isn't for me. =)