Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 89: Sick Day

What a wonderful night's sleep. Quiet. Comfortable.

Now to face the day. First things first... It is now our experience that hotels do not allow electronics in the bathroom. Maybe so you don't drop a hair dryer into the bathtub? There are no regular outlets in the bathroom, only one that is special to shavers (lucky men!) At the last hotel, there was no hair dryer at all. In our aparthotel, there is a hair dryer in the bedroom and a plug and mirror in the closet. I can dry my hair in the bedroom, but not the bathroom. I guess this is better than not being able to dry it at all. But what this means for Chris is that he cannot cut his hair in the bathroom (The hair cutters we use are from Germany and our converter will not work in the shaver's-only outlet). He must cut his hair... in the kitchen where there is no mirror... so I help.

Chris gets ready for his day at HotelTonight. Xander and I eat breakfast together, while we wait for Venice to wake up. As Chris leaves for work, he mentions that Venice is still feeling under the weather. And here's where our day turns....

In defence of a guilty mom:
  1. When she had a few headaches, she had gotten up for several days at 7 or 8am, instead of her normal 11am-ish time. I chalked up the headaches to lack of sleep.
  2. When she had a sore throat, she had just gotten over a cold. I chalked this up to a relapse and lack of sleep (also, some of us started experiencing more seasonal allergies, could have been that, too).
  3. When she said she was tired. See above (lack of sleep) or all the walking we've been doing.
  4. When she said she was hot and thirsty, I chalked it up to not drinking enough water because we were out and about and didn't always have easy access to water.
  5. When she had a tickle in her throat. Well, she's had a "tickle" cough for a few months now, so I chalked it up to a continuation of that. 
But, for some reason, this morning, I decided to look into her throat (no real good excuse as to why I didn't look sooner). I used the flashlight on my iPhone to peak at her tonsils. And OMG. They are huge and have white spots on them. I flash back to when I was about her age (a few years older) and MY mom looked into my throat and saw the same thing! Yikes. 

I had aired my concerns that she might have strep throat several days ago, but her throat seemed to get worse, then better, then... up and down. Nothing seemed to go away, but neither did it escalate. But, after seeing those tonsils, I texted Chris and asked him to probe his coworkers as to where I could take her.

In the end (Chris' coworkers as well as my online research), it seemed best to walk into a pharmacy to get advice. They will either give me what we need, or direct me to where I need to go. So, I find a pharmacy online and Xander, Venice, and I head out the door.

The Angel shopping centre nearby
On the way to the pharmacy I had found, Venice saw another one, so we head into that one. The woman behind the counter had a thick accent from "I don't know, but I could barely understand her". When I explained I thought Venice had strep throat and that her tonsils were swollen with white spots, the woman said (and this is my best interpretation) to go to Angel station. Once we got to Angel station, to ask anyone where the walk-in clinic is around there. 

So, off we go to the Angel Tube station. Once we arrive here, I use Google maps to find the clinic (before asking someone for directions) and Google finds it. We got a few more blocks and we find the clinic (although, it has a lot of signs that read surgery, which doesn't help ease Venice's anxiety at all!)

Inside the clinic, I get in line. The woman says the first appointment is at 6:15pm (it is now a little after noon). I say, "Yes, please book us the 6:15pm appointment," but in my head, I'm saying, "WTF? That's crazy town. I'll take this appointment and then see if I can get a quicker one somewhere else." As the woman puts us into the computer, she asks who the appointment is for, I point to Venice and say, "My daughter." The woman didn't even miss a beat and said, "I'll put you in for 6:15, but why don't you wait and we'll try to get you in sooner." I get the feeling that it's because it's for Venice. That if it were me, I'd just have to come back at 6:15pm, but because it's a child, we get to wait. 

I need to fill out paperwork (it's really only a short piece of paper asking for date of birth, address, and complaint... not much more than that) and pay 50£ up front to be seen. I fill out the paper and am ready to pay. But, oh! They don't take credit cards. Cash only. I only have 40£! So, I leave the kids in the waiting room while I head back out to the ATM. The woman will enter Venice into the computer while I got out to get cash. 

When I get back, I pay and she said that she's put Venice into the system and the doctor knows to call her "next". So, we wait. 

While we're waiting, I take a look around the room. There is the front desk, where I've been talking to the staff. And to the right of this area is a pharmacy. I still don't understand why more U.S. places don't do this. You can get your prescription filled on your way out, no extra stops. Sounds logical!

I also notice others in the waiting room. It's hard to tell who's waiting for themselves and who's waiting for a friend. Meanwhile, I hear a "ring-a-zing" noise and a guy waiting in front of us looks above us on the wall, gets up, and walks down the hall. I look up to where he was looking and there's a digital board that says, "Mr So-n-So, please go to room B". Ok! Good tip! There is no nurse to call you to the back. The board makes a noise, it shows an alert, you read it, and take yourself where you need to go. Ok. Got it.

While we continue to wait, I hear other's walk in to ask for appointments. The woman behind the desk says the earliest appointment is 7:20pm. The next to come in asks and the woman says if it's an emergency (I didn't hear what to do), but if not, they'll have to come back tomorrow morning at 8am. So, I'm getting the feeling that this walk-in clinic is just that, a walk-in clinic. It's not an urgent care. I don't know if they have urgent care here? The difference? The walk-in clinic seems to be for travelers or someone without a regular doctor. You need a dr.? Come to the walk-in clinic to get medical help. It just so happens, that most of the people coming here are sick now, so it ends up being like an urgent care. But the urgent care in the U.S. isn't for normal dr. visits, it's for... urgent care. So, I don't know if we didn't get help here, if our only other option would have been a hospital? It doesn't sound like you can just "get in line" and be seen when it's your turn. We were lucky (or it's because Venice is a child) and were allowed to wait.

The clinic
Eventually, the board rings, we look up and it says, "Miss Venice Bailey, Please go to room A". So, we gather ourselves up, walk down the hall, find room A... and knock? And open the door? There's an office/patient room with a Dr. sitting down at his desk. At his desk is a computer and printer. There are two chairs to sit, he indicates one for Venice and one for me. Behind all of this is an examination table.

The Dr. asks what's going on? I explain that I think she has strep throat. Hmmm. He asks how she slept last night. Fine. I say I don't think she's had any fever. He takes her temperature, "She has slight fever." I say how her tonsils are swollen with white spots. Hmmm. He gets out his tongue depressor and light, asks Venice to stick out her tongue and say, "ahhhh."  I murmur, "If I can see it, he'll see it." And he replies, "Oh, bad throat." He then checks her breathing and has her cough a few times. 

At this point, he asks if she's allergic to anything, I say amoxicillin. He asks if she can take erythromycin. I say, I think so, just not amoxicillin. I swear, we went in a few circles about this, all the while, I'm thinking, "You're the doctor, you should know what she can take, not me!" Finally, he asks more clearly, "Is she allergic to erythromycin?" I say, "Not to my knowledge." He nods his head and prints out a prescription, "Take this to the pharmacy. Gargle salt water every day and drink a litre of water every day." And we're out the door. 5 minutes, tops.


The burgers were good!
We head back to the pharmacy desk and turn in our new prescription. The woman here says that they can fill it, but not right now, the pharmacist is out. Ok. He'll be back in 30 minutes. Ok, no problem! We'll just head out to lunch and come back to pick it up.

We head back to the Angel centre to hunt down a smoothie or milkshake, something Venice can eat with ease. We end up at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Perfect. Milkshakes and fries for Venice. Hamburgers for Xander and me.

When we got back to the clinic, we picked up Venice's prescription. Good news, the medicine is liquid (we weren't sure how Venice was going to be able to swallow big pills). Bad news, we only get half of the needed medicine now because of "freshness" (it appears as if they mixed it up themselves and so they'll need to mix up more in a week). But we leave on Sunday for Scotland, so we'll have to come back Saturday and explain to the pharmacist so we can get some earlier. Crazy news, I ask how much I owe for the medicine and the woman said, "Oh, you don't have to pay. No charge for children's medication." I am stunned speechless. First we get to wait for an appointment and now our medicine is free? I think the only reason we had to pay the 50£ (from what the woman told me) is because we're from the U.S. I'm guessing if we were from the UK, we wouldn't have to pay that.

Xander tries to hold up the crooked light.
Anyway, I'm still speechless. It's so crazy how a country could take such good care of their next generation! I say thanks and we take the bag and walk out in a daze. We're far away by the time I realise I didn't "check out". I don't know if I need to. I hope I didn't walk out on a bill that wasn't paid. I hope it's all good... I vow to ask at the front desk if I'm settled up when we go back Saturday to pick up more medicine.

What I also realise is that Venice was never weighed nor did they ask her weight or height. So, here's hoping the dosage is correct. They did have her age, but that was it.

We buy salt at the market and a few other items we needed and head back home. Still sick, still feeling icky, but with a bit of lightness to our steps as we've "gotten help" and we're on our way to being healthy.

By the way, I clocked it... the clinic is a mile away. So, that's 2 miles of walking to get into the dr. and back. When we get back to the aparthotel, we're all a bit wiped out and decide to not do anything else. We had plans, but we're scrapping them. Time for us all to rest, especially Venice, who has to take her first dosage (bad news, it's four times a day).

Part of my plan for today was to cook at home, a first in a very long time. But, now I'm not wanting to do anything. Luckily, Chris is willing to go to the market and get what I forgot and help me make dinner. I did put on a pot of water for the pasta, but he made the salad and did all the dishes. Thank you!

It is at this moment that I realise we really don't have a true diagnosis for Venice (maybe if I checked out properly, I'd have papers with information?) The dr. only ever said, "Oh, bad throat," which cracks me up every time I think about it. I don't know why. The dr. had such little personality in his manner. He never said the words "strep throat" or anything. So, our official diagnosis is "bad throat".

Well, it's time for Venice's second dosage for her "bad throat" and time for bed!

No comments:

Post a Comment