First of all, let me just say that we took Baboo to Urgent Care yesterday and after three other visits (one at a civilian ER) she was finally diagnosed with pneumonia. She woke up with her fever down for the first time in a week.
Second of all, let me say that this is the reason why it was somewhat humorous that I went to Urgent Care again myself today.
Last night my throat got increasingly sore. I woke up with chills and barely able to swallow. This is on top of the general upper respiratory symptoms I’ve been experiencing since soon after Baboo got sick.
So Husband and I drove in after the girls woke up today so that I could be seen again. I greeted the Corpsman I saw yesterday (who was fabulous both times–really. I ❤ Corpsman when they’re GOOD Corpsman and he was). He triaged me and I headed back to the cubicles. He brought me tylenol and a warm sheet to snuggle up in and was overall really sweet even when I teased him about liking to torture people after he had me swallow three different pills for tylenol. Have I mentioned he was fabulous? Yes, I most certainly WILL be noting that in my letter.
Then the Doctor came back. First of all, note that he was different than the pretty decent guy we saw yesterday. Second of all, note that he was entirely new to me, which is saying something since we are after all Frequent Flyers in Urgent Care.
Third of all, let me mention that he shall henceforth be known as Dr. Personality.
So Dr. Personality comes back, abrubtly enough to make my startle, and then proceeds to chastise me for being wrapped in the light sheet the Corpsman had brought for me. He did so in a way that was less than good natured saying, “Don’t you know that the LAST thing you want to do when you have a fever is bundle up?” I replied that I did know that this was the case, but I certainly felt more comfortable with the sheet. He also ordered me to sit up.
He grunted a “So your throat hurts?” at me, and VERY briefly and from about 9 inches away shone a light on my throat. He then said, “It’s probably strep. I’ll get you a Z-pac. Increase your fluids,” and began to turn on his heel.
I asked, “Are you sure it’s strep?”
“No. I’m not. It could be viral. But we’re going to treat it like it’s strep. You DO want to be treated don’t you?”
“Yes… I’d like to be treated. Are you sure it’s strep? Because my mother once had an abscess in her throat, and that is what scared me enough to come in.”
“It’s not an abscess!!”
“You’re not sure it’s strep?”
“It probably is. But like I say if it’s Viral this anitbiotic isn’t going to do anything for you. It’s NOT AN ABSCESS. That’s what we’re going to do IF you want to be treated. Now, (he said rather snarkily I might add), do you want SIQ?”
For those civilians who are reading SIQ is the status a servicemember is given when they are too ill to report to work.
I answered, “I wish,” thinking how nice it might be to be SIQ from being a Mom for a day, but not really registering that he thought I was there as a servicemember myself.
Later the lightbulb clicked on. You see, I went in dressed in Husband’s very snuggly PT sweats which probably promped Dr. Personality to believe that I was, myself, a servicemember.
And this is what REALLY frosts me.
After talking about it with Husband I realized: One of the reasons he treated me the way he did was BECAUSE he believed me to be a servicemember. In fact, Husband even said, “He treated you the way he would have treated ME, you know?”
Husband has mentioned before that anytime he goes to SIQ call or to Urgent Care himself, he is treated as a malingerer (that is–someone who is trolling around for an SIQ chit so that they don’t have to go to work). Husband has missed all of one day in his entire career due to being SIQ, but he is STILL treated this way.
I believe that aside from Dr. Personality just having a LOUSY bedside manner and a far less than thorough exam technique, that he treated me so sharply and disrespectfully believing that I was in the Navy myself.
Now… Is THAT how our servicemembers–the men and women who put their lives on the line to preserve and defend our freedom–should be treated when they are ill?
Let me tell you that I was (am) miserable when I went in there. I could barely talk. I could barely swallow. I slumped down on the bed as soon as I was led back to the curtains.
It angers me greatly that in THAT condition, I was treated that way. It angers me even more greatly that one of the reasons I was treated that way was because Dr. Personality believed I wore the uniform myself.
The nurse I saw at a the end of the visit was the same nurse who triaged Baboo yesterday. She IS our favorite person in there. She was a darling, as usual, inquired after Baboo, and wished me well. This I will ALSO mention in my letters.
But the way Dr. Personality acted was unprofessional, disrespectful, uncalled for, and downright surly.
And that shouldn’t happen to ANYONE.
And with that, I’m going to go take the first two pills of my Z-pak and lay down and let the TV babysit for a while. Because I feel like crap.
And by the way–can I just mention, that an SIQ chit would have really been nice?