Sunday, April 29, 2012
Old and Sad Memories
A hospital emergency room is not a good way to spend a Sunday, or any day, for that matter. But I had to do that, again, like in the old days with my parents, because my son, Jeremy, has contracted some noxious bug that began, a few weeks ago, with a high fever and coughing that I thought would never go away. Then, a brief quiescence, and now, for the past few days, a terrible sore throat. I quelled the pain yesterday with a warm drink my parents used to make for me when I was a small child. It is a Russian drink, muggle guggle, made with milk, a touch of vanilla, and a splash of brandy or whisky. I don't remember whether my parents put an egg in the drink too, but I didn't. Also, I used soymilk because that's what I keep in the house. Jeremy found that it really helped him, so drank an entire carton of soymilk! Generally the thing lasts for a month. There was very little alcohol in the drink, so I didn't worry too much. After all, my parents made it for me when I was a wee tot of 2 or 3. But today, the pain was worse, and he didn't sleep all night because of it. In his desperation, he took at least double the dose of cold medicine, and that does contain some drugs that could be dangerous, so I worried a lot about that. So when he got up out of bed early this morning looking rather like a version of the living dead, I fed him what breakfast he could get past that sore throat, told him to get dressed, and set off for the urgent care. R and I belong to an HMO a few towns north of here that doesn't make us wait long for medical care, and it is generally good and reliable. I tried a couple of years ago to transfer Jeremy from another HMO we used to use when he was a small child. But I could never get him to go to the doctor and see the new provider, so, without my knowing it, the insurance was switched back to the old place. That means when we got to the Urgent Care, which was pretty empty, perhaps because it was a lovely day, and people had taken themselves elsewhere and had things other than sickness on their minds, we had to stand in line with only one other person. But the people at the registration desk said that he would have to pay full price, which could be up to $500., for using the service, since his medical card said he belonged to the old HMO and not this one... this after I had been told the week before that he was registered at this one. So after going off the rails a little and yelling at the person at the desk, I put the kid back in the car and headed for the emergency room, where I had spent so many hours with my parents. That place was relatively empty, and when they hustled Jeremy back into the bowels of the E.R., I nourished hopes of a quick exit, but it was not to be. It took about 4 hours to get back the results. No, he did not have strep throat. And thus, no medication or other assistance would be forthcoming. Meanwhile, I had been reading every scrap of printed matter in the waiting room. When I set off this morning, I never intended to end up in the E.R., so I didn't bring the paper (and there were piles of it waiting for me when I came home) or Marly's new novel either. Instead, I conversed with a older woman, a retired professor, as her husband also was, who had come there this morning with their schizophrenic son. Partway through Yale, he had suddenly lost his mind, and refused to take medication. He was both suicidal and, occasionally, homicidal, and apparently blames his parents for his misery. Periodically he spends time in various hospitals, but is always released in 10 days to the care of his parents, who miserably take up the apparently hopeless case once more. I felt bad just being there, worse seeing Jeremy suffer without help for another 10-14 days, according to the docs, but worse still contemplating this poor couple's fate. Plus, I had missed yoga for the day, when generally, I attend more than one yoga class on Sunday. I have in fact missed a few days this week, and that contributed to my low mood as well. Another week is coming up, one in which I hope I will not be returning to the ER.