Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Flu

So yet again the "flu" has risen it's nasty little head here in our home. My son now has it and unfortunately will miss this whole week of school. Missing school is no big deal as far as I am concerned since I know he can easily make up the work but...big but here....he had to go to the doctor to receive a note to say "yep---he's really sick, Mom isn't lying." At the cost of my co-pay since I am a lucky one and have insurance.
So I had to make an appointment...drive there...spend time waiting...and then shell out the co-pay all so my son's school will believe he was sick. Idiotic isn't it?
Of course the Doctor seemed offended when I told him we were there only for the note and that I already knew my son had the flu. How did I know that I was asked. Why...because I and some of my neighbors have had it. "Well," he says "we will have to check for ourselves."
So they did---with a very large Qtip up his nose and a vial of some sort of "flu detector" stuff.
Five minutes later we are given the big negative about my son having flu along with a script for prescription cough medicine we don't need. Of course the Dr doesn't guess as to what it might be and I....ever the suspicious person especially when your a jerk to me ....decided to go home and do a bit of research on this supposed "test".
With just a bit of quick internet looking I find these nice little facts easily enough that the Doctor didn't mention to me (maybe I seemed to stupid to understand or need explanation):
*Detectable Influenza virus is only shed the first day or two of symptoms and very hard to distinguish after that (my son has been sick 7 days now) Hence---testing is most accurate and best done during this time.
*These supposed "rapid in office tests" are only 70% accurate with nasal swabbing and less so with throat swabbing even during the shedding period.
* The FDA itself also says that these tests are only moderately to reasonably accurate depending on the time of year----very early flu season testing and very late flu season testing equals less accuracy. (This is late in the flu season isn't it??)
* Lastly---the Doctor must also use his BRAIN and consider how his local has been affected by the flu to help with his diagnosis.

Is this all I can ever expect from the medical field for the rest of my life? Is there no doctor out there that can think for himself and believes (truly believes) that you don't need a script for everything and that you only need to see him if you are really really sick??

Lastly---I thought about balking about this and telling the school board that though I was a lucky enough person to have insurance what exactly did they require from someone without it? That I personally wasn't going to buy into it and what the hell where they going to do about it? Kick my son out of school?
Originally when I called the dr's office I was going to just pay cash (thinking a quick visit for a note would be simple enough) but they told me it would be at least.....get this...a $100 but probably more. That included the 30% discount I got for not having or paying with insurance. Hah!
This is bureaucratic bull crap in the highest form. Both the Doctor, the test and the school requirements.

I think I was born in the wrong century or something. Thanks for letting me gripe.

3 comments:

landgirl said...

I appreciate your frustration, but think about how many illnesses start with "flu like symptoms"? I'd probably like to have it confirmed, too. I thought I had flu until spots came out and I discovered I had shingles.

Also maybe the doc was embarrassed that yu had come all that way and wanted to be able to do something. Just a little suggestion.

Robbyn said...

Gripe away...it pretty much stinks to high heaven!

I'm not insured, and imagine the fun I have trying to get diabetes meds when they tell me I'm un-insure-able. And any clinic out there that's on a pay-as-you-go sliding scale is set up for NONWORKING people. It takes a whole day to SIT there to see if you QUALIFY. THEN you make appointments, for weeks later. Each appointment takes a DAY. HOW is someone supposed to work AND jump through all those lines and hoops, even when paying themselves? Gripe away :)

Twinville said...

Oh girl! You are singing to the choir. I'm singing loudly with ya!

We got so fed up woth public school second guessing us as parents, not respecting or trusting our authority as parents, and Dr's seeming to think that we parents are brainless.

I quite honestly felt like I was BACK IN public school with all the teacher notes with requests to sign this and that, complete this and that. Don't forget this, or that...or else treatment.

When my kids were sick, like yours, they treated us like we had gone AWOL. And if we decided to take our family on an educational field trip, as in Wash DC or Gettysburg, apparently we were in the wrong because the public school thought sitting down staring at textbooks was so much more edcuational than a hands-on history, art, social studies and anthropology experience.

We got fed-up with the unhealthy lunches available, and the constant requests to send in cupcakes and candy for class 'parties'.

Then there were all the requests to buy stuff for school fundraisers, and the twice yearly requests for school supplies like tissue, glue and hand sanitizer.....like we weren't already paying our share in taxes, etc.

We rarely go to the Dr now and we pulled our kids out of public school over 4 years ago. It was the best decision we have ever made.

I remember the day I pulled them out, too. We showed up three minutes after the bell had wrung for the start of the school day. The front desk gal chastised us for being late and got ready to slam a tardy slip in my kids' hands.

It felt like such ultimate freedom informing her that we were most definetely NOT late, but only dropping off our "Letter of Intent to Homeschool" and a letter to the teachers and Principals on why we were not coming back.