Tuesday, May 27, 2008

1-800-STREP-4-U

Why Does it take the doctor an hour in the office to come up with the same diagnosis as it took me to make in 5 minutes in the comfort of my home?
And why does the doctor look at me like I have just sprouted a 3rd arm from the top of my head when I tell him that my child has Strep. With a rash. Granted, all the kids are allergic to sunscreen and break out when it is applied the first few times each season, but it had been 2 days since she had had sunscreen on and there had been no rash the night before as I would expect.
I swear, I should have some hotline number to call:
"Thank you for calling 1-800-STREP-4-U. Can I have your 7 digit account number, please?"
"Thank you, and the account pin code?"
"Thank you, Mrs. Gae. And who in your house has strep this week?"
"Just the one? Nice. OK, Mrs. Gae, let me just verify your address..."
"And no change in primary care provider?"
"Thank you, Ma'am. And what is the child's weight?"
"Do you have a preference in antibiotics? I see we used Amoxicillan last time. Did that work OK?"
"Fine, Fine. What pharmacy would you like us to call that in to for you today?"
"Thank you, Mrs. Gae, you have a wonderful day, and call us if anyone else on your account needs our services."

OK, so here are the ground rules:
You can't belong to more than 3 hotlines at a time and you must be referred by your PCP. This service could cost anywhere from $60 to $120 per year.

By the way, she has strep. I knew it.

67 comments:

Karen said...

I remember a doctor telling me that kids ears don't hurt after the first 12 hours of an ear infection.And we didn't really need to give Ally any antibiotics, considering that 50% of all ear infections clear up on their own. I asked for the antibiotics anyway since I was sure she would be the other 50% that needed them.I was not up for another night of no sleep. She ended up having tubes in her ears twice by the time she was 4. Also I thouhg that he was crazy since were past 12 hours and she was still screaming and tugging at her ears. "Oh, she is only playing with her ears b/c she just discovered them."
We changed Dr.s just after that.
Yes, Gina, He is the scrunchie Dr.

mer said...

Ugh...so sorry. Did you have a nice time away this weekend?

Heather said...

This is brilliant and while my children have never had strep, I could apply it to any number of ailments. I'm sorry you have a sick kiddo.

Feathering My Nest said...

Oh I'm so sorry you have a sick child. Mom is always right!!! I don't understand why, but I am truly thankful that, no one in our family has had strep yet!! Amazing, but true. Take care and I hope your sweet daughter is better quickly. Thank you for stopping by, Kathi

Debbie said...

UGH. Been there. Done that recently as you know. But once those meds kick in, it's like they were never sick!

Lula! said...

This is hilarious. And much-needed. Get it copyrighted and trademarked NOW, before someone else steals your idea.

Karen said...

Here from SITS :-) Congrats on being the featured blogger!!

I like your idea.

I once had a Dr tell me, after I'd called him at about 11pm suspecting that my 3 yr old son had meningitis, to just give him some paracetamol as he probably just had a cold.

Instead, I listened to my Mummy instincts and called the hospital. They listened to my list of symptoms and told me to bring him in immeadiatly.

Tests showed that I was right. Fortunatly it was viral meningitis and after a week in hospital, he was home again and bouncing around.

Hope your little one is feeling better...

Judy Haley said...

when the get down to actually implementing a plan, the politicians need to turn to mommy bloggers for practical applications of health care reform

Shannon said...

there should be hotlines for ear aches and bladder infections. As if we cant' figure those out on our own!

AFRo said...

Congratulations on being today's featured blogger over on SITS!!! This was a hilarious post and could actually be a million dollar idea!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I think this is a fabulous idea! When my kids were younger & sick all the time, I always said if I could just get a prescription pad, I'd never have to go to the ped. I almost always knew exactly what my kids had.
~came over from SITS!

Lauren Horsley said...

SITS sistah here - lovin' this idea! Can we add croup to this list please? I mean, c'mon, if my child sounds more like my neighbor's pitbull than a 2-year-old girl I'm pretty sure the diagnosis is a no-brainer.

Laurel said...

Brilliant. I also want the "can you just check and see if this cough is pneumonia" hotline and of course, the "ear infection" hotline.

Sheri said...

SITS sister here . . . can you add one for the poison ivy? Really, I just need that little tube of stuff for $4, not the $30 co pay and 1/2 day out of my life!

Givinya De Elba said...

Great post! GdeE

~Sheila~ said...

Congrats on being the featured blogger!

I think that if you go into a Dr's office and diagnose your child's ailment correctly before the Doctor does, then the visit and meds should be free!!

Jill said...

Here from SITS....

This sounds like my mom did when we (all 6 of us) were little. We always got strange symptoms for illnesses. Luckily, our ped was really good and listened to her :)

Lisa said...

How funny, and sad. We would pass the strep around when I was a kid, too.

Melanie said...

Oh I just love these doctors. I have horror stories out my ears with 4 kids of my own. It's just lovely. And strep spreads so lovely between them all.

Rhea said...

One of my sons used to get strep a few times a year...and this went on for a few years. It was ROUGH, but I got to where I knew what was coming and really didn't need to see the Dr. So, I hear ya!

Luckily he seemed to grow out of it and hasn't had it in a while. Oh, shoot, I just jinxed myself, didn't I?! Dagnabbit.

EmBee said...

Waaaaay more convenient than schlepping the sick kid to the doctor, exposing them to more disease, trying to wait patiently and then receive a sizable bill.

I like the way you think!

Jen said...

Great blog. I too get sick of here they you have your hands full comment. Anyway, I agree with you about the doctor. I am an RN and they still never listen to me about what is wrong with my kids. Just this weekend, I had to go to Urgent care b/c they would not see my son on Friday when I called. Oh, well enough ramblings.

4 under 4 said...

Seriously, in college they made us "swab" our own throats it was so common. What's wrong with providing us with at home stat kits and letting us do the work, then make a call to the "Strep Hotline" to get the antibiotics????? It would have worked for me several weeks ago and 2 swabs later (yes, it was Mama who had it this time!)

Adiel said...

Hopefully this is something you learn after becoming a parent, because I don't think I could diagnose Strep right now.

(Congrats on being the featured blogger on SITS!)

angie said...

They should have an ear infection hot line, too! :)

Simply Stork said...

I have four kids...the one I like is sitting in the dr. office for 1 1/2 hours and a nurse returning to tell you the doctor has been called away...and not to forget to make a new appointment on the way out(that they will charge the co-pay again for?)

Oh if only they had a hotline :o)

~simply~

MomMega said...

Here from SITS!

I need that hotline, but I need it for my husband! Geesh, he is such a baby!

Kat said...

Oh, this is too funny. When we were in Mexico over Spring break, we went into a drug store looking for mosquito repellent that we forgot to bring. I wish we had picked up some of the amoxil on their shelves so that I could have a stash. Oh...that mommy instinct is usually right. Every time.

Sunshine said...

I am ALL for this! And I loove the idea of if you go in and diagnose before the dr. does...the visit is freeee...

And how about just having the dr. come to your house? Very Little House On The Prarie, pleeeease. My kiddos are actually good at adding on another sickness from actually going IN to the dr. office, so this call in diagnose thingy works for me.

Plus,they were sooooo friendly in your 1-800-STREP-4-U service daydream.

Yes...copyright. Hurry.

Sunshine said...

P.S. Saw you on SITS! :)

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Wow! 28 comments are a tough act to follow! I'll just say Congrats on being featured; enjoy the ride! :)

Jennifer said...

Brilliant. I wish we could do this for ear infections too.

Outnumbered2to1 said...

This would so be an annual membership I would sign up for. There was one appointment this year where my kids were literally all getting swabbed even though I know they all had it. But no, lets just walk down the line gagging them all. Good times.

Amy Jo said...

smile...great idea. Never had strep over at my house, but ear infections are pretty regular.

Sherri said...

I hear you this one!! I wish we could do this with ear infections!!

Jennifer P. said...

When I read the title of the post, I thought it would be about a place where you actually ordered a case of strep to give to yourself. Like some kind of weird diet....

Your idea was much better :)!

Katy Lin :) said...

this is a GREAT idea! (i often wish that doctors would trust a mom's intuition about HER child more! they lived inside her for goodness sakes!)

trashalou said...

Even here where treatment is free at the point of provision (no, please don't throw things at me!) we still have the saga of patronising doctors and all.

My favourite was when my then 2y.o. daughter was throwing up for over two weeks and (like they tell you to) I took her to the doctor/emergency room every two/three days because she was STILL being sick!!

Each time I was told 'she just has a virus'! I know that - so why do you keep wanting to see me?????

Lex the mom said...

Oh, I wish! A bit of brilliance with this idea! WIth the occurences of ear infections & things like strep, this would be supreme!

Got a good chuckle out of that one!

Blarney said...

I like using the flash and awe approach. Typically I call up the Dr's office and state: My child has Scarlet Fever and I would love to bring them in but ... well, it's Scarlet Fever so can we have the doctor call us before I bring them in? Now this typically freaks out the receptionists cuz they certainly don't want me bringing in a kid with something sounding so aweful. I get a call within 15 minutes and the meds have been called in once we discuss the symptoms. What is Scarlet Fever you ask .... it's strep with a rash! Hee Hee!

Kristin said...

I love this idea. Doctors don't know YOUR children. I am not a big "horn tooter" (hehe) but I have always been right when I bring my girls in for something. I say "I think its this" and they tell me not to be so sure. I had one doctor (not my real doctor) tell me that he thought I was putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5 and that I shouldn't be so presumptuous. Needless to say, I demanded and received an apology when it turned out I was right.

Kimba said...

I'll sign up for this service!

Neurotically Yours: said...

Sign me up!!

I am about 99% write when I diagnose my kids!

One time, though, my daughter had a funky rash on her hands so I took her to the Dr to figure it out. No kidding, she said, I have no idea, let me go look in a book. WHAT?? We spent the next 20 minutes waiting for her to come back and tell me she still had no idea, buy some Cortisone for it and if it doesn't get better, take her to a dermatologist. Geez, thanks for wasting 2 hours of my life, taking my $20 and NOT figuring out what's wrong with my kid!

Tausha said...

I agaree with Lula-trademark it and do it fast!! All of us moms would appreciate such a mom-friendly service. I guess I am lucky-I can call my Dr. and tell him that one of my kids have strep and need antibiotics-he believes me. Crazy huh-crazy that my family Dr. respects me as a Mom and says-she is probably right-after all, she is her mom.
I know that I am lucky and not all dr's are that great, that's why we love him. it does help that he is a neighbor to my parents. :)

Gina said...

That would be SO much easier!!!!! You think it will catch on?!??!
Seems the only thing catching is strep...

Mama's Losin' It said...

Oh I am so with you on this idea...only I'd like to go in the directions of ear infections. Can we jut cut out the middle man??

Debbie said...

Someday doctors will make their lives easier and just listen to the moms already.

Mama Dawg said...

Came from SITS! I loved this idea.

Kristen Schiffman said...

The truth of the matter is MOMMA KNOWS CHILD. lol. Honestly.

Mamasphere said...

The next time I'm in Brasil, I'm bringing home a stash of antibiotics.

Hope your little one felt better right away!

Nicole said...

I like the way you think. Can you imagine how much money we'd save without all those doctors visits?

Melissa Lester said...

With four kids -- and four co-pays -- my husband has wanted to buy penicillan by the gallon, so I can relate.

Michelle said...

I'd say that this is a skill born (ha ha) of having more than two kids, but I can see that there are other moms with the same number of children I have who are able to self-diagnose. I think I'd be barred from the hotline. Although I'm pretty sure I can diagnose stomach flu in Mister Man and I today.... (Thank God for schoolteacher husbands home on summer break!)

Here's hoping the strep goes away soon! And that no one else gets it, of course. Good luck! (Yes, SITS girl)

Lauren said...

I would sign up for and ear infection hotline. I am so tired of making up symptons to tell the receptionist just to get a dr. appt when I already know that she has one.

Kristi said...

My friend's kids always puke with Strep. And (no throwing please) neither of my kids have had it... Yet...

Angela said...

Love it! I hate going to the doctor and for what I know is a simple diagnosis! Especially with my $40 co-pay!

Hairline Fracture said...

That's a great idea. Experienced moms know best!

niccole w. said...

Brilliant!!

Vicki said...

I'd like an ear infection hotline...Actually, I'd like an otoscope so I could check from home, and then be able to call the hotline.

my2boyz said...

How about when the Dr tells you "his throat is not red" but swabs it IN CASE and it comes back positive for strep

-Bridget said...

I like your idea. Maybe a drive through ear infection clinic would be nice too. One minute to look in the ear and 30 seconds to write a script. It takes me longer to pick up dry cleaning.

Kris said...

Wish I had that hotline number this week! Strep AND Scarlet Fever!! Ugh - 40 min drive there and back again, what a waste of time having to drive my sick baby boy around when I knew what it was along.

Erin The Great said...

You would make bank! I love it when Doctors make you feel stupid even when your diagnoses is correct. Every time I go to the doctor for a sinus infection I'm always right, but they always look at me with the 'I went to med school, therefore you must bow down to me' look. idiots. I could have just paid the $4 for my antibiotics thank you very much instead of sitting their waiting room for over an hour surrounded by people who probably have the plague. Tell me if you do this because I would utilize it for sure!

Merrie said...

I love a good doctor that listens to the mom. Don't we often know our kids a little better? My worst experience was a doctor that was nice to me until she found double ear infections in my 6 month old son. I'd had no clue! She treated me from that moment on as if I was a horrible parent, and I left her office crying, thinking she was right. Never went back there again!

Toni said...

Luckily I have a wonderful doctor now that listens to me but I have had ones in the past, heck even the ob/gyn on duty (not mine) the night i went into labor told me i was not in labor and sent me home and 2 hours later my daughter was born on my doorstep LOL so doctors don't always know best.

Adrienne said...

Yeah, that is a great Idea, I dont have any kids but I get some sort of strep at least 2 times a year. This year my lymphnods swelled up and everything, wasn't mono 'wasn't' strep, wasn't anything. I was just in pain, screaming from no sleep and wanted to crawl under a rock, GIMME PAIN MEDS! stupid doctors... oh and its really awesome to have when you dont have insurance lol.

love your blog
http://scrappin-a-rose.blogspot.com/

Alicia said...

Teachers need that hotline, too! I get strep or some throat infection at least once a year, usually more than that. I go in, tell the dr. what I have and it is always confirmed that I was right. I know how to take a flashlight and look in my throat and can easily identify the appearance of strep! I also know how to identify those pesky throat infections that medicine doesn't help. Sooooo, why don't dr.'s listen to us more, we know what we are talking about!!!!