Insurance, non-doctors, and single parents

I’m annoyed.

It’s the second week of school, and the kiddo got sent home sick. Why? Because she said she “felt like she was going to throw up a little”.

Nothing else. No symptoms. No actual anything.

Now, had they simply read their forms I spent forever filling out they would see that she has reflux. Has had since she was a baby. Has two different “as needed” prescriptions for it.

Did I mention this was said after coming in from playing on the swings at recess, immediately after lunch?

Now…. if my child is miserable, and is acting sick, yes, send her home even without a fever and puking.

But what ever happened to having the kid sit or lie down in the nurses office for about half an hour of total boredom then seeing if the feeling passes? Or, telling the parent the whole story and discussing the issue with them to be clued in to possibilities you might have missed rather than just sending the kid to the office with a declaration that they are sent home.

When I expressed my frustration to the office worker, they mentioned that a kid got sent home on the first day of school simply because their parent had given them motrin that morning… and it might be masking a fever… so nurse assumed she might have one with her headache. Why did she have a headache and get motrin earlier in the morning? Because the day before she had gotten new braids put it, and they were really tight at first because they loosen up as the hair grows.

I can imagine that parent was extra thrilled. This nurse transfered to the school this year from another one, and i bet thats where the happy parents are at.

But part of this comes back to the lack of single parent thing again with this school. Most families have the stay at home parent, so its a pain but not a giant deal. Where with us, I not only have to take off suddenly from work, I have to miss the entire next day as well because if they get sent home, it has to be 24 hours before they can return. Even though she was fine, and acted perfectly normal all day. And of course, if the school doesn’t want them there, neither does the daycare.

The daycare is actually part of the reason I was so annoyed though. Because less than a month ago they sent kiddo home saying they thought she had pink eye.

She had absolutely no gunk in her eyes…. no pink seeped into the white of the eye… mostly they just looked a little bit bloodshot. With allergies, this isn’t anything too highly unusual.

However, of course, this means she has to have a doctors note to return. Which means I got to look like the dork taking my child in knowing full well that she doesn’t have what I’m having them write a note saying she doesn’t have.

And again, missing work abruptly… but then the doctors note thing gets a bit trickier.

Her doctor, given the complete lack of urgency, can’t get her that afternoon, so it will have to wait for an appointment. Which means I have a few options here…

*to miss another day of work. my employer is already mean about sick days… so this earns very few points, and means a reduced check the next week. Even if I sign forms and write letters, they will not let anyone else be the one to take her in to be treated… it has to be a parent. We’ve tried before.

*to go to the urgent care clinic. its what they are there for, right? semi-minor things after normal business hours. However, her insurance looks at the like a regular doctors office… meaning that since it isn’t her primary doctor or a pre-approved referral to a specialist, they wont pay… which means usually about $200 out of pocket for this option

*the er. the stupidest place of all for her to be seen. its not an emergency, its not major, its not even an actual problem. and yet… insurance will pay for this where it would not pay for a normal doctor to see her. supposedly there is a $100 fee if insurance determines it to not be an emergency, and yet, i’ve never heard of them doing so, and even so, it would be cheaper than the urgent care out of pocket if they did charge it.

And that’s how a over-hyper daycare worker mixed with poor policies at an insurance company ends up with the ethical debate as to whether to take the option that’s the best for me but completely and entirely inappropriate use of resources, or to take the option that’s worst for me for the sake of being the most logical treatment choice.

That was two weeks ago. Now the school’s issue while the annoyance is still fresh.

I’ve made it clear to my daughter that she is not to go to the nurse or teachers about medical things unless she is actually sick or we will not know when to believe her when she really is sick, and if she has the reflux to ask to get a drink. It’s not the best choice of things to teach her, but if the response is going to be overreacting rather than actually helping…

While it was the poor decision of the nurse to send her home rather than give her a glass of milk to wash the ick out of her throat if meds cant be given… she’s old enough and familiar enough with the feeling to know that the feeling of “feeling like shes going to throw up a little” has never actually materialized into throwing up. i know that she knew that this wasn’t something that serious.

have i mentioned my child has asthma and can get into coughing spells that occasionally do make her throw up a little?

something tells me this is going to be a long winter.


2 thoughts on “Insurance, non-doctors, and single parents

  1. tlc4women says:

    I remember those single mom days. They were hell. I was an hourly employee in the beginning of that and it was critical to be at work. I was lucky to have a school nurse who worked with me. It really stinks that you are going through this. It causes a lot of stress.

  2. philangelus says:

    Do you have the option to refuse to pick her up from the school? I think you’re well within your rights to say, “She’s not actually sick. She’s got reflux, as you’ll see in her medical records. This happens frequently and she never actually throws up. If you’re concerned, keep her in the office for half an hour, and if she’s still complaining, I can come get her.”

    I’ve been allowed to speak to my children on the phone to determine for myself whether they’re really sick. You should be allowed the same.

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