A few weekends ago, we had some friends over for some Friday night entertainment (drinks, water table / sandbox action, terrible delivery pizza, out the door by 7 p.m., aka: THE SUBURBAN WORKS). Kit was right as rain the whole afternoon; I put her to bed but she never settled down. I eventually brought her into bed with me and she was so hot. Plus, her breathing was labored. We checked her temperature, it was 102. We tried to give her some Motrin, she threw it up. We waited a bit and took her temperature again, it was 104.3.
Me: “Does our thermometer even work?”
Nat: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Even if it doesn’t work, and we are off by a degree or two, isn’t that super high?”
Nat: “What if we’re off a degree and it’s actually higher?”
That’s when I made the call to take her to the emergency room. It was then 10:30 p.m. While we were debating what to do, she started throwing up more. She was listless. We’ve dealt with sickness and fevers this year, but this was something else.
She was so hot. So very hot. And, scarily, was becoming limp.
I told Nat to wake up Sam; that we would have to take him with us as I was then so concerned that something critical would happen on the drive to the emergency room and I was too scared to go alone. Honestly, I was thisclose to calling an ambulance.
It was a 20 minute drive to the ER. They had a waiting room for kids. We were put into an exam room right away. There, her fever (with a thermometer that presumably worked) was 104.9. They gave her some anti-nausea medication and made us a wait for it to take hold. About 20 minutes later, they gave her some Motrin.
After the Motrin, a PA (not a doctor) said Kit should get an X-ray as he really couldn’t make out what was going on in her lungs. So, Kit and I were taken into where they could scan her chest and I held my screaming toddler onto the X-ray machine (twice, the first reading was blurry).
We then waited 3 hours. In that time, the Motrin took hold and Kit was back to her old self — smiling, dancing, playing on the dirty hospital floor (even though we tried to stop her on multiple occasions… you can see her in the video below, with my punchy older child). Finally, around 2 a.m., I begged our PA to let us go home as, oh my God, 2 a.m. with children. They took her temperature. This time, it was 102.1. “It’s still high,” they demurred. “I can deal with 102.1,” I said. “102.1 is nothing. Please. I need to go to bed.” (Priorities!!)
We got home where I cleaned up the vomit the dog hadn’t yet eaten (my house is so gross) while Nat put the kids to bed.
The one bright spot? Both kids slept until 9 a.m.
So, how much would you think this would cost us? Some Motrin and a visit with a PA? (And yes, an unnecessary X-Ray.)
That’s how much it cost.
Our share? With very good insurance? $482.40.
Our insurance is great but has a high deductible, which I what I’m guessing is making this so high? I don’t know. I’m writing this while also looking at my Statement of Benefits and my eyes are immediately crossing.
We can handle a $500 bill (although it hurts). But isn’t it INSANE? I don’t know why I’m asking you this as I know the answer. It’s INSANE. I knew when we made the call to take her to the ER, it would be expensive. I just didn’t realize how expensive it would be.
Look. I think I’ve made it clear on this blog that I’m not quick to take my children to the doctor on the slightest provocation. Hell, I don’t even take them when it’s crystal clear I should take them. I hate going to the doctor because the answer is always, “Give them some Motrin.”
But, wouldn’t you do the same? What are parents supposed to do if presented with what we had going on? The answer is, always: Take them to the ER.
Just be prepared to pay up.
(PS: I’m beginning to think this entire blog is me just writing about my children’s various illnesses. But, as they say: Write what you know.)