In which Lawmommy swears profusely and complains about the health care industry
Husband and Gabriel and I had to take Lana to the ER last night.
What a phenomenal waste of our time.
I have rarely ever been so tempted to use the word “fuckwit” in public, but, last night…
To begin with, Lana had a fever of 105.5.
This is a high fever as far as I am concerned. She had also had three doses of Tylenol at the point she was registering 105.5.
So, off we went to the E.R.
They looked at my child. They looked at me. I told them she only speaks Vietnamese so, no, I don’t know if she is hurting in any particular place.
“Why is she here with you?” I am asked.
“She’s my daughter, we adopted her 7 weeks ago in Da Nang, Viet Nam .” ("Viet Nam" Lana helpfully pipes up with a correction of my pronunciation of her homeland, a point about which she is still sensitive.)
“Do you have your adoption paperwork with you?”
I stare at the man in stunned silence for a moment. “No, I do not have my adoption decree with me, since it isn’t something that I CARRY AROUND IN MY PURSE.”
“We cannot treat her without seeing her adoption paperwork,” says Bureaucratic Fuckwit #1.
“Excuse me?” says I.
“You cannot authorize treatment for this child without proof that you are her adoptive mother. Obviously you are not her mother. So we need proof.”
(Obviously, because, you know, I am all of a sturdy-blonde-Nordic-Viking type and not a dainty Asian woman? Is THAT what he was pointing out? Really? Is it REALLY that OBVIOUS to EVERYONE that this tiny black-haired child didn't spring from my loins?? Gee, I didn't notice!)
It is at this point that I am tempted to lean over the desk and grab the Fuckwit by the throat and start squeezing.
“I AM her MOTHER,” I seethe at him through clenched teeth.
“Well, no, you just admitted that you AREN’T her MOTHER, that you adopted her in Vietnam,” the idiot fuckwit goes on.
“At which point I BECAME her MOTHER. For Pete’s sake, no one has ever asked me to prove that I am HIS mother.” I point at Gabriel, who looks up at the guy with a face so like my own that guy looks at me and shrugs, like I have just made his point for him.
“Right, but, you aren’t her mother, so, you know, I need proof that you adopted her.”
(Now, someone dearly needs to explain to this ASSHOLE that adoptive mothers are MOTHERS, but, it wasn’t going to be ME. Not with a child running a 105.5 fever.)
“If you are suggesting that I somehow SMUGGLED a Vietnamese child into the country you are sadly mistaken. I am her MOTHER. The adoption decree is downtown in my law office, half an hour from here. Do you really want me to go get it, or do you want to figure out what is wrong with MY DAUGHTER?”
A supervisor nurse comes over, and she says in his ear, “drop it, Jack. Just drop it. If she says she’s the kid’s mother, just let it go.”
We wait for 20 minutes and they finally call for Lana. At which point the fuckwittery just got worse.
It gives me a headache to contemplate, but, we went from being told she had a kidney infection and needed to be admitted to the Children’s Hospital across town, to being told that she might have pneumonia, to being told that she DIDN’T have a kidney infection to being told that she DIDN’T have an ear infection – NO! WAIT! She DOES have an ear infection, to horrifically traumatizing her by trying to take her blood, then coming back and saying the blood they got was useless and they needed MORE BLOOD…
At which point Husband, who normally leaves medical decision making to me said, “No. No. You are NOT traumatizing this child ANY MORE tonight. You are not coming at her with any more needles when you acknowledge that she is already dehydrated and you couldn’t get any useful sample out of her an hour ago. No. NO MORE. We are going home and we will see our doctor in the morning.”
They insisted that she had an ear infection and gave her a dose of amoxicillin and a list of things to look out for if she had an allergic reaction to it. We kept her fever down with Tylnenol and Motrin, and this morning, when we finally saw a doctor who has been practicing medicine for more than 5 minutes, we were told that she DID NOT have an ear infection or a kidney infection, and in fact that a common respiratory virus, that most children would have had in the US well before the age of 4, probably something she contracted from the babies at the daycare center/preschool, and that she would likely be fine by tomorrow or Wednesday.
Still feeling a little bit angry about the whole thing,