Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Health Card Woes and a Rash

A newborns health card is valid for two years before you have to renew it. Little E just turned two. Guess what I forgot to do on time?

The renewal forms came to us over two months before his birthday and I filed them somewhere. Then with house showings this past month, I hid them somewhere. Somewhere that I finally dug up a week before his birthday and realized my huge parenting fail. I sent them away for renewal immediately, but they take four weeks to process.

I couldn't believe I forgot about these forms.  I've always been very diligent in any paperwork required for registration,  insurance, etc.

I've never (knock on wood) had to take little E to the hospital or to the clinic for unscheduled appointments. I've never (knock on wood) had to call TeleHealth. But when his health card is invalid for a few weeks, of course something was bound to come up, right?

It started with a couple tiny pimples under his armpit that I didn't think much of. But then as the days passed the group of tiny pimples grew and continued down his side and onto his tummy. Since we had been doing a trial with soy products I thought it was a reaction so I cut the soy out. I was preparing a post all about how the soy trial had failed us.

Days passed and the rash kept spreading. The tiny spots under his armpit were growing and were getting redder. I called TeleHealth on Wednesday, which had been 4 days since the rash started. The nurse on the phone couldn't come to any conclusions so it was suggested I go to a clinic within the next 2-3 days. I explained to her the pickle I was in she suggested I contact the clinic beforehand to make sure they would accept him.

I went a step further and called OHIP for their suggestion. They said it depended on the clinic, but that a hospital HAS TO take you. Our clinic told me over the phone that they could not accept an expired health card so off to CHEO we went on Good Friday morning.

I felt terrible waiting in line seeing the sick children around us who visibly needed help. I felt like we were taking up their time for a stupid reason. But then something funny happened. Immediately after going through Triage 1 we were called to Triage 2. Then a nurse called for an isolated room for a possible case of shingles. Yikes!

Nurses came by our room and ogled over his rash. Each of them voicing their opinions. It didn't look like shingles or like anything contagious, they said.

We kept ourselves busy with a sticker book, flash cards and snacks that I brought. A nurse also gave us a goody bag of play dough, stickers, crayons and some pictures to colour. Little E was in good spirits the whole time.

Not liking the bracelet. "Take it off please Mommy?"
 We waited 4 hours and 15 minutes before a Resident Doctor came to see us. She still wasn't quite sure what is was so we waited another 25 minutes for a second opinion from another Resident Doctor.

In the end they decided it was a skin infection. A hair follicle was somehow irritated and some bacteria got inside it and an infection started. We left with a prescription for an antibiotic cream to apply twice a day for a week. Four days later now, it has almost disappeared.

Although, I felt terrible at the time, I'm actually happy I went to CHEO. The 4 hours and 45 minute hospital visit actually didn't bother me at all. I knew we weren't a priority and little E had a lot of fun exploring the room and the new toys. We were able to get two different opinions and I didn't leave there with any questions. I'm not sure I would be able to say that if I went to the drop-in clinic.

I guess everything happens for a reason. However, many lessons were learned that Good Friday.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad he's ok! I love how great they are a CHEO, even though it always takes forever.

    Anddd.... the twins turn two in less than 3 weeks and we haven't send those forms in. sigh. ;)