Friday, October 23, 2009

Time for "REALLY?" With Academomia

A long time ago we went to Wesley's twelve-month check-up where he received his seasonal flu vaccine, among other twelve month vaccines. Pediatrician Man told me that he needed a booster in one month and that he needed the H1N1 vaccine, but that they didn't have it yet. He told me to call on the fifteenth of the month because they would know more then.

In the mean time I had a couple of issues I wanted advice on (giant swelling bugbite of mystery, ear trauma) and tried to call Pediatrician Man's nurse, but ended up being on hold for so long I gave up and started treating every problem with Benadryl (for the children) and empty calories/caffeine (for me). While this served the temporary problem of not enough hours of sleeping children during the day, it left me a little uneasy that I couldn't speak to the doctor when I needed to.

So the fifteenth rolled around and as usual I had totally forgotten what day it was. I was in my Mom's Group at church when Labmama called and asked what the doctor had said about the vaccine. I called them right away and the receptionist was so nasty to me on the phone that I accidently used the B word right there in front of all the nice church ladies (to no one in particular, not to the lady on the phone). Klassy.

Basically she told me that although I was told to call on the fifteenth, I should have magically known to look at the website instead, where I would have learned that there WAS no vaccine to be had right now. This left me in a bit of a predicament since Pediatrician Man said very gravely "I would hate to send you into the end of October without vaccinations."

A week or so later, a single sentence appeared on the website "H1N1 vaccine now available for 2 and 3 year olds ONLY."


Still no seasonal flu for Charlie or seasonal booster for Wes.

So I called and got Charlie an appointment for H1N1 vaccine today. In the END OF OCTOBER! DOOOOOOOM.

Yesterday I checked the website again and learned that they now had seasonal flu vaccine! Hooray! I called the (now very friendly because she had good news! And also probably a different woman, the other one having probably gone into early retirement/disability after having to deal with all the angry/confused mothers of South calling ON THE FIFTEENTH) receptionist and asked if I could add seasonal flu to Charlie's regimen for today, because we were already going to schlep everyone in there to be exposed to who-knows-what TODAY.

No. Today is H1N1 ONLY. Of course it is.

So, long (loooong and not that interesting) story short, I have four doctor's appointments for the boys in the next week. Charlie H1N1, Charlie seasonal, Wesley seasonal booster, Charlie well check. And they couldn't figure out how to combine any of those. AND Wesley still won't be getting H1N1.


Whatever your opinion on vaccinations in general, I am sure you will agree that this could have been handled so much better.


Kim said...

Wow, I cannot believe your pediatrician's office is making you come in that often. Mine has been really good about letting me dual schedule. Although, we didn't have the flu vaccine to work in since we were only able to get the seasonal flu shot and not H1N1 because it isn't here yet.

I think when all the flu vaccine hysteria dies down you should write the practice a letter because this is not the right way to treat patients. At all. They could have totally scheduled you better -- this is just some practice administrator being narrow-sighted.

Shannon said...

This is ridiculous, I could understand if they just didn't want to give him too much vaccine at once, but seriously, could they not atleast combine the well check with something else? Perhaps in the future it could be made easier for moms with two kids: back to back appointments, at least. One less trip to the doctor is a very big deal to any mom, especially one with two boys.

uadamp said...

Way for peds office to get a bunch of co-pays!

Sarah said...

that's weirdo. we got a ridiculous amount of shots in one visit-- and we go back in 30 days for more! more! with a bonus HepA for Jack! yay vaccines! We heart heavy metals :)*


Sarah said...

can I just say that from a rhetorical perspective, this vaccine season is totally screwy. First the word on the street is that this vax is SCARY and NEW and all the internet craZies scream "guinea pig." Then mainstream media and big govt like CDC, etc put out a bajillion disclaimers about how the vax is safe and just like every flu vax BLAH BLAH BLAH. Then there's not enough of it, so the same govt agencies are walking a really fine line between promoting the vax and freaking everybody the hell out b/c they can't get it. Argh.

AJU5's Mom said...

Maybe Pediatrician Man can work magic at the first appointment and get everything done for you. But, I can understand that the "computer" not accepting reality and wanting you to come in 4 times when it could all be done at once...

And yes - this whole vaccine thing this year is crazy. I am about to totally write it off because it doesn't look like we will be able to get the H1N1 and that is the one I am afraid of (there ahve been few to no cases of seasonal flu around - only H1N1).

Rima said...

Ack! That is SO frustrating! My peds office says they won't even get their first doses until November. November? It seems like half of Cleveland has swine flu already!

I am trying to get myself enrolled in a study just so I can get vaccinated.

LL said...

That's crazy! Especially since every time you go to the pediatrician's office there's that possibility of picking up something. Shouldn't they want their patients to minimize the time they spend there?

I still need to call Landon's pediatrician to at least get his regular flu shot. I keep putting it off because I know the wait time will be forever on the phone and then the hassle of scheduling, but of course, that's no excuse.

Good luck with all the appointment craziness.

Amy said...

Total bullshit that they can't combine. My sympathies to you on the multiple trips and multiple tantrums sure to ensue.

sarah said...

that's INSANE!!! I agree that it's a super way for them to bulk up on the co-pay.

Kyla said...

4 visits? That is insanity!

We're waiting on the H1N1 vax, too. It needs to HURRY UP already.