Friday, April 30, 2010


I have never been the recipient of racism. I am a white woman who appears to be of northern European descent. I have blue eyes, red-brown hair (depending on the year) and freckles. I was born into a middle class family and am still part of a middle class family and will always be middle class.I have the sad ability to sunburn at the mere suggestion of a sunny day.

My last name however, is Gonzales. My youngest child's name is Gonzales. And what happened to us last night, I believe, is because of that name.

Last night our day care provider felt that Will was sick. Sicker than he had been. We've all had a cold thing going around our house and Will has probably had it for 2 weeks. But he was wheezing and coughing and having a hard time getting a good breath it sounded like. He wasn't hungry either which is unusual.

So Micah picked him up and we left Kylie in charge of Lizzie and went to the local urgent care. I honestly didn't want to go initially but Micah felt it was important and I'm glad we went.

We were seen right away and they gave Will steroids that he didn't like. They determined he had a slight fever as well and so gave him a breathing treatment that he hated.

His breathing for a time was better after the treatment and then it got bad again. So they had us give him another breathing treatment, which he again hated. He got better and then got bad again.

They also took chest Xrays. I cried.

At this point the Dr called the nearest ER and talked to a Pediatric specialist. They recommended we go over there because even though they could get him better he just got worse again. The Dr seemed to thing that we would eventually be admitted.

At this point I wanted to go to Children's Hospital ER but since the Urgent Care Dr had already called I just shut my mouth and went. Never again.

We get to the ER and get taken in right away because Urgent Care had called ahead. They don't even give us time to fill out forms. (Later on an intake person did come in and get our information and medical insurance information)

They asked us repeatedly what he had been given at Urgent Care. I finally told them that since our Dr over there had consulted with them I assumed they had the information. They did not.

They kept asking if Urgent Care had given him Tylenol.


Intake Nurse:Something for his fever?

Me: No. But they did give him something pink, I think for the chest infection they said he had.

Nurse:Oh, so Motrin?


Micah went out to the car to get our discharge paperwork and see if that helped. Apparently Urgent Care gave him steroids.

The Dr comes in and we are trying to explain what happened and she listens to the baby and talks with us and decides that he needs yet another breathing treatment.

That will make 3 breathing treatments in about 3.5 hours. So we give him the treatment and he hates it and we wait. About 15 minutes after the treatment a nurse comes in, listens to him and says he's doing better. That will be the last time we see a nurse or Dr for the night until we are discharged.

We felt his wheezing start back up and felt like at anytime the Dr would come back and check him again. That a nurse would come listen to him and hear his breathing. I began to get busy trying to figure out if Kylie could babysit Lizzie all night or if I would need their stepmother to come get them.

A little over an hour after we had last seen a nurse a woman in scrubs walks in with a box and asks if the machine is for us. Well we have no idea. She asks is this is William Garcia. I say no, Gonzales. She shrugs. As is to say whatever, Garcia. Gonzales, same thing. She proceeds to explain that she's brought a take home oxygen thing to give him breathing treatments at home.

This is where it all dawned on me. She started to fill out the paperwork and remarked that we didn't have insurance.

Indeed, we do have insurance. We actually have dual insurance. I have ridiculously good coverage and Micah has pretty decent back up coverage. Most of the time we don't even have to pay a co-pay or meet any deductibles. We pay a pretty penny for this coverage (around $400 a month total) .

So we looked at each other and remarked that no, we do have coverage, in fact we have two policies. She seemed surprised. She looked at the paperwork. She called and spoke with someone stating that we did, in fact, have insurance and should we still get the machine.

The way she spoke made it seem as if the machine was for poor people with no insurance. Or that because we had insurance maybe something else would be done. Or maybe we weren't supposed to be given the machine at all.

In the end, we still got that machine and I had to fill out a sales and rental receipt for the machine.

A few minutes later a nurse came in with a prescription and horrible instructions. If he starts wheezing again (he already is) then give him this treatment, here are some samples and here is a prescription. The prescription is for, wait for it, 50 VIALS of the medication to put in the neublizer. And some steroids. No information on the steroids.

Micah asks some questions because the prescription says to give it to him every 4 hours but she's saying to do it whenever. That's not helpful.

As we were walking out, I checked out and had a $65 co-pay for the ER visit. That does not include the Urgent Care visit either.

I feel like we got the bare minimum of care. That we never saw another Dr or Nurse because the hospital assumed we didn't have insurance. Well, not the hospital, but the people IN the hospital. We were sent home with a baby that was still wheezing and coughing and continued for a portion of the night and even this morning needed yet another breathing treatment.

I feel like it was because of our last name. I feel like the Scrubs lady's attitude regarding his last name was overt and I will never again return to Aurora South Emergency Room.

And I will not shut my mouth because of a consult. I will go where I want to go, where I think the level of care will be best. Not where the closest place necessarily is.


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