Complex Medical Procedures at the Medi-Clinic

Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Health

“Can you get the ear wax out of her ear?” I ask the doctor.

“Oh, no, I don’t think so,” she replies. “Let me call my boss and ask.”

I didn’t know getting ear wax out of a kid’s ear was such a complex procedure.

Sparkles and I are at the West Isle Urgent Care in Galveston, Texas on Friday night at 10:30pm.

Sparkles has an ear infection and she is miserable and crying. She has ear tubes, so doesn’t get ear infections like she used to. But, ear wax is blocking one of the tubes and the infection is trapped in her inner ear. Removing the ear wax seemed like a good idea.

Our doctor is about eighteen years old. She could be my daughter, if I had gotten married  younger. Not only are we at the Urgent Care Clinic off-season in a vacation town on a holiday weekend, but there is a Pediatric Urgent Care right next door. We would be there, but they are closed for the holiday, so we have an eighteen year old doctor and Sparkles might be her first child patient ever.

I’m glad for many things. It is Thanksgiving weekend, after all. I’m glad Sparkles isn’t super sick with an unknown and dangerous illness. The ear infection is painful, but the survival rate is 100%. I’m glad we had so much fun before she got sick – playing with her cousins, getting hugs and kisses from Mimi and Grandpa, collecting shells on the beach, riding on a boat with her Uncle, watching the University of Texas beat Texas A&M, blowing bubbles on the deck and eating and eating and eating lots of good food.  It has been a very good week.

The doctor gets back from calling her boss. I wonder how old he is. He recommends against the complex ear wax removal procedure and instead recommends ear drops that will dissolve the wax in a few days. The young doctor says the antibiotic will get rid of the infection even if it is trapped, so the pain won’t last any longer than if the wax was removed right away.

We get a prescription for an antibiotic and ear drops and drive to Texas City for the closest all-night pharmacy. The clerk at the pharmacy insists that there is no prescription for Sparkles. I explain that we are from out of town, we went to the Urgent Care, they faxed it 30 minutes ago,  I just drove 30 minutes to get it, etc. She leaves and comes back, saying, “Oh, I guess I didn’t check the fax machine, here it is.” Then, “When would you like to pick this up?”

We get back to the beach house at midnight and begin a fitfull night of sleep.

I think about more that I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for Dr. Bell, Fia’s pediatrician back home, who knows about kid’s ears and ear wax. I’m thankful for the West Isle Urgent Care and the young doctor that helped us get medicine for Sparkles as soon as possible. I’m thankful for the all-night pharmacy in Texas City and even the spacey clerk. I’m thankful for our health insurance, that makes this all affordable. I worry about families who don’t have that.

It is Sunday now, we are back in Austin and Sparkles is doing much better. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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