Asthma, Sick Kids, Hospitals and the Pharmacy

December 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Family news, General

Sometimes when you’re in the middle of what seems like a whirlwind of things going on, you think about some of the strangest things.  This week, one of my boys got very sick and ended up at the hospital.   While waiting in the hospital room, I heard nurses and doctors talking about signing off on meds, dispensing them and so forth….   As consumers we see the tail end of the pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution process, the part where the medicines actually go to the patient.  Given the mountain of regulations around dispensing controlled substances and medicines, the whole process from start to finish has to be monitored and controlled.  From the production facilities all the way to the dispensation to the end consumer, every box, every case, every little bottle, every little pill that moves on the conveyors has to be tracked, monitored and accounted for.  Every little piece of the distribution puzzle has to be tracked, documented and monitored.

The complexity of managing that kind of tracking and processing is simply mind boggling.  With the advent of modern computers, there are pharmacy automation systems to handle all this stuff.  I have no idea how all these things were was done before computers were around.   Probably with an army of people to document everything, and a mountain of paperwork to go along with it, and a level of inefficiency that makes the government look lean and mean in comparison.

We take this stuff for granted, the medication is just available at the pharmacy or hospital when you need it, but when your child is struggling to catch a breath and that medicine is going to be the difference between a good or a bad outcome, you appreciate the work that has to happen behind the scenes to make it possible.


Bed Side Manner

November 6, 2009 by  
Filed under General

I can honestly say that I don’t particularly like heading to the doctor, and most people don’t.  Since having the boys, I am a little more picky about who we choose as their doctors.  I guess that maternal instinct kicks in, when there is someone messing with your babies other than you, so you are dissecting every little move the doctor makes, with regards to your child.

I would not say that, I am overly critical of doctors in general, but you do notice when they actually have a love of their job and an interest in caring for your child.  It is tough enough to bring them in for shots, or when there is something major going on, that it helps to have someone who is pleasant, who seems genuinely interested in your questions, and has five minutes to spare for your child.

Last week one of the boys fell down the stairs and broke his wrist.  It is a common fracture where the bone sort of bent in a way.  Since, at 3 yrs old a child’s bones aren’t completely calcified, there wasn’t a complete break.  I was totally freaked out when he fell, and he didn’t really complain much, so I figured he was ok.  The following day when he went to grab his cup he couldn’t hold on to it, so we took him in.

Fast forward to today, about 9 days later and a blue cast up to his armpit, we headed to our follow up with an orthopedist.  How much personality do you think a cold dead sardine has?  Probably way more than this doctor that we met today.  She walks in and goes do you want a half cast on that?  We were like yes, that might help with his mobility so we were happy with that.  He would get recasted with a new half cast in lime green  :)   I then begin to ask about a cast protector for showers or baths since these plastic bags were a real task to get on and taped, and we even had a minor snafu with the cast getting wet. Not only that, we are spending a fortune in medical tape and plastic bags.  My son’s poor skin is breaking down from the tape so, I know they sell these protectors online but we were asking her if they sold them locally somewhere.  She said No and the places that sometimes carry them are probably out of stock (wouldn’t this mean they do sell them locally and could you please just tell us where?) and they can only be on for 10 min.  I’m like, well let me decide, but she goes 3 more weeks and it can come off and she walks out of the room.  Uhhhhhhh?

My husband and I were beyond irritated.  It was more like, hi and bye, let me collect your money.  She didn’t x-ray his arm to see if it is healing properly or anything.  I was wondering what the point was?  If you are a doctor that works with families and children, I’ve got a little advice.  Put a smile on your face, act a little more alive and considerate than a dead fish!   Thankfully after 3 weeks, we don’t have to go back!