Sick.For.Days.

And by days I mean weeks.

I am blaming our sick on the new North Dakota germs that we are encountering for the first time. Our immune systems are losing the fight. I am not the kind to gate ourselves off from civilization until winter is over but I’m not gonna lie, the concept was entertained this last week. My little guy, who has never had an ear infection in his life, has had a stream of them since January.

In case you’ve never experienced, ear infections = no sleep for anyone.

We’ve had colds, not just sniffley noses but deep chest coughs that I was convinced were turning into pneumonia and so much snot… I’ll leave it there.

Then there was the achey flu that hovered in this house.

The last 2 weeks have been the worst but everyone officially slept through the night this weekend and seem good enough to interact with the public now.

Anyway, that’s my excuse. That is why I have been absent. I think, knock on wood, we are over the worst of it and I’m back in the game. I have so many fun ideas of things to write about and hope I can stay on track.

Being sick in Watford City has been unnerving to me. For the first time in my adult life I have great health insurance. Which is wonderful and everything except that there are no in-network providers within an hour of Watford. Seriously? That’s enough to make a person scream.

So, with Benj we are taking him to the clinic in town, Anova, and paying out of network because it’s not worth it to haul a sick kid an hour away. I made the trek to Williston to go to an in-network clinic for my strep throat a few months back and I couldn’t put a sick kid through that.

Here’s the other frustrating part, same day care is all but impossible here no matter where you go, in or out of network. Insta or urgent cares are so full. Clinics are booked for days. The options are slim to none.

Last Monday I came down with something (I’ll spare you the details) wherein I needed a doctor NOW. Not during the next available appointment on THURSDAY, and not to show up at the urgent care (an hour away) at 7am tomorrow morning (that’s the only way to be seen) but NOW or at least today. For the first time since I have lived here I felt so completely isolated. I called every single place in or out of network within an hour drive and not a one could see me. I was seriously considering going to Williston to sit in the ER for 6-8 hours (that’s the wait time they gave me on the phone). I felt panicked, I felt ticked off, and I may have taken North Dakota’s name in vain a few times. Health Care is such a basic human need and I have grown accustomed to a certain level of immediacy.

My sister and I were laughing on the phone that even in India we could walk down to the apothecary, describe our symptoms, and they’d sell us whatever antibiotic or steroid cream or pain pill that we wanted. Maybe not the safest but I knew that all I needed was an antibiotic, I was yearning for an apothecary.

Eventually I was drama enough that a nurse convinced a doctor in Dickinson to diagnose me over the phone and call in a prescription. They assured me that they never do that and I shouldn’t expect it again. I didn’t care, I almost drove the 1.5 hrs to kiss them. Hallelujah I had my antibiotic.

Thus far, health care has been the most frustrating thing to me since living here. I can live with out real stores and I can stand in line forever at the post office, I can walk through mud, slip on ice, deal with -20* winds hitting my face, I can keep my child inside for months with no where to run, now listing the common complaints of the area, none seem like a big deal at all. But, when I need a doctor, not having access is over my tolerance level. It leads me to call unsuspecting offices and cry and yell and act like a crazy person.

Is there something I’m missing? Do you live in Watford and have a secret to health care that I haven’t discovered?

Anyway, I’m back (I hope) so stay tuned!

 

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