I know it's something that a lot of people have to do, and I'm hoping I won't regret it because it wasn't about me, it was about Tucker.
At the first swim meet of the year, on the concrete blocks diving in, his right foot slipped as he dove. The left leg hit hard against the concrete block.
The crowd went "Oooooh" as he hit the water.
I was timing in his lane, and I didn't think about him being hurt. I watched to see if he would force himself to catch up with the boy beside him, cause he hates to lose, even if it is because of a bad start. He finished the race, a 100 butterfly, but finished just behind the boy next to him.
|This is a photo from a summer ago as Tucker swam the butterfly|
And the coach came to the edge of the pool and said, "Did you hurt yourself, Tucker?"
Later she said she was worried that he had pulled something because of the awkward start.
When Tucker hoisted himself out of the pool, he wouldn't put any weight on his left leg and he had a knot on his shin.
The boy next to him helped him to a chair and one of the dads, who is a sports medicine doctor, went over to look at Tucker. I kept timing and didn't think much about it.
I heard the doctor saying, "Do you feel nauseated?" and Tucker nodded. He was shaking and pale. A couple of guys helped him get to the room where the kids rest between events and Tucker lay down. The doctor kept telling him to slow down his breathing because he was going to hyperventilate.
Tucker put his hoodie over his face and breathed into it. I think he was hiding tears.
We got some Advil for him to take and after a few minutes of hovering above him, he told me to leave, he'd be fine. So I went back to timing.
Then someone came in and told me Tucker was throwing up.
The doctor and I both went back to check on him. About half an hour had passed and he was still in a lot of pain, pale and shaking, along with throwing up. The doctor said he didn't think the bone was broken, but we should take Tucker to the emergency room for x-rays.
|This is what I wanted to do to make Tucker feel better |
but he isn't a toddler anymore
Two guys helped carry Tucker out to the car, acting like human crutches. Tucker still couldn't put any weight on his hurt leg.
In the dark of the car, Tucker reclined the seat and I slowly began to drive in the direction of the Children's Hospital.
I heard his breathing slow down as the car passed through the lighted streets. I had his phone in my pocket and I set it in the console between us. He didn't pick it up, which really worried me. Teenagers are rarely witout their phones.
I started talking to Tucker about the pain and the hospital.
I didn't say it, but I was thinking about the $200 co-pay the minute we walked in the emergency room.
Unfortunately, my earlier bout with a broken nose and surgery to correct it had depleted all of the money we had in our Medical Savings Account. A trip to the emergency room for me, plus surgery probably cost us a total of $2000, and that's with our good insurance. From here on, we were footing the bills directly from our checking account, which pays for two kids to go to college.
I didn't want to choose not to go to the ER because of money.
We decided to take a night to think about it. If we needed xrays the next morning, the doctor could send us to a walk-in place rather than the ER.
So we got back to the house and I ran in to grab the crutches. He was able to get into the house and ease himself into a recliner, where he sat for the rest of the night.
He started feeling well enough to drink some ginger ale and eat some pretzels. Later I gave him a bowl of macaroni and cheese.
This morning, he goes for his scheduled physical so we'll know more. The pain is less, but he still can't put weight on the front of his foot. He may yet go in for xrays. I hate having to make medical decisions based on money, but I know people do it every day in this country. That's crazy.
How about you? Do you put off medical care because of money?