H1N1 hits – and why I hate HealthPartners

Grace woke with a fever Thursday night. After much pleading to get her to take some medicine (which she used to beg for), we held her down and gave her Tylenol with the baby dropper. By morning she was fine.

She developed a fever Friday late afternoon. After pulling her out from under our bed, we again gave her Tylenol with a baby dropper. The next morning, she still had a fever and finally took some medicine willingly. The fever returned Saturday night and she again took it willingly and went to bed.

Her fever has not returned but she has a sore throat, runny nose and cough. Garden variety flu, right?

So at 3 a.m. this morning, Connor woke up and wandered around calling my name. He had a fever. After some pleading and after he got sick of us cooling him down with a wet washcloth, we got him to take Tylenol with the baby dropper. He slept with us the rest of the night and remained hot but not high-grade-fever hot.

After some google searches about whether you HAVE to give medicine to reduce symptom-less fevers, I decided to let him ride it out. He spent the day on the floor watching TV. He stayed hot but not so alarmingly that I took his temperature. I should have been more diligent about sponging him down and getting him to drink water but I wasn’t feeling that great myself and spent a good portion of the time on the floor asleep next to him.

I called Mark to skip practice so Grace could go to gymnastics without Connor having to come with. He was alarmed by Connor’s heat, took his temperature (103.1) and after some online consultations about the dangers of H1N1 to pregnant women, called the HealthPartners nurse.

She asked a bunch of questions and said he should come to urgent care (by this point office hours were nearly over) because he hadn’t gone to the bathroom all day and she thought he might be dehydrated.

Nearly three hours in the waiting room and $30 later, he was seen by the doctor. They didn’t do a blood test or nasal swab; just asked his symptoms, took his temp, etc., and said it’s probably H1N1. This was all information they had known over the phone. They said H1N1 symptoms generally lasts three days. At that point, you will get dramatically better, meaning your body has fought it off, or dramatically worse, meaning you have probably developed a secondary illness like pneumonia. So they sent him home with no definitive answer, no medicine, and said to come back if it doens’t run it’s course in three days.

They will be calling me in the morning to come in for some tamiflu for me to protect the baby. (I wasn’t there with him tonight because I can’t be in a waiting room full of other people with possible H1N1.)

So thank you HealthPartners for wasting our time, the doctor’s time and the other patients’ time rather than just telling us all this information over the phone. (And this is not the first time I’ve had issues with the way HealthPartners operates, by the way.) Mark says he feels more comfortable having brought him in, but I do not. I’m irritated.

Cute highlight of the incident: On the way home, he said “I not get that fever no more. It too hot.” Mark said, “If you do get it, you’ll take your medicine, right?” “Yeah, cause that help make hot go away.”

9 comments for “H1N1 hits – and why I hate HealthPartners

  1. Michael
    October 19, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    ugh, i totally know how you feel . hope you all feel better soon. no fun to be sick , especially when you are pregnant!

  2. VTeamLV
    October 19, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    ugh..so frustrating!! Did they even do a pulse ox (measure his oxygen on his finger/toe)? Listen for breath sounds??

  3. Missy @ The Marketing Mama
    October 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Those nurses on the phone ALWAYS say to go in, don’t they? UGh.

    You know what though? There was some kid on the news that died from h1n1 because the parents didn’t notice he was getting dehydrated. If the nurse was worried about that, I can understand pushing to get you in. There are kids dying ALL over our country right now from this f*cked up virus, so I’d say your time wasn’t wasted at all really.

    I hope you all get better really quickly!

  4. TheMommason
    October 21, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I find it hinky that they did not do a test since the CDC requires notification of test proven H1N1. Are they trying to deflate the actual numbers? Sounds like HealthPartners is following the VA’s practice of NOT providing services. Dehydration is a major issue with any illness (heck just being outside) Push that water and one that is great to get this time of year and actually has bacteria munchers is Apple Cider. Not the Apple Juice but the Cider! Kidlet had major fever disorder when he was little and We were always stocked in Apple Cider.
    Hope you all stay safe and healthy.

  5. Recovering Procrastinator
    October 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for the cider tip Mommason. We happen to have some from a recent orchard trip!

  6. Monkeymama Sarah
    October 22, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I hope your little guy is feeling better and that you don’t get sick!

  7. Anonymous
    November 7, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    YEAH I KNOW I JUST TOOK 3 OF MY CHILDREN IN TO THEM TODAY NO BLOOD TEST NO SWAB OR NOTHING JUST SENT ME HOME SAYING IT TAKES 5 DAYS TO RUN ITS COURSE BUT IF THEY START VOMITING AND TROUBLE BREATHING BRING THEM BACK. PLENTY FLUIDS THINGS LIKE THAT OKAY AND SO YOU ARE GOING TO GET PAID HOW MUCH FOR THIS VISIT FOR WHAT?

  8. Anne
    December 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I cannot even begin to chronicle the instances where Health Partners has wasted my time and money, extorted me on a claim, billed me incorrectly, screwed up treatment (typically the nurse line) or treated me with indifference or rudeness. This includes member services, accounting, claims, account managers and Mary Brainerd’s office. Horrible, horrible health plan. I have no one but myself to blame as after the latest round of rudeness and incompetency, the open enrollment period here had passed.

  9. Dean Inches
    May 13, 2013 at 8:10 am

    In June 2009, the World Health Organization declared the new strain of swine-origin H1N1 as a pandemic. This strain is often called swine flu by the public media. This novel virus spread worldwide and had caused about 17,000 deaths by the start of 2010. On August 10, 2010, the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 influenza pandemic over, saying worldwide flu activity had returned to typical seasonal patterns.”;

    My own web site
    http://healthwellnesslab.com/index.php

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