The last normal Saturday of our lives began as usual. I got up at about 3:40 am-ish, got Gary up at 3:45 am, served breakfast, saw him out the door, went back to bed for a bit over an hour, went out did chores for a bit while Ellen slept in. Her last peaceful sleep in...for awhile yet at least.
I told Gary out in the barn during chores that I reckoned I'd take Ellen in to the walk-in clinic in Buffalo and have them do a blood sugar test on her, that way I wouldn't have to pick her up from school on Tues and be late for supper and all. He agreed that would be better.
I naively made a shopping list and figured we'd stop by the library as well, so she could pick out her own books. I think I had a couple of other errands to run, but I forget.
Oh, weep for the best laid plans of mice and men which never come to fruition.
There weren't many people at the clinic so we got in pretty quickly. Ellen wasn't nervous about a finger prick, she was worried about having to maybe pee in a cup.
But there was no need to worry about that then; they didn't bother with peeing in a cup. Her finger prick showed a blood sugar level of 390. Quite high. I'd noticed on the way to town that her breath smelled, and the nurse practitioner, Jesse, mentioned that. Said she was in ketosis. It meant her body was starting to consume itself to get energy. I sat there numbly and listened to him tell me I needed to get her to the emergency right away. Jesse told us we could either go to Mercy or Cox hospitals in Springfield. Said we'd have to stay overnight to get her stabilized. My internal voice reassured myself that this would be no big deal; she might miss church but would be back to school by Monday.
When we got back home Gary was in eating his lunch. He was surprised to see us back home so early. He was stunned when I told him the news. I think Ellen was too tired to much care. She was pretty draggy. But she willingly packed her backpack. Thank God Gary had his head straight, he called around and found out exactly where we needed to go. Yes, because we have Cox insurance we needed to head to Cox in Springfield.
Off we went. When we got there we went to the urgent care section. I am still unclear if that is what they call their emergency room or not. We filled out paperwork, described the symptoms, gave the findings of the walk-in clinic...etc. Then we sat and sat for 30-45 minutes or so. When we went in they did all the vitals and then handed us a cup for her to pee in. Ellen nearly broke down there. But, after much trouble, we got a bit of a sample.
Then we went in to a room where the nurse asked us more questions and we waited on the doc. She came in and pretty much told us they could stabilize Ellen there, but they didn't have an endocrinologist so they'd take her by ambulance to either St Louis or Columbia. Gary asked; "What about Mercy here in Springfield?"
"Oh," she says. "They do have an endocrinologist, but they won't take your insurance."
Gary: "So the local hospital we have insurance for can't help her and the hospital that can help her won't take us?"
Doc: "Yes, it's a political thing."
Gary: "How long until you find out the results of the test?"
Doc: "About an hour."
Gary: "So we have to wait an hour, even though you can't help her here, then you'll transport her by ambulance and a great amount of money to where she needs to go?"
Doc: "Yes, heh-heh-heh, blah blah blah blah, it's a political thing. blah blah blah"
Doc leaves the room.
Gary looks at me: "Let's go."
So we left.
Maybe THAT was in and of itself a political decision, but we left. We wanted to get her where she needed to be without the political crap.