Day 2 (cont’d) – in which I seek Marcus Welby

Still Sunday.

If it didn’t get better fast, Josiah’s bronchitis would completely ruin this entire vacation!  The only thing that would do that would be an antibiotic, but it was nearly 1:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon.  And Scott wanted to know what my plan was.

Sheesh!  The only plan I had involved resting and walking and reading and writing.  It did NOT include trying to obtain a prescription for my ailing son who was 13 uphill miles away.  I sat at our kitchen table and first panicked, then calmed myself and began to think through what had to be done.

Two things were both required immediately:  1) go get Josiah, and 2) get him to a doctor.  Number one was pretty straightforward.  I could drive to Loveland in 20 minutes and get Josiah.  Number two was more challenging.  How would I find a doctor?  In or near Georgetown?  Who was open on Sunday?  And even a doctor would be fairly useless if I couldn’t find a pharmacy open to get the prescription filled

Coincidentally, in Safeway a couple hours earlier, I had talked to the pharmacist there about the logistics of possibly trying to get Scott’s inhaler prescription filled.  So, I knew at least that there was a pharmacy there and that it was open on Sunday.  I called back to find, however, that they closed at 2:00 pm, so the only time we’d get any Zithromax there would be sometime Monday morning.  Sigh.  I called Jo back to tell him that I was doing some research and would call him back as soon as I had more information and had come up with some kind of a plan. I also told him to get the Blue Cross insurance card from Dad and have it on his person.

(Note that in my packing, I opted not to bring my Blue Cross card.  Only Scott, Jessica, Josiah, and Andrew are covered on it, but we are in the process of switching to a Christian medical sharing plan.  We were just approved for it, and I knew that Scott was cancelling our Blue Cross, so there seemed no need to bring the card.  But shortly after departing home, I had mentioned that choice to Scott, and he said that we were still on Blue Cross through March, and he had his card.  Given the incredible financial cost of Scott’s ski accident a few years ago, it wouldn’t be smart to go skiing without proof of insurance!)

While I was on the phone with Jo, the owner of our cottage came by to change a furnace filter, so I asked him if he knew of any way I could get my son at Loveland to a doctor that afternoon.  He looked skeptical.  He said my only choices were to go down to Denver (after seeing the traffic headed that way, which was still bumper-to-bumper and moving at zero to twenty mph, I was not inspired to go east) or to go up through the tunnel to Silverthorne, where there was a hospital in the next county.  I told him I knew Jo didn’t need a hospital; he just needed a prescription for an antibiotic.  The owner said I might be able to google “urgent care” and see if there were any in Silverthorne.  Of course, there would be plenty of those in Denver, but the traffic. . .

So the owner left, and I googled and came up with a medical center in Silverthorne.  I called and got a very nice Latino lady who was very hard for me to understand.  I asked if there was an urgent care associated with this medical center, and she told me that there were three, located in Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper.  Hmmm. . . those were all even farther away than Silverthorne.  Did she know if any of them were open on Sundays?  No, she didn’t know, but she had a number for a clinic in Silverthorne and I could call.  Okay, whatever.

I called the Silverthorne number and was on hold for – no exaggeration – 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, I kept searching online for different options.  Eventually, Lauren answered and I asked if this was an urgent care.  Well, yes.  It was a medical clinic and urgent care.  (Bingo!)  I was hesitant to even ask the next question (“How late are you open?”), but I did and she said they were open till 4:00 PM.  Wow!!!  Would it be possible for my son to be seen today?  “Sure.  We have several appointments available.”  Things were definitely looking up!  Then I asked if there were any pharmacies nearby that would be open on a Sunday afternoon/evening.  “Oh, yes,” she replied.  “I think they stay open till 5:00.”

I did a few quick mental calculations.  I should allow at least 30 minutes to pack up my stuff, get to Loveland, and pick up Jo.  Then, we’d go through the tunnel, but who knew what the weather and road conditions would be like on the other side?  If I was recalling correctly, Silverthorne was the first town on the other side, but I’d need to find the place.  Some doctor’s offices in Branson cancel your appointment if you are more than ten minutes late. . .

Looking at my computer screen, I saw that it was now after 2:00 PM.  I asked Lauren what times she had, and she said, “Our latest one is 3:45.”  I took it, gave her all Josiah’s information (including the fact that he had Blue Cross, “Great!  HMO or PPO?”  I thought it was PPO.  “Even better!”), thanked her profusely, and hung up.

I then called Josiah back and told him the plan:  I would pick him up in 20 or 30 minutes, we’d go to a doc in Silverthorne who would diagnose him and write a prescription for some wonder drug to make him feel better quickly, we’d go to a pharmacy and get the prescription filled, and we’d go back up the mountain and through the tunnel and get to Loveland in time to pick up Scott and Andrew by 4:30.  He grunted that that was fine with him and he’d be ready, Blue Cross card in wallet.

The find-a-doctor-and-a-pharmacy-on-a-Sunday-afternoon pressure now relieved, time pressure loomed large.  There couldn’t be that many doctors in Silverthorne seeing patients on a Sunday afternoon, so we may have a very long wait.  We’d also have to wait at a pharmacy – though hopefully only about 20 minutes – and we HAD to get back to pick up the skiers by 4:30.  Weather in winter on either side of the Eisenhower tunnel is subject to change within minutes and/or feet of elevation.  We have experienced this.  It can be clear and sunny in Georgetown (or Silverthorne) while up near the tunnel less than 15 miles away, it’s blizzard conditions and the truckers are required to chain up.

When providing shuttle services for Loveland skiers, it’s important to be there on time to pick them up.  Having paid good money for a lift ticket, a die-hard skier (that would be Scott) wants to get as much bang for his lift ticket buck as possible.  He will ski until forced to leave, and that’s what happens at 4:00 PM.  You get on the lift at 3:59 and ride up for several minutes, then ski down for a few more minutes.  You arrive at the bottom tired, but happy, and then you have to begin the haul.  You go into the cafeteria building to change boots and collect all your stuff.  Once you are out of your ski boots, you will have to carry out of the building and down a couple flights of stairs to the waiting shuttle the following:

2 skis

2 ski boots

2 poles

goggles

helmet

whatever winter gear you’re no longer wearing (hat, gloves, neck warmer, etc.)

lunch box

belt bag

As it is not possible to carry all this stuff at one time, multiple trips up and down those stairs must be made – at altitude and when you are physically exhausted from skiing all day.  Furthermore, it’s not considered smart to leave your stuff unattended at the bottom of the steps, especially the rented stuff (skis, ski boots, poles, helmet) that could be mistaken for someone else’s, so it’s advisable for the shuttle to be present at the foot of the steps when you begin bringing stuff down.

Also, if you do get all your gear down and your ride has not appeared, you have to sit out on a metal bench to wait.  And, by definition, at a ski area, it’s likely to be cold, windy, and/or snowing.  Trust me, skiers don’t appreciate being left to wait in those conditions!  BTDT.

So. . . as I quickly pulled away from our house in historic Georgetown, I was thinking about a 3:45 doctor’s appointment, followed by a pharmacy run, followed by a trek up to the tunnel, which had to end at 4:30.  Was that possible?  I also noticed the clock in the Durango, which said 1:30 PM instead of 2:30 PM.  Huh?!?  What the heck time was it?  It was 1:30.  I realized that while we had set the Durango to Mountain time, my computer (which I had been looking at while talking with Lauren) was still on Central time.  This meant that I had more than two hours to get Josiah to the doctor, and it surely wouldn’t take that long.

I called Lauren back and asked if perhaps she had any earlier appointments.  Yes, she had a 3:00 PM, which I took.  Whew!

The weather was good, but Jo was not.  He looked, sounded, and felt pretty bad.  I picked him up and we drove to the clinic in less than fifteen minutes.  He was seen by a very nice doc, who took time with him, listened to him, and treated him kindly and respectfully.  The diagnosis was bronchitis and sinus infection, and Zithromax would be the drug of choice.  He recommended using a humidifier (I had actually considered bringing a vaporizer, but had decided that would be overkill.  After all, we weren’t planning on anyone getting sick!), and suggested we use the Target pharmacy down the road.  He gave Josiah his card and said he’d be in all week and if Jo needed anything, to give him a call and he’d take care of him.  We were both very favorably impressed.  We left there at 3:04 PM.

Got the prescription and vaporizer at Target and arrived back at Loveland around 4:00 PM. To think that only three and-a-half hours after learning of Josiah’s need for medical care, he had a prescription in hand on a Sunday afternoon in the mountains(!!!) was just incredible.

That night we ate Taco Soup and played Dominion and agreed to take a home day Monday to aid Josiah’s recovery.  And I thanked God for his amazing provision for our family!

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