When we last gathered around the virtual campfire, at the gnarly feet of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, the cliffhanger ended with The Pony taking his aching ear to bed, his fever having dropped a degree. That was at 9:00.
I heard The Pony up at 2:30, his bedroom and bathroom door squeaking, and footsteps in between. I'm sure it was The Pony. Not the resident entity. At 5:15 a.m., I heard him again. I called upstairs to inquire as to his current state of health.
"I managed to sleep for two 3-hour segments. I don't think I can go back to sleep now. I'm taking an ibuprofen, then getting in the shower. I woke up in a pool of sweat. My temperature was 97. I think Dad should take me to the doctor, though. It's still hurting, and I don't want it to get worse."
I told Farmer H that he should call his nurse-practitioner and try to get The Pony in. He said, "Urgent Care would be easier." I was doubtful about the cost. Farmer H said it would be the standard $35 co-pay with the insurance, same as an office visit. I think he's wrong, but we'll find out. At least it shouldn't be a couple hundred dollars that an ER visit would be. Like when Genius was home from college one year, and went two consecutive days, at a charge of $200 per visit. Even though I call shenanigans, because it was THEIR fault they didn't fix him the first time!
Anyhoo... Urgent Care is across from my pharmacy, catty-corner from Dairy Queen. It opened at 8:00, and Farmer H drove off into the sunrise with The Pony around 8:15.
At 11:00, The Pony was home, telling me the story as soon as I got up.
"Dad waited in the car. He didn't think they'd let him in anyway. There was hardly anybody there. They took me right in. Dad had said not to tell them I had a fever, because they'd want to give me a covid test. And besides, I didn't have a fever when I got there. But once I was in the exam room, I told them. Everybody wore a mask. They had signs up that you couldn't enter without a mask.
The nurse practitioner looked in my ear. She said it didn't look like my inner or middle ear was involved. That it looked like just the ear canal. She gave me a prescription for antibiotic ear drops, but the pharmacy wasn't open yet. So Dad brought me back home so we didn't have to sit around and wait. I'll go to town with you, and go in and get it."
Well. As I showered, it hit me that the pharmacy didn't have The Pony's insurance information, since he'd been away at college for four years. When I got out, I brought it up.
"We might just pay cash, if it's a generic, and not fool with the insurance."
"Um. Probably not. Because I got this, for me to verify my prescription, and it says the cost will be $87."
"Oh. Well. We'll use the insurance. I think I'll call them, to see if they can have it ready to go, but just run the insurance when you go in. Otherwise, we'll leave your card, and swing back by there after the other errands."
I called the pharmacy, and the lady said they DID have the insurance information. So maybe I'd given them a copy of The Pony's card when I updated my new card in July. She said the cost would be $20.
When we arrived, I told The Pony I'd just do it through the window, rather than make him go inside. I verified that this med would not be bad for an amoxicillin allergy. The Pony was mortified that the window worker went back to ask the pharmacist. She started it! SHE'S the one who asked if I had any questions for the pharmacist. Besides, whose word would I rather have? The window worker by way of the pharmacist, or The Pony's word by way of a nurse practitioner?
Anyhoo... The Pony read the directions page stapled to the bag. He has to take 3 drops in his ear, four times a day. So he's going to do it every six hours. The first dose was in T-Hoe, waiting for me to come out after cashing in some scratchers. He has to have his head tilted for five minutes, to keep the drops in the ear canal. Within ten minutes of the first dose, he said it didn't hurt as much. That's a step in the right direction.
The Pony also had something else to say.
"Mom. I don't want to upset you. But when I was waiting in the exam room, I heard one of the workers COUGHING! Really loud. Then she said to the other one, 'My lungs are so full of Lysol, I don't think covid could survive in there.' But she had on a mask. And she wasn't coughing on ME. She was in another room."
"Great. Now you've probably been exposed, and I'm driving around sitting right next to you! You'll have to quarantine 14 days, and me too."
I was kind of joking with him. He doesn't think he had any dealings with the cougher.
We're hoping this medicine does the trick, and the infection doesn't move into the inner ear. Farmer H has always had a problem with his ears. Any time he gets water in them, he has about a 33 percent chance of getting an ear infection. When his old doctor was still practicing, all Farmer H had to do was call and say he was getting another ear infection, and the doc would call in some drops.
I guess now I will torment The Pony by saying, "You have your father's ears." I hope The Pony doesn't torment me by saying, "HUH?"