Toby, Eleanor and Callista qualify for Synagis, a 5-dose series of injections containing antibodies that protect high-risk patients from contracting RSV. Their gestational ages and lung complications at birth, their time spent on ventilators, CPAP and oxygen and their family history all lend a hand in qualifying them for this important medication.

They went in for their first dose at the beginning of the month. A few days later, our pediatrician called to say they had been given a tiny fraction of the dose by mistake. Because it’s a biohazard, the vials were thrown out once they were punctured, so our dilemma became getting them replacement doses.

We couldn’t request the next scheduled dose be sent out sooner and worry about how to pay for the replacement dose later because of protocol with the distributor. In order for them to receive a dose this month, someone needed to pay up front.

And it wasn’t going to be me.

When you spend four days’ worth of naptimes on the phone trying to simultaneously reason with people and not bash your head into the wall, Twitter is a saving grace. Here’s the play by play from my Twitter feed.

Day one:

  • Thank God the mistake didn’t go the other direction, but only getting 1/10th of a vaccination is pretty worthless.
  • Sorry – tweeting while making lunch. Nurse only gave babies 1/10 of their Synagis dose by mistake. Vials were tossed.
  • Pedi is trying to get ins to send more to cover the dose for this month. We all know how generous ins companies are …
Day two:
  • If I have to cancel their motherfucking birthday party because a motherfucking nurse messed up, I am going to LOSE MY EVERLOVING SHIT.
  • BIG SURIPRISE, the pharm co “isn’t willing” to replace the Synagis dose the nurse misdrew.
  • Pedi’s proposal? Pay OOP ($1600/kid) or skip this (birthday party) month.
  • My proposal? The practice pays for it, or we get the following 4 doses elsewhere. COCKBALLSMONKEYSHIT.
  • Pedi said she’d ask her office manager. I hope she tells her office manager to fix this before they lose preemie triplet patients aka $$$$.
  • No, it isn’t good enough to only reimburse our copay and not bill insurance for the 1/10 WORTHLESS vaccination.
  • Pedi said she should call back today. Tick tock, motherfucker.
  • On hold for office manager now. I’m not waiting another day.
  • Not one, THREE nurses checked the wrong dose.
  • Fucking worthless clinical (not office) manager*. “I’ll have to talk with some people & get back to you tomorrow. Is tha OK?” *I actually was speaking with the practice manager. The woman who transferred my call told me she was the clinical manager.
  • I’m pacing and shaking. I love this practice. WHY are they ruining things?
  • Still waiting to see if pedi calls back (she was waiting to talk with office manager).
  • How it happened: Nurse grabbed too-small syringes, filled to line that read 1. Was 1/10 of needed dose.
  • Three incorrect doses for three babies. Zero people readily willing to fix the mistake. Sorry. They are, they just aren’t sure if they can.
  • Fast, furious, angry tweets. This is what happens when rage sets in during naptime.
  • You bet your ass my local #NICU friends will hear about this. They send a lot of biz to this peds practice.
Day three:
  • Latest in Synagis clusterfuck: No word on getting the replacement dose paid for, trying to get the next dose pushed up for my kids’ sake
  • Apparently the issue is red tape on the way to approval for paying for/ordering a replacement dose.
  • Calling my insurance now.
  • Some good news: We can switch peds offices & still receive the remaining covered doses. Gotta contemplate.
  • Talked with Synagis, now talking with distributor. hmkvithy8tfiyu
  • This is rifuckingdiculous.
  • Hello, brick wall. Howyadoin?
  • Surprise, surprise. Money talks. I propose paying OOP to the distributor, they say they could have the dose ready by Tuesday.
  • INTERESTING, considering the practice manager said, if they paid, it’d be here no sooner than our next scheduled (paid-for) dose – Dec 5.
  • These balls I’m holding feel mighty squishy.
  • Talked with our fav #nicu nurse. She’s contacting folks, gave me add’l ideas. Next up is neonatologist & developmentalist.
  • Our developmentalist was the pediatrician who started the practice we see. Boom, motherfuckers.
  • If I don’t hear “yes, we’ll order a replacement dose,” by tomorrow, I’m contacting the news, local @marchofdimes, BBB, WHOEVER.
  • Happy Prematurity Awareness Month, asshole pediatrician practice. You’re about to see how strong we #preemie parents are.
  • Regardless, we’re switching peds. I’m DISGUSTED.
  • & my pediatrician should have never suggested skipping a dose as the solution.
  • Annnnd I just sent a message to one of the local #NICU’s neonatologists. Mama Bear says GRRRRR.
Day four:
  • I’m on hold for the doctor who started the practice. He’s the babies’ developmentalist, so he knows us.
  • I hate this. I am a passive person. I hate confrontation. I’m only doing this for my kids, who deserve more than they’re getting.
  • he called the practice mgr then called a higher up to push the money to get the shots paid for. Not quite fixed but closer.
  • The gloves came off, the claws came out, & I’m fairly certain I just made the practice manager cry.
  • “You’ve probably seen that my kids’ records say I’m unemployed. What they don’t say is I’m an unemployed JOURNALIST.” #ExcerptsFromMyRant
  • “I haven’t spent a year keeping them healthy to have a mistake by NURSES send them back to the hospital or worse.” #ExcerptsFromMyRant
  • “You’re telling me, that as the practice manager of a large pediatric group, that you don’t have access to $6k to correct a mistake? …”
  • “My MIL is a practice manager. I know she’d easily have access to that money.” “Maybe your MIL can tell me how to get it.” …
  • “So, you want my MIL to tell you how to do your job?” #ExcertsFromMyRant
  • & paraphrasing here: I’m pretty sure the Hippocratic Oath doesn’t comply with “Pay out of pocket or skip this dose.” #ExcerptsFromMyRant
  • “We aren’t talking about 1 patient. We’re talking about 3. This is gross medical negligence. If they contract RSV while left unprotected …
  • “That 3 medical malpractice lawsuits.” #ExcerptsFromMyRant
  • “I’m disgusted with this practice. Worse, I’m disgusted in the part I’ve played by choosing your practice to care for my children.”
  • And now I need to pump. You know, just part of everything I’ve done in the last year to keep my #preemies as healthy as possible.
  • I’m leaving now to meet the practice mgr at the office. She has the meds in her hand, paid for by the practice.
  • Call me Freeze Miser because I was cold as ice this afternoon.
  • Practice manager hung around me, trying to make small talk & say how cute my kids are. Me? Stink eye, bless-your-heart smirk.
  • I gave my cc to get our copay credited, requested & filled out the medical record release forms & checked the doses myself.
  • Still to do: File a complaint with the hospital system, update #NICU docs.
What a mess. I’m thankful the mistake wasn’t and didn’t lead to anything serious, but I’m not sticking around there to see if a second (or fourth, I suppose – one mistake for each baby) mistake has a worse outcome.

21 Responses to So, last week sucked

  1. Tillysak says:

    Way to go Mama Bear!! you did what you had to do to keep your babies safe, and any mama would applaud you for that. As for your rant – awesome. I love the “Unemployed? An unemployed JOURNALIST” part. Epic. I would have cried if I was her too.

    Way to go!

  2. Bonnie says:

    I was following along with you all last week with my fingers crossed! If I’d know which Pedi it was I’d have called them myself! You did great Mama Bear!

  3. I am so glad you could get this taken care of. I seriously hope that you can tear them a new one so other moms don’t go through the same unnecessary BS. I’m sorry you had to deal with it!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I was watching your tweets with baited breath last week. I’m so glad you are taking your business elsewhere. It’s criminal what people in the health and food industries get away with, or try to anyway.

  5. Shanna says:

    I can’t believe they didn’t thank their lucky freaking stars that this error only resulted in a $4800 payment to fix what was wrong. They should have been tripping over themselves to fix this as quickly as possible and be glad nothing terrible happened. Hello! TV shows going crazy for the story that could have been.

    I am so glad they are ok. I hate when I am forced absolutely against my personality by someone else not acting right. I feel shaky and furious and cry-y just reading about it. You did some good work Mama.

  6. Jasmine says:

    That was BAD ASS mama bear! I’ve never commented but had to come out of the closet to tell you that you are the epitome of THE SHIT! #thatisall

  7. Jenn Marie says:

    I love how we journalists have some serious packing punch to the ballsack with our words. :0)

    Way to fight. Way to get on the phone and make it happen. Far too many parents don’t know what to even throw at a doctor’s office and I hope that someone reads this and knows now what they can do — threaten to talk to the news, the BBB, to report them to the health department, ANYTHING! Even getting people you have connections with on the phone — GOOD FOR YOU!!!

  8. Megan says:

    OH MY GOD. this is insane!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot believe they gave them ALL the wrong dose. Way to go though in stepping up to take care of business. I would love to know though- are you definitely taking them somewhere else from now on?

  9. Good for you. I cannot (yet, sadly I can) that they wouldn’t immediately be tripping over themselves to fix this incredibly stupid and very very important mistake.

  10. Elli says:

    Hero in my book. I’d have done the same thing!!!! #PreemieMamaPower!!! 😉

  11. Emily says:

    omg. I cannot BELIEVE they wanted you to SKIP a dose or pay OOP for THEIR MISTAKE. Props to you for sticking to your guns (and telling everyone else!) What ridiculousness.

  12. Tameka says:

    You are amazing. That is all.

  13. Angel says:

    I’m SO glad you stuck to your guns with this one, even though it was uncomfortable and a hassle. There is no one else on this planet more capable of being a mother to the trio than you. You rock, mama!

  14. Therese says:

    I was following on twitter. I can’t believe that there was even a question of “who” should pay!!! You are fierce! Good job Momma!!!

  15. Kayla says:

    Good job mama bear.
    Also you should be able to file a quality of care complaint against the practice with your insurance company. Won’t really do a whole lot but at least they’ll know about this screw up and it might be good to have on record if anything else happens. Let me know if you want more details.

  16. The Mommy says:

    I just read an article in Parenting mag by Shaun Bean where he referred to moms as the “momfia”. I say, good thing. Because everybody knows the REAL mafia makes things happen. Glad you didn’t have to bust any kneecaps or make cement boots (but if something else goes wrong, I know some guys…).

  17. bev farley sanborn says:

    So proud! Would have done the same thing. GO GIRL!!

  18. Gina says:

    GO YOU! I’m so glad that you didn’t back down and that you did what was right for your babies!

    (I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning, well the beginning of the triplets and it’s very inspiring. Keep up the good work!)

  19. […] Sometimes, like today at the pediatrician’s, I just need a clear head to get us all through the current situation, to be able to listen, answer questions, observe and, to be perfectly honest, make sure no one’s making dumb mistakes. […]

  20. Jamie says:

    In awe of your persistence! You’re an awesome mother and advocate, not that you needed to have this shit thrown at you to prove that.

    It’s generally pretty horrifying that it took all that to get what they should have gotten all along :( Sorry you had to go through all that.

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