Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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The Top 5 Times I Truly Needed a Walgreens #HealthcareClinic for My Family! #shop #CollectiveBias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser, Walgreens #HealthcareClinic.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Ever since my husband was diagnosed with high blood pressure months ago, I have been thinking about how much of my family's happiness depends on our wellness.  Being well allows us to care for and support each other, to enjoy the things in life that we love, and to always try our best in everything we do.  All those things can become difficult if even one member of the family isn't well and I think I took that for granted too often.  The few times I was reminded of this was when my husband or one of my children were ill or injured.  Looking back, if any of our local Massachusetts Walgreens housed a Healthcare Clinic, those instances would have been much less of an ordeal.  Unfortunately, the Healthcare Clinic Philadelphia is the closest one to us right now.  Hopefully, that will change in the future.

Walgreens Healthcare Clinics are open 7 days a week, including evenings and weekends.  Is it just me or does that seem to be when our children tend to need a healthcare professional most often?  As long as your child is at lest 18 months of age, he or she can be seen.  Yes, a Healthcare Clinic would be handy for getting my children's vaccinations, tracking my husband's high blood pressure, treating my year-round allergies, and getting all 5 of us our annual physicals, but what really stands out to me is all those times we had to go to the emergency room for non-emergency illnesses and injuries because our doctors' offices were closed for the day.
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The top 5 times I needed a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic . . .

1.  High Fevers - Our 7 year old daughter has a mean front kick in Taekwondo, is a perfectionist when it comes to her artwork, and is an extremely messy eater.  She truly goes above and beyond with almost everything she does, including getting fevers.  She is an overachiever when it comes to fevers.  She rarely gets a 100.2, but rather her fevers often spike to over 104.  Once, she even made it over 105!  Of course, her fevers usually spike in the evening, so my husband and I would spend a worrisome evening wiping her down, having her drink cold water, piggybacking over-the-counter medicines, and so forth, always with the looming question: Do we need to take her to the emergency room to be seen by a professional?  If there had been a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic nearby, we would have taken her to be seen if her fever didn't lower significantly during the first hour or so.
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2.  Mysterious Aches and Pains - Our 7 year old son is a complainer.  Although he is super-sweet and we could not love him more, he is not the trooper that his twin sister is.  If he is hungry, uncomfortable, too hot, too cold, or itchy, you will be sure to hear about it (multiple times).  One day, he was complaining that his leg hurt and informed me that could not participate in Taekwondo class.  He was limping and dragging himself on the floor like he was mortally wounded, even though I saw him walking just 30 seconds prior.  I knew he was being over-dramatic, but I was not sure to what extent he was exaggerating.  What if he had something like a hairline fracture in his leg?

The doctor's office was already closed, so I told our son that his Dad would have to come get him and take him to the hospital.  He did not change his tune, so after a trip to the emergency room, a round of x-rays, and several hundred dollars later, we found out that there is nothing seriously wrong with him.  The worse case was that he might be experiencing growing pains.  If we had a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic nearby, we would have taken him there to consult with a healthcare provider before taking him for x-rays.

3.  Flu Symptoms -You may or may not remember my complaining last year about how hard our family was being hit by the flu.  We lucked out in that nobody had to go to the hospital, but we were not so lucky the year prior.  Our oldest son, who was 8 at the time, caught the flu bug from one of his siblings and had been throwing up for an hour.  Again, we were faced with the question about whether our child was sick enough to go to the emergency room.  Eventually, it was clear that he was not getting better and we did rush him to the emergency room to be treated for dehydration.  If taking him to a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic had been an option, we would have taken him to see a healthcare professional right away because they will only take "non-emergency" cases.  Maybe we could have started our son on the road to recovery before his condition worsened as much as it did?
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4.  Minor Cuts - If you ever have the pleasure of meeting my husband, ask to shake his hand.  While you're shaking his hand, be sure to checkout all the little (and not so little) scars he's incurred over the course of his life.  Although some of the scars appeared before my time, there are a few that formed after we met.  It is a standing joke between us about how we always subconsciously move to places that are less than a half mile away from a hospital.  My husband has cut his hands washing a drinking glass that suddenly broke right in his hands, chopping vegetables, and using his multi tool (which he uses for everything).

You'd think for an adult, it would be easier to know if the emergency room was required, but that is not always true.  There were times when my husband did not think his cuts were bad enough to warrant stitches, so he did not go to the E.R.  If there had been a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic nearby, he could have had his cuts sealed with skin adhesive instead of risking the possibility of getting an infection.
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5.  Skin Infections or Spider-like Bites -  Speaking of infections and husbands, once my husband noticed a small irritation on the side of his shin.  He thought it was an ingrown hair, a tiny spider bite, or something minor like that.  Then the area began to turn red and started swelling.  He let it go and only took ibuprofen to fight the infection and the discomfort.  I told him to make an appointment to see his doctor, but he didn't listen (as husbands often fail to do).  Mainly, he did not want to miss time at work because he was worried that it would reflect poorly on him.  It was not until the pain increased significantly that he went to the emergency room to be seen one evening.

Because my husband waited so long, the infection grew into something serious.  He was in the hospital for 3 days and had to have surgery to remove the infected tissue.  If he could have gone to have his leg (with the tiny irritation) looked at after work one evening at a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, it would never have escalated to a hospital stay and surgery.

As you can see, our family definitely needs another option besides the emergency room for after-hours non-emergency healthcare services.  Not only would a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic save us the expense of a hefty emergency room co-payment, but it would also have saved us the time we spent waiting for hours in the E.R. since priority is given to emergency cases.  For your local Healthcare Clinic, you can make an appointment and see the wait time online, so you can wait in the comfort of your own home if you want to wait 45 minutes before you head over.  There's nothing worse than being sick or injured and having to sit anxiously in a waiting room for hours, whether you're a child or an adult.

When do you recall needing attention for a non-emergency reason and had to resort to going to the emergency room?  To check if one of the 400+ Walgreens Healthcare Clinics is located near you, visit the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic online.