The past couple weeks have not been a good one when it comes to the health in my family. The only person who’s avoided something has been my husband, but I just know Mr. Murphy is waiting in the wings for him. I’ve been to the ER, doctors, and specialists (including an accupuncturist for my 5 day headache last week), and if I had just chosen a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, I could have saved myself some headaches – literally. Finding a healthcare clinic in Chicago is easy, but sometimes I make it too hard on myself for no good reason.
Sometimes it seems like there is a Walgreens on almost every corner, and so many of them now have healthcare clinics inside. The hours are extended far beyond what my doctor offers, from 8am to 7:30pm weekdays and 9am to 4:30pm weekends, because everything seems to happen at about 4:30pm when my pediatrician is closing or on the weekends, right? It’s super easy to check the wait time of your local clinic on the Walgreens website or even better, to make an appointment to minimize any waiting. Try that at my pediatrician!
My time is valuable, and our calendar is too full to spend it waiting for an appointment that doesn’t really fit with everything else we do or – worse – means we’re sick or injured longer than we have to be.
The healthcare professionals at Walgreens #HealthcareClinics can’t solve every medical problem, but they can help with so many issues from many regular vaccinations to physicals for camp or sports to diabetes screenings to strep to burns to acne and more. They accept most insurance plans – including my own – which makes it a reasonable choice.
I’ve visited the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic near me a couple times, but there are so many other times when I should have headed there instead of doing nothing or visiting the ER or waiting for my traditional doctor appointment days later.
Top 4 Times I’ve Needed a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic
I get sinus infections every once in awhile, though knock on wood I haven’t had one in a couple years now. I know exactly what they are and what they feel like compared to just a cold or a stuffy nose. My teeth hurt. My cheekbones hurt. And it gets bad fast. My doctor usually takes a couple days to get an appointment, even when you’re sick. The last time I had a sinus infection, I did go see a health professional at Walgreens, and it was so easy. I simply walked in – this was before I knew I could schedule appointments online – and signed in, then waited for two patients ahead of me before working with the provider to determine that yes, I did in fact have a sinus infection. Best of all, her computer was connected directly to the pharmacy, so by the time I was finished with her, my prescription was almost ready just ten feet away. The fact that I could then just go home and rest with no more running around or waiting was a huge blessing.
I got a call from Mister Man’s school two weeks ago Friday that he wasn’t feeling well. After determining that four other children from his class had already been sent home that day, I hopped in the car to pick him up. He had a fever and was miserable. Unfortunately, it was already after 1pm that day, and our pediatrician’s sick appointments were filled. I don’t know why I didn’t think to take him to a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic, but I certainly wish I had.
When we got home, he went straight upstairs and fell asleep still wearing his glasses, something he never does during the day. When he woke up, he complained that his stomach was hurting him, and he couldn’t keep any food down. Given where he was complaining about his stomach, I was afraid he might have appendicitis (thank you Dr. Google) but our pediatrician couldn’t see him. Had I instead taken him to the healthcare clinic, the provider could easily have set my fears aside (no, he didn’t have appendicitis) and quickly diagnosed him with the flu that was running rampant in our school.
That same night, Little Miss came downstairs complaining that her ear hurt. Badly. I gave her some medicine to ease the pain and sent her back to bed, knowing I wasn’t about to head to the ER for ear pain and that nothing was open then. When I called the pediatrician’s office – which does have sick hours on Saturdays, supposedly – I got the voicemail and left a message concerning both children. No one ever called me back, even after a second message, and I just let it be.
Again, had I been thinking and not in a sleep deprived haze, I would have taken her to the healthcare clinic for her ear. They could easily have seen that it was very swollen and pushing out with fluid and given her medication to start to cure the infection. Instead, we did nothing, and her eardrum burst that night. On a Sunday, I had no choice but to take her to the ER to determine how bad it was (because – yuck, it was nasty) because our pediatrician has no Sunday hours, nor do specialists, and a burst eardrum is beyond the scope of the healthcare clinics since I waited too long.
I created needless pain and suffering for Little Miss – not to mention expense for me since I ended up having to take her to the ER, then to an ENT, and now we’re awaiting the follow up appointment to see if her badly burst eardrum is healing or whether she’ll need surgery.
Even worse? The ER won’t call in prescriptions to pharmacies (unlike my pediatrician), so after we finished our long wait at the ER, Little Miss and I still had to drop off her prescription and wait for it to be filled. If only I’d taken her in when she first complained about her ear!
Remember last year when I sprained my foot? Sadly, I do, too. It was a stupid injury on my part, but I knew right away that it wasn’t broken, just sprained. I simply wrapped it and elevated it. My husband and a good friend refused to let me not have it treated, however, and that night they forced me to go to the ER – and yes, I know exactly how expensive that is, even with insurance. They verified that it was a sprain (see, I told you so) and gave me an immobilizing boot to wear and a new wrap.
That? I could absolutely have had that taken care of at the Walgreens Healthcare Clinic. They handle sprains and strains, and I would have waited far less time to be seen, in addition to paying a fraction of the amount. My stubbornness in just letting it go cost me, but it would have been so easy to head to the healthcare clinic instead.
Here’s hoping I don’t need any doctors anytime soon, but thanks to this #collectivebias post, I have a great reminder of the resources at the Walgreens Healthcare Clinics almost literally in my backyard!