After our dinner, we walked back to the hotel. We could have taken a cab because it was about a mile, but I wanted to walk. It was a beautiful Spring day, and my belly was so full that I needed to walk some.
Unfortunately, Devin really couldn't walk. He had started to get a cold, and you know how sometimes his colds come with asthma symptoms? Well, so did this one. John and I took turns carrying him back to the hotel on this lovely evening.
We (I) talked about calling the doctor for a prescription. But we (I) never did. I felt like he was OK. I felt the medicine I had been giving him was going to work. But, then he laid down to sleep. And, he would cough an unproductive cough and whine and then kick John in the back. He did that several times. I took him into the bathroom to breathe in some steam, and do you know what he did? He fought it just as hard as he had ever fought a nebulizer mask.
We finally decided to call the doctor around 11. I got the answering service, and a grumpy doctor called me back almost immediately. This is the doctor who hails from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon and usually has an impressive Southern accent to prove it. But, not after 11 PM. He was not happy! And, I guess he shouldn't have been. I shouldn't travel without a rescue inhaler ever. Not with Devin's history of colds that sometimes come with asthma symptoms.
So, the grumpy doctor called in a prescription to a CVS about 3 miles from the hotel. I got dressed, got some cash, told Devin I would buy him M&Ms if he came with me, and we got into a cab. The cab driver expressed concern, and we discussed his 6 year old daughter's asthma. Cabs in DC are nice and comfy! They don't stink. The driver was nice and helpful. About 10 minutes later, we arrived at the CVS. A super nice guy with a coffee can offered to help me out of the car, and I needed it. I was still carrying Devin, and I have a big purse, and it was caught in the door. My concern was Devin, though, so I just thanked the coffee can guy and went into the CVS.
This was the busiest CVS in Washington DC if I'm not mistaken. I waited about 7 minutes to see the harried pharmacist, and it took him another 30 or so to fill my prescription. All the while, he was having to help people needing things like the morning after pill and medicine containing psuedophedrine. He had to do that without help, and he really did an admirable job.
Our insurance either didn't work or I gave him the wrong card, so I had to pay out of pocket. It was about $130. Albuterol used to cost about $5 to $10 out of pocket, but it was changed recently so now it uses a different accelerant (whatever chemical that makes it puff out) and now it's closer to $60. And, we had to get a spacer, too, because Devin hasn't mastered using an inhaler without one. That was $70. Ouch. I couldn't help but be grateful I had the money. Would someone without the money just have to watch their kid suffer? I guess if I didn't have the money, I would have taken him to an ER for a breathing treatment and hopefully a free sample rescue inhaler. Why isn't albuterol sold over the counter?
After I gave him some puffs, we went out into the night, hopeful we would be able to catch a cab back to the hotel. The nice guy with the coffee can hailed me a cab. And, I didn't tip him, and I really should have. He was helpful and nice and recognizing my timidity with hailing a cab used a loud clear voice and got me a cab in less than a minute. I want to send him a thank-you card. This was going to be the worst part of the evening for me, and he took care of it.
This cab was also nice with a friendly driver whose child also has asthma.
We arrived back at the hotel for a night of fitful sleep. Devin kept coughing, but it was more productive now. And, now the asthma is mostly gone and everyone else is catching his cold.
And, if you search asthma here on my blog, you will see that about once a year, he gets a cold with asthma whenever we go out of town.
So, have I learned my lesson? You think?? Maybe???
I just hope so. It was two pleasant cab rides, a part of DC we wouldn't have seen otherwise (Dupont Circle, we went back there the next day), an overworked but really nice pharmacist, about 2 hours of sleeping time lost, and $130 for medicine I should always have with me. I hope I learned my stinkin' lesson.