This post is sponsored by XpertCare.
Why does it seem like all the Emergency Room visits happen when my husband is deployed? We have five kids, so it’s not surprising that they get into a fair amount of scrapes, sicknesses, and dangerous situations. But it is frustrating that the worst cases seem to happen when my husband is away. Then I am left with the difficult decision of weighing whether it is worth it to take everyone else to the hospital with us.
During one deployment, the toddler (kid #4) managed to get her hand caught in the minivan’s automatic door. She was throwing a tantrum next to the van after I got her out, and I didn’t expect her to insert her little hand right into the doorframe as it was closing. I watched in horror as the door rolled right over her hand and snapped closed. I immediately yanked it open and discovered that her hand was already swelling and turning purple. She was screaming in pain. I didn’t have time to call anyone or ask for help. I grabbed ice and tied it around the toddler’s hand, then loaded everyone back into the car and drove straight to the emergency room on base. It was difficult being in a hospital waiting room with four young children, but what choice did I have? The baby needed X-rays and medical care right away. Thankfully, nothing was broken and she recovered well.
Towards the end of that deployment, my six-year-old son decided to swallow a quarter. I don’t know why, since he was old enough to know better by then! The quarter was lodged sideways in his throat, so he was able to breathe and talk, but it was very uncomfortable and he was crying and heaving. I wasn’t sure how to handle it, so I called the Tricare Nurse Help line. She encouraged me to get him to the ER, since the quarter could turn and block his airway at any moment. As I was gathering up the kids, my son suddenly vomited and that solved the quarter problem!
Luckily for us, those emergencies ended without serious injuries or without much strain on my kids. But medical emergencies with kids during deployment are always a gamble. There have been times I had to call neighbors to watch several of my children while I spent hours at the hospital with one child who had a fever and needed medicine or a simple treatment. There was one week where all four of them had the flu and were vomiting continuously for several days. I couldn’t go anywhere to pick up medicine, take them to the doctor, or even get groceries.
And all of that was before COVID-19.
Now, most hospitals are limiting the amount of people who can be in waiting rooms. Only children with appointments are allowed at the pediatric office. Only one adult is allowed to accompany a child. A single parent with multiple children has a tough decision to make when one of them needs medical care. Do you risk going to the ER? Do you have someone you can trust to watch your other kids? Will a babysitter come to your house if anyone has been sick?
So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard about a service that is fully covered by Tricare and allows you to have a video visit with a Board Certified Pediatrician from the safety of your house! It’s called XpertCare.
XpertCare is a new program where you can schedule a video call with a Pediatrician, who can diagnose and prescribe medication during the call. This is better since the Nurse Help Line, since they can’t diagnose, prescribe medicine, or do any type of follow-up. And it is certainly better than spending hours in a hospital waiting room being exposed to all the other sick people there. Once you get an appointment time, the average wait time before you see a doctor from the video waiting room is just five minutes!
XpertCare was developed by Dr. Lisa Di Enno. Not only is she a Board Certified Pediatrician, but she also served in the Navy, and is married to a Naval officer. Both her children have always had their healthcare through Tricare. After years of waiting for appointments and struggling to decide what to do with one child when the other was sick, Dr. Lisa started to ask if there was a better way to do pediatric visits. She knew that some insurance covers video visits and consults with a doctor, so she worked with Tricare to get certified to see their patients at no cost to military families. She is now a Pediatrician on the XpertCare team, and the only one providing Urgent Care visits.
I like that an XpertCare visit feels like a regular check-up with the doctor, but without all the hassle of waiting in a clinic waiting room, or asking other kids to sit quietly while crammed in an exam room. Since no one needs to wear masks at home, you can all smile and see each other clearly. This is a big help to my youngest, a baby. Every time we go to the hospital, she cries when she sees the masks. But during a video call, she happily smiles and talks to the screen. It makes it easier to have a conversation with the doctor and ask questions.
If you want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lisa, it’s free. Book a visit through the Xpertcare website. Even if you don’t need the site today, bookmark it for future use. Save it on your phone, because you never know when your kids will do something crazy and you’ll need an urgent care visit right away!
XpertCare is currently available in the state of California, with plans to expand to several other states soon. You can follow them on Facebook for updates when they will open virtual visits in your state!
Watch the FB Live video below for more details: