Urgent Care: A Love Letter

MedExpress, our partner for this post, has 250 urgent care locations in 20 different states. These facilities are warm and welcoming and the average wait time is under an hour. MedExpress also accepts Tricare in most states so check out the MedExpress website to see if there is one near you.

Dear Urgent Care,

You are the unsung hero of my motherhood journey because my kids ALWAYS get sick on Friday night.

It is uncanny!

I have dragged them into an urgent care on countless Saturday mornings, so they could see a healthcare professional and be feeling better by Monday. We have been diagnosed with strep throat, ear infections, croup, hand foot and mouth disease, and who knows what else.

But this past winter, I was thankful for urgent care because it took care of ME.

This past flu season hit our town hard. Some local public schools were reporting attendance between 30 and 50 percent. My husband was so sick with the flu, dehydration, and pneumonia that he was hospitalized to receive medications through an IV.

Fast forward two weeks after my husband was discharged from the hospital. I was feeling … off. I thought I probably had the flu as well, but it wasn’t too bad, so I figured I’d just drink lots of fluids, take fever-reducers, and rest. However, since my husband had gotten so dangerously sick from the same flu, he insisted I get to the doctor ASAP.

I went to urgent care (because it was Saturday morning, of course!), and I wasn’t alone. Everyone in the waiting room looked a little worse than I did. But I was feeling pretty good. I had a book and the television was on HGTV, so I waited— enjoying my kid-free time. As a mom, we have to take what we can get!

When I got back into the room, I was tested for the flu and strep. I told them I might have the flu, but I really felt OK. I had seen how sick my husband had been, and I was not like he was. I had driven myself there and read a book while I waited! I couldn’t be that sick.

A few minutes after they swabbed my throat and nose, the provider came back in and said, “Well, what would you rather have, flu or strep?”

I decided on strep because I could get antibiotics and feel better faster.

He started laughing and said, “Congratulations! You have both!!”

I couldn’t believe it. I protested that I didn’t feel that bad, but he said, “Tell your husband he is a smart man. You would be feeling much worse tonight if you hadn’t come in.”

I left, sent my husband out for my prescriptions, and rested. That night was awful — just as the medical team predicted it would be — even though I was on medication. I was sore, coughing, feverish, and miserable. The next day, however, things started to look up. I kept taking my meds, and I felt like a new woman by Sunday evening. I (begrudgingly) told my husband he was right. I was so thankful for urgent care and for the high-quality, convenient care they provided because it kept me from getting as sick as my husband had been with the same virus.

Miraculously, none of my children got sick either. I managed to get through the worst of my sickness on the weekend, so my husband didn’t even have to miss work. (You are welcome, Air Force!)

So, urgent care, thank you.

I can always count on your friendly, knowledgeable medical providers to put me (and my family!) at ease, even when we’re feeling under the weather.

Whether it’s a sore throat before a dance recital or a stomach bug at 7 o’clock at night, you’re always there for my family, no matter what.

You’re usually a fraction of the cost of a normal visit to the emergency room, so I can stop for ice cream with my kids on the way home, guilt free.

I never have to worry about missing a beat because I know I’ll typically be in and out within an hour.

My kids have puked on your floor multiple times.

From this mom’s perspective, you are a lifesaver.


A Mama Who Has No Time to be Sick

Editor’s Note: As of January 1, 2018, Tricare Prime enrollees do not need a referral for urgent care. In addition, Tricare Select or any other Tricare plan enrollees can visit a Tricare- authorized provider, network or non-network, for urgent care visits. However, for select plans, restrictions may apply. It’s always best to contact your insurance provider, in this case Tricare, if you’re ever unsure! If you don’t know which plan you have, call and ask. If you do know, here is helpful information from Tricare on urgent care services. And here is how you can check out if there is a MedExpress location near you!