“Back when I was a kid, if you wanted to see a doctor, you had to walk 10 miles in the snow. Uphill. Both ways!”
Ok, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that! I’m one of seven kids (think the Von Trapp family, only without all the singing and dancing). It seemed like one of us was always either feverish, cut, bruised, or vomiting and mom would be checking us over, muttering about whether she should call the doctor.
Here are two examples of how access to healthcare has changed over the years – for the better!
1. House Calls - Then and Now
My mom had our family doctor’s phone number taped to the wall next to our rotary phone. Most of the time when we needed to see a doctor, mom would pile all of us into the station wagon for the trip to his office. Sometimes, if you were really sick in the middle of the night, the doctor made a house call. This was always preceded by mom frantically asking the “well” kids to quickly pick up the toys strewn all over the living room, run a vacuum and even do a quick dusting before the doctor arrived. At 2am. I’m 100% serious J
When my kids are sick in the middle of the night, I use a telehealth service and consult with a doctor right over the phone! Last winter when the flu bug hit our house hard, I simply scheduled a visit with a board-certified pediatricianwho reviewed my son’s medical history, current medications, and symptoms – after our chat, he sent in a prescription to my local pharmacy. The best part was, I never left my house and I could focus on my kids instead of worrying about the dust bunnies under the couch.
2. Medical Advice – Then and Now
When I was a kid, we had a sweet older lady who lived next door over the chain link fence that separated our yards. Mom and “Aunt June” would meet at the fence some mornings, drink coffee, and talk about life and raising kids. Mom would sometimes call us over to the fence and show Aunt June a rash we had on our arm, or some other random malady that had popped up. This was usually followed by some old wives’ tale about how to treat the issue.
When my son had a strange rash on his arm, I used an online doctor service. I was able to email a picture of the affected area to a board-certified specialist. A dermatologist wrote back within a few hours and gave some great advice about the type of rash it was and which over-the-counter medicine would best treat it.
While I loved growing up in the time that I did, I really love raising my kids in a time when technology is allowing easier access to care. Obviously, these services don’t work for all ailments, but they’re GREAT to have in your “mom arsenal” when you need them!
Now it’s your turn! Do you have any examples of how access to medical care has changed since you were a kid? Have you tried a telehealth service? Leave a comment below and let us know!