Megan Weddle works for First Stop Health, a company that specializes in bringing telemedicine to consumers, so it’s no surprise she’s a fan of technology itself. Her reason, though, is beyond professional—it’s personal.
Telemedicine helped Megan discover her twelve-year-old-son Brady—whom she thought was dealing with a simple stomach flu—was actually facing appendicitis.
Not the Stomach Flu
It all started when Megan decided to take her eleven and twelve year old children on a flight to the west coast to visit relatives. It was the first long flight for the kids, and her son Brady complained a little about his stomach hurting on the flight. They thought it was just upset from the cookies on the plane.
“The number one thing the kids wanted to do when we got to California was go to In-N-Out Burger,” Megan says. “After visiting the Hollywood sign, my son looked at me and said, ‘I need to find a bathroom NOW.’”
The flight, the burger, the time difference . . . Megan knew it could have been anything.
They hopped in the car on the way to Santa Monica, and Megan wondered several times if she’d need to pull over for Brady, who was still struggling with stomach issues in the back seat.
An hour later, as she was handing her card over to the receptionist at the hotel, Brady ran straight for the bathroom. He came out a few minutes later, saying he’d gotten sick.
As the rest of the family went to the pool—with everyone agreeing it was best to stay away from what was surely the stomach flu—Megan considered her options.
Where Megan Turned Instead Of Racing To Urgent Care
“It was close to the time an urgent care would be closing. Then, I thought to myself, I am going to call First Stop Health. I work for a telemedicine company. This is what it’s for: avoiding unnecessary visits to the ER or the doctor.’”
Megan picked up the phone and dialed. Although she could have opted for a video visit, she chose the phone option that time. Even though Brady wasn’t registered with First Stop Health, she was able to use her info and give his age, medical history, and presenting symptoms. She told the nurse that she thought it was the stomach flu and likely needed some anti-vomiting medication.
The Doctor’s Time Saving Diagnosis
When the doctor got on the line, he indicated he wanted her son to do a balance test, just to rule out anything more serious than the stomach flu.
“He told me to have Brady jump on one foot. I thought it was ridiculous—he’d been jumping all day, running around, before he started to feel bad. Brady refused to jump, though. Then the doctor said he hated to be the bearer of bad news, but my son was presenting with appendicitis.”
The doctor gave her information for two hospitals near where they were staying. They went immediately to the ER, where the doctor gave the same balancing test—which Brady failed.
His appendix was about to burst, and he needed emergency surgery.
Brady made it through the surgery just fine, but if his appendix had burst, there could have been serious complications. Megan credits First Stop for being a big reason why she got Brady to the hospital in time.
“The best part of this service is having access to a doctor 24/7. As a parent, sometimes you think you know it all. But, to be fair, we don’t. If Brady’s appendix would have ruptured, we would have been in California longer. Because we caught it and did the surgery right away, we only had to spend one night in the hospital. He bounced back.”
What’s Different About First Stop
On top of being a quick way to talk to board certified doctors, First Stop has other benefits, too. The service costs just a couple of dollars every month for individuals, unlike other telemedicine services that charge up to $75 per call.
First Stop can also be used by up to seven other family members, meaning the whole family can have instant access to care.
A Good Call For Moms With Kids
In addition, using telemedicine can be uber-convenient and less risky to other members of the family who are not sick.
“Sometimes, you don’t want to drag your non-sick kids into a waiting room, which is a petri dish. There’s only so many times you can say, ‘don’t touch that.’ I know. I am a mom of four!”
In the end, telemedicine not only made the trip easier on Megan and her family, but it also could have saved Brady’s life. That’s a call that’s always worth it.