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Is this abdominal pain something I need to go to the hospital for?
March 26, 2013 5:48 PM   Subscribe

I'm experiencing abdominal pain, and would like a non-medical sounding board for how serious it sounds, and whether it's hospital worthy (given my almost non-existent lack of health insurance). You are not my doctor, etc., etc., but I'd like some non-medical advice about whether what I'm experiencing is something serious, or something that I can just push through. I think I have a low pain tolerance threshold, and I'm not good at gauging relative pain strength while in pain, so I'd like some perspective. I don't know which details are important, so I'm including them all.

This beginning bit probably has nothing to do with the entire situation, but I'm including it anyway. I very recently arrived on the West Coast for research, so I'm jetlagged. I accidentally fell asleep early, with the light on etc., so I woke up around 4-5 am. Around 6.30 am, I left my room to use the bathroom/shower, and in doing so, accidentally locked myself out (I'm in a weird cheap housing situation). I showered, and then was wet and cold because I couldn't get back into my room, and I was in fairly negligible pajamas (the rest of the house doesn't seem to be well or possibly at all heated). I was locked out for about two and a half hours, and once I regained access, I tried to warm up under the covers for a bit and then headed out to do research.

Shortly after I headed out, in other words, sometime at least by mid-morning (10-11 am), I began to feel sick. Most noticeably, this was cramps - they were mid to severe, and I thought maybe my period had come early, although I did think that they felt slightly higher up. I took some ibuprofen, which usually helps my period cramps, and it didn't seem to do anything. I also increasingly felt nauseous, chilled, and a bit dizzy. I ended up leaving my research location just after noon, because I felt so ill. I came back to my room to lie down, and almost immediately vomited. I didn't feel much better (I usually do after I vomit when I'm sick). I didn't vomit again the whole afternoon, and still felt the same. It's worse when I stand up or walk. It still feels like slightly higher up period cramps, with bloating there, and nausea and generally feeling chilled. The pain is so bad that I was in tears a couple of times (again, low pain threshold, though). I'm in a strange sketchy house with no family or friends here.

Does this sound like a routine case of stomach flu, or does it sound like something more dangerous/urgent? Googling (yes, I know) suggested possibly appendicitis, hernia, or intestinal/bowel blockage, and suggested that waiting might be dangerous if it's one of these conditions. I don't know if this is relevant, but this house seems to have some mold and possibly insects in it. I also wonder whether it could be food poisoning. Yesterday I ate some clementine oranges, some chocolate, a prepackaged protein shake, two beef tacos with lettuce and some chips, and some crackers. Today I had a few squares of chocolate and some water and other packaged soft drinks.

I would really prefer not to go to the ER if at all possible, because I really can't afford it. Does it sound like I need to? What would be the best strategy to manage whatever this is? Google suggested that if this is something abdominal like appendicitis etc., eating is potentially dangerous because it can rupture it. I really really don't feel hungry anyway. Should I drink something with electrolytes? Non-medical thoughts and advice?
posted by UniversityNomad to Health & Fitness (71 answers total) 158 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just finished a incredibly clear and valuable advanced first aid class a few days ago.

Among the "reasons to go to the ER" is exactly what you're describing.

Go.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:51 PM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you think you could have appendicitis (and you could) such that you're avoiding eating, why are you waiting to go to the ER?

You sound like me shortly before my appendix burst.
posted by tel3path at 5:51 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just to reassure you regarding the ER: you will be able to negotiate the bill and a payment plan down the line. Don't worry about it right now.
posted by scody at 5:52 PM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I almost died from a burst appendix. Get to the ER.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:53 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Get off this computer and go to the ER now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:54 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Your symptoms have a lot of crossover with the ones I had immediately before needing to have my appendix removed. You do not want your appendix to burst, it's a catastrophic situation. Go to the ER.
posted by quince at 5:55 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


My appendix ached more & more intensely over a day. (Strongest pain for appendicitis is usually half-way between bellybutton & right hip.)

Then I suddenly got dizzy, vomited, & nearly passed out.

I went to the ER & they said I got in just in time. I was in surgery within about an hour.

Go to the hospital.
posted by belladonna at 5:55 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you have to go. Whenever I'm panicking over something potentially being wrong with me I call my mom, who is a nurse, and she generally talks me down. If I described what you've said here, she would tell me to get in the car and drive to the hospital.
posted by something something at 6:00 PM on March 26, 2013


Nth-ing everyone else: go to ER, don't wait!
Let them tell you it's nothing, if it is indeed nothing/minor.
posted by bebrave! at 6:01 PM on March 26, 2013


Do as everyone is telling you and don't trivialize the pain when you're in the ER.

You sound like my sister felt when her appendix was infected. She has incredible pain tolerance, so not even the hospital staff took her too seriously until the appenix burst and she passed out mid-sentence.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:03 PM on March 26, 2013


Your symptoms have a lot of crossover with the ones I had immediately before needing to have my appendix removed. You do not want your appendix to burst, it's a catastrophic situation. Go to the ER

Just another person that had the same situation. At first the pain was in the middle about 1/2 way down until it started to go to the right bottom quadrant. Fairly quickly it became so painful that I couldn't walk or straighten my leg. Because I waited so long, by the time they operated there was an infection, which caused the operation to be more difficult and take longer.

Also, it's probably better not to eat or drink anything before you go to the ER in case they have to operate.

Please don't take chances with abdominal pain. I hope you're already on your way to the ER.
posted by la petite marie at 6:08 PM on March 26, 2013


You've had the vomiting bit. That, plus extreme pain, is not to be messed with. ER, now.

Does where you are have a Telehealth line? This might only be a Canadian thing, but it's a free pre-screening for ER visits. I had to call them at 2 am the other morning with excruciating gut pain. It turns out it was a side-effect of my beta-blockers, and was just constipation. But the health line told me to drink water and wait an hour, and if it hadn't subsided, then to go to ER.
posted by A Friend of Dug [sock] at 6:11 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I took a friend to the ER with similar symptoms, even though he had no health insurance. Luckily it turned out it was an intestinal infection and not appendicitis, and he was able to pay a fraction of the initial bill to the hospital. Everyone involved agreed that it was right that he went to the ER.
posted by ldthomps at 6:14 PM on March 26, 2013


No responsible person can tell you anything other than to go to the ER. Think of the burden you're placing on strangers. If anyone says you're probably fine to stay home and you're not that's pretty difficult to live with. You need to go. A professional needs to figure out what's what.

I have a high threshold for pain, and I would still go. Chances are you're fine and the night won't make a difference, but you need a doctor to tell you this.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:32 PM on March 26, 2013


Thanks everyone - this is helpful. I think I probably should head to the ER, as the pain is so bad right now that I'm in tears. But I spoke with my parents, and they think the cost is too high to go - they want me to try to see a local doctor in the next few days, and get his/her opinion about whether I need to go. I'm having trouble finding my insurance plan's particulars (tried to call them but their offices are closed), but looking online, I think I have a $2500 deductible (I'm on a really cheap, for-huge-emergencies-only plan). I take this to mean that I have to cover the first $2500 of a bill, and they will only pay the rest up to about $10,000 ($7000, if out of network), or something like that. The only reason I have this amount of money is from research grants that I need to spend on research so I can finish my PhD, and I have no other income. How will the emergency room deal with this?
posted by UniversityNomad at 6:36 PM on March 26, 2013


Dear lord, don't worry about that now. The hospital will bill you and you will tell them the amount total and the payments that you can afford and it will all work out in the end.

Which is preferable to being dead.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:40 PM on March 26, 2013 [26 favorites]


Go to the ER.
posted by jferg at 6:45 PM on March 26, 2013


Repeating this for emphasis: Dear lord, don't worry about that now. The hospital will bill you and you will tell them the amount total and the payments that you can afford and it will all work out in the end. Which is preferable to being dead.
posted by gudrun at 6:46 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Funerals are expensive and permanent. Go to the E.R.!!!!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:47 PM on March 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


(As to your parents-just call the ER and describe how you feel,. they will tell you to come in and you can tell your folks you went on medical advice.) And the longer you wait, the more expensive this could get. I have stories I could share on that matter at another time, let's just say.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:48 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Go, and update us later when you are released and up to it!

Good luck!
posted by jgirl at 6:48 PM on March 26, 2013


The consensus here seems to be that appendicitis is a real possibility. If you wait until your appendix bursts, it will be a) much more expensive, and b) potentially fatal. I know it's a lot of money, but $2500 is not that much compared to potential death.

The ER cannot turn you away for being unable to pay. That's the reason a lot of poor people get only emergency medical care. They will treat you, and then you can figure out the money part.

Go to the ER. You need medical attention, and they will treat you. Period.
posted by duien at 6:48 PM on March 26, 2013


Joining in the chorus. Please please please please please go to the ER. You do NOT want to mess around with this.

(I am a health care provider. I have been to the ER for abdominal pain before and ended up admitted for 3 days)
posted by watch out for turtles at 6:49 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lord almighty. If this is your appendix, and it bursts, you could die. Get to the damn ER right now.
posted by zug at 6:56 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The ER is required by law to treat you, regardless of your ability to pay and regardless of whether you have your insurance info with you or not. All of that can and will be sorted LATER. It is far better for you to go to the ER now and find out it's nothing (in the event that it's not actually your appendix or something else equally serious) than to wait to talk to a doctor in a few days and die in the meantime.
posted by scody at 6:59 PM on March 26, 2013


You may be in danger of death, which is an expensive proposition even compared to an ER visit with not-great insurance. Get an ambulance to take you to the ER immediately, and make your next AskMe question "how can I negotiate my medical bills down?" Focus on surviving first, worry about everything else later.
posted by PCup at 7:02 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's nothing serious, in which case, after having gone to the ER, you can curse us all for persuading you to spend $500 you don't have.
There WILL be fees associated with your visit, no doubt about it. But, LATER. NOT today. Even if *nothing* is wrong. But, just in case something IS wrong, you SHOULD go in. There is a strong chance, based on your previous descriptions, that you MAY have a LIFE-THREATENING condition. In other words, you COULD DIE from this, based on your described history.
You do not have to carry in your research cash in order to be seen/diagnosed. Go in without two dimes to rub together and tell them your history/symptoms.
Even in today's world of high-tech medicine, even young, healthy people die without adequate treatment. Arggh!
Get thee to the ER post-haste!
posted by bebrave! at 7:16 PM on March 26, 2013


Yes, please go. The financial aspect can be worked out later. Appendicitis is a possibility, and that's not something you want to mess around with.

Had I gone straight to the ER when I had unusual abdominal pain, my own appendicitis would have been caught much earlier and I would have had a reasonably quick outpatient procedure instead of a weeklong hospital stay.

I'm uninsured, so I understand all too well what it's like to worry about medical bills. I wouldn't be here to type this, though, if I'd let my insurance status decide whether to take action. (My case was the opposite of yours -- I was resisting and fretting while my parents insisted we'd figure it all out later. They were right.)
posted by QuickedWeen at 7:17 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


If it's financial concerns you're having, going to the ER now and getting looked at/treated will be a lot cheaper than waiting until something worse happens with this. Please go now!
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:27 PM on March 26, 2013


Pardon my temerity, but your parents are frigging nuts.

My mother once ignored symptoms like yours. She was in bed for days crying, screaming from pain, and vomiting. Then the pain suddenly abated, and she started drinking Tang and talking borderline nonsense. When we finally got her to go to a doctor, she'd only go to an urgent care -- which immediately transferred her to the ER.

She was in septic shock from a burst appendix. The pain stopped, apparently, because the appendix itself was done exploding. When I met up with her in the ER, and she had lesions on her body that were growing almost before our eyes. The doctor told me they were a result of the massive infection raging through body. She lost an ovary, bits of her intestines, and nearly lost her life. I've never seen so many tubes coming out of a person.

Thankfully, after two months in the hospital (some of that in an induced coma), she survived. She has permanent disability and health problems as a direct consequence of the septicemia and pulmonary distress she suffered due to her burst appendix.

You're reading this from the ER, right?
posted by Coatlicue at 7:36 PM on March 26, 2013 [22 favorites]


Another person here who thinks your parents are insane. And I think you are being stupid as well, sorry. I want to reach through my iPod screen and shove you into an ambulance.

My aunt very nearly died from a burst appendix.

Go to the ER. Go NOW.
posted by Specklet at 7:41 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, one of my exes nearly lost his older brother when his parents ignored his symptoms of a burst appendix and sent him to school when he was a teenager. The school called a few hours later to say they were calling an ambulance for him. He nearly died en route to the hospital.

A burst appendix can kill you. That's something that no hospital bill can accomplish. GO. NOW.
posted by scody at 7:46 PM on March 26, 2013


I think I probably should head to the ER, as the pain is so bad right now that I'm in tears.

If you're in tears, then that's pretty much unbearable pain. Unbearable abdominal pain trumps all other considerations. You should just go and tell your parents that the pain got too bad. No sane parent (regardless of income bracket) could possibly fault you.

I'm in Canada, so I don't understand the U.S. healthcare system but I hope other Mefites can give you as many ideas as possible on how/where to get ER attention on the cheap.

What city and neighbourhood are you in?
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:06 PM on March 26, 2013


You already got your answer, but I want to specifically address your last 2 questions. 1. The only way to manage appendicitis is to take out the organ that's getting ready to burst inside you, or clean up the mess after the organ has already burst. Or it's some other problem with some other solution.

2. Electrolytes are for when you've pooped so much and so quickly that you need to put back in the salts and fluids you need that have been lost. Since you didn't mention poop it's probably not a stomach bug. I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice.

Please update us when you're home from the hospital.
posted by bleep at 8:08 PM on March 26, 2013


Your followup comments are coming out of your delerium, or you are trolling us.
You need to be in the ER. Screw the insurance.
Please, sweetie.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:08 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


E Gads, GO GO GO if you're not there now. There is no-one else "cheaper" who can help you. What has been said before is true: The ER must treat you, regardless if your ability to pay. For peace of mind, billing departments will work with you to create a payment plan if necessary. So should your insurance agency. Be frank and open with them when it comes time to deal with them.

You have insurance for emergencies. This is an emergency. I hope you are getting the care you need RIGHT NOW.

Be well. And I think you've scared the pants off of those of us on this thread. Please let us know that you are okay when you are stable.
posted by absquatulate at 8:20 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you're still worried about insurance, consider this - you can send all the paperwork to your insurance company AFTER you get back from the ER.

This is an emergency. If it is not a burst appendix there are a ton of other things it could be and NONE OF THEM ARE GOOD.

And NONE of them are things that you want to 'wait a couple days for.'

If you still need convincing, check things on WebMD's symptom checker. You tell them what symptoms you're having, and it does a good job of telling you whether you need to see a doctor right now or whether you can wait.

It's going to tell you to go to the doctor now, by the way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 PM on March 26, 2013


I'm really hoping to hear the update saying that you are in the ER now.
posted by selfmedicating at 8:34 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Add me to the pile-on of GO NOW.

looking online, I think I have a $2500 deductible (I'm on a really cheap, for-huge-emergencies-only plan). I take this to mean that I have to cover the first $2500 of a bill, and they will only pay the rest up to about $10,000 ($7000, if out of network), or something like that.

If it puts you more at ease with going, it is very unlikely that this is the case. What the deal probably is is that you pay the first $2500, both of you pay in towards the next $10000 (them paying 80% is common), and then they pay everything after that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:48 PM on March 26, 2013


I'd also like to back up Coatlicue -- it's bad news when appendicitis pain stops. If you have appendicitis, it may seem to spontaneously go away, and at that point, you may be tempted not to seek immediate care. But it's actually a sign that things are getting worse. This has happened to both my partner and his friend.
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:50 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


GO TO THE ER.

I have a $2500 deductible (I'm on a really cheap, for-huge-emergencies-only plan). I take this to mean that I have to cover the first $2500 of a bill, and they will only pay the rest up to about $10,000 ($7000, if out of network), or something like that.

First of all, a burst appendix IS a Huge Emergency, as it can be fatal. THIS is why you have this policy to begin with. Second, ROU_Xenophobe is more than likely right about your insurance. Hospitals are actually pretty good at dealing with people's varied inabilities to pay, so that will work itself out.

Any doctor in the WORLD will hear your symptoms and send you to the hospital, so GO. GO TO THE ER.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 9:18 PM on March 26, 2013


Poster wrote in comment #3450190">> But I spoke with my parents, and they think the cost is too high to go - they want me to try to see a local doctor in the next few days, and get his/her opinion about whether I need to go.

I totally get that it makes sense to consult the people who have known you literally longer than anyone else, but they are just too biased to be a good source of advice. Don't you think that this sounds like maybe they're in denial? The alternative is that their kid is in pain, far from home, all by herself, with minimal health insurance to boot.

But even though they wiped your butt as a baby and were in charge of keeping you healthy as a kid, they are not privy to all sorts of details about how your body works now that you're an adult. You are in the best place to make a judgment call about what feels seriously out of whack for you.

Go to the ER and let the doctors do their jobs. You can handle this. And payment details can be negotiated afterward.
posted by desuetude at 10:20 PM on March 26, 2013


This flowchart from familydoctor.org says that if you have abdominal pain that feels like severe cramps along with fever (I'm guessing that's what the chilled feeling is) you need to "CALL YOUR DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY OR GO TO THE HOSPITAL." (In big red letters). Just sayin'.
posted by Cheese Monster at 10:27 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


As an addendum to the (excellent, spot-on) potential appendicitis others have mentioned, I haven't yet seen "burst ovarian cyst" among the possibilities.

I had pain like yours for a few hours (maybe 3 max) after eating lunch one day, and high-tailed it to the ER. Two hours later I was getting general anesthesia to operate on a burst torsioned ovarian cyst that had set off hemorrhaging. I pointed out that I had just eaten, because as you may know, you're not supposed to get general anesthetic too close to a meal. When I asked a doctor why they were taking that risk, they answered, "because if we wait any longer, you will die."

I too hope you're reading this from the ER.
posted by fraula at 2:36 AM on March 27, 2013


Will you please update, I am really worried about you.
posted by tel3path at 4:06 AM on March 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


As a general rule of thumb, if you are someone who doesn't usually go to the ER, and you have pain/illness/injury/general unpleasantness that makes you think "maybe I really oughta go to the ER this time," you should GO. When stoic types show up at the ER, that usually means something is terribly wrong -- like heart attack wrong, or intestinal perforation wrong, or major stroke wrong, and so forth.

In any case, I hope you're reading this from home after a quick procedure last night.
posted by demons in the base at 5:54 AM on March 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Go to the hospital right now.

I don't care what kind of tolerance for pain that you have -- if standing up is so painful that it brings you to tears, you are in dire need of immediate medical attention.

If you call any local doctor with a description of your symptoms, they will immediately direct you to an emergency room. Your symptom list has far too many red flags in it, and it would constitute medical malpractice for them to let you wait a few days (or even hours) for an appointment.

Your parents are not looking out for your best interests. Please do not think about the money, and go to a hospital immediately.
posted by schmod at 7:05 AM on March 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


My nearest-death experience was the docs being all, is your blood pressure low? Like really really low? And I was all, yeah, I smoke a lot of weed. And then they put me in the room that is one step up from intensive care, because my blood pressure was low because I was, well, dying.

So please please please please go. Listen to nobody but health professionals about whether or not you need to go. Don't let yourself be another casualty of our fucked up health care system.
posted by angrycat at 9:07 AM on March 27, 2013


So I hope you're reading this at the hospital now, but I just wanted to add, this doesn't sound like the stomach flu. Due to daycare bugs, I've had the stomach flu several times in the past couple of years, and for none of them, have I had much abdominal pain, certainly not the kind of pain you describe. I've been so nauseous I couldn't walk, but I wasn't in any pain per-say.

Please update!
posted by Tooty McTootsalot at 1:22 PM on March 27, 2013


I've been checking in on this thread since your last post yesterday, in hopes that you will report to us that you've gone to the ER and they've taken good care of you. Count me as one more stranger on the internet who is worried about how you are doing. Please update us!
posted by gubenuj at 2:52 PM on March 27, 2013 [22 favorites]


Okay, everyone, I'm going to the ER now. I was going to wait this out because of the cost, and managed to for about 40 hours, but I really can't handle this much pain any longer. It will probably be something minor, like stomach flu, but I think I am going to have to go regardless.
posted by UniversityNomad at 1:49 AM on March 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


THANK YOU for updating. I have been worrying about you since the original post. I will continue to worry until you update again about the outcome of the ER visit.

Godspeed.
posted by tel3path at 1:54 AM on March 28, 2013


Thank you, all! I mean to say that in my last comment - I really appreciate all of the advice and support.
posted by UniversityNomad at 1:56 AM on March 28, 2013


I will update when I get back. Am waiting for the taxi now.
posted by UniversityNomad at 1:57 AM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I DIDN'T MEAN NOW

STOP UPDATING AND PLEASE JUST GO TO THE ER
posted by tel3path at 1:58 AM on March 28, 2013


Okay, crossposted. Godspeed.
posted by tel3path at 1:58 AM on March 28, 2013


Count me in as another Internet Person who hopes you're okay! Please let us know how you're doing, and good luck!
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:55 AM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


yeah, me too. I hope you're OK.
posted by KathrynT at 12:31 PM on March 28, 2013


Me three. Sending good wishes. And AskMe's there for you if/when you need to fight about billing and insurance.
posted by leahwrenn at 1:35 PM on March 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Even if it was something minor, please update us and let us know that everything is okay. I've been incessantly checking this thread hoping to hear from you.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:23 PM on March 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


me too
posted by small_ruminant at 4:58 PM on March 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Count me in as someone who's worried and hoping you're okay...
posted by OolooKitty at 7:57 PM on March 28, 2013


Thinking about you....I've been checking back a few times each day, hope you're getting the treatment you needed!
posted by Bebo at 6:29 AM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hope you are OK.
posted by Falconetti at 12:46 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad you went to the ER. Please update! I've been checking this thread every day too.
posted by selfmedicating at 4:59 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thinking about you, and hope you're comfortable.
posted by SillyShepherd at 2:40 AM on March 30, 2013


Checking in on you. I know that if you were admitted it will be hard to get back to us for a little while.

But we will still check!
posted by jgirl at 6:00 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been checking this thread compulsively too - hope you're doing ok!
posted by naoko at 10:00 AM on March 30, 2013


Another one checking in. Many internet strangers have you on the mind. We all want to know you are presently fast on the mend.
posted by bebrave! at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Guys, please don't nag for updates. Add the thread to your Favorites if you want to keep an eye on it. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 12:21 PM on March 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Very glad you went. Even if it is "just" the stomach flu, it is totally justified to go and get IV fluids after prolonged vomiting which can lead to dehydration. I've taken plenty of friends to the ER for exactly that reason and no doc thought it was a waste of time.

As for your insurance deductible, that means you pay the first $2500 and they do (all or most of) the rest in catastrophic emergencies. Yes, the medical system in the US sucks hard when money is a bigger factor than pain in determining going to the ER - but you will absolutely be able to work this out with your insurance company. It's a one time emergency, which is what insurance is for.

So glad you went to the ER - and if anyone reads this in the future, stomach flu does not typically present with pain and is in and of itself a really good reason to go to an ER as severe dehydration can result after prolonged... loss of bodily fluids.
posted by sonika at 6:09 AM on April 8, 2013


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