The picture above is the bill from my husbands’ recent trip to the Emergency Room (ER). He had a painful toe that started to get REALLY bad quickly. He called the doctor to make an appointment and they said he hadn’t been in recently so he would have to wait 3 weeks. When my husband explained how bad the pain was they said he should go to the ER. So, he did. Turns out it was an ingrown toenail that was getting infected. He was treated very well and the toe was completely taken care of. I am grateful for the level of care he was provided.
But, I am not grateful for the bill that came out of it!
The bill you see above is ONLY for walking into the ER. We have also received a bill from the doctor. And, of course, there was the co-pay.
I was very angry when I found out he had gone to the ER and NOT called me first. If I couldn’t fix it I am sure I could have found a doctor who would have seen him that day. Yes, it may have been expensive but I am sure it wouldn’t have cost as much as that trip into the ER.
(Side note – he was also offered a prescription for Codeine which is a narcotic but that is a rant for another day.)
Now, I am grateful that we have doctors who are skilled in medical emergencies who can literally pull people back from the brink of death. I am grateful that they work the long hours in the ER and keep their skills honed for such an emergency. We do need ER’s for those life threatening emergencies. But, we need options for those really scary pain situations where we don’t know what’s going on.
One Saturday morning I had just finished eating breakfast when my phone started ringing. It was one of my favorite patients and I immediately answered.
She was crying and had difficulty getting her story out to me. She had been plugging in her vacuum to do her Saturday morning housework and her back exploded in pain. She was stuck perched on a chair and afraid to move. She didn’t know what to do.
Should she call 911?
Have her husband take her to the ER?
She was afraid. This was really bad.
We spent about 30 minutes on the phone that morning. I suspected that she had ruptured a disk (this later was confirmed). Once we got her breathing back to normal I explained what I thought had happened. I gave her a 72 hour treatment plan. I explained what she was going to feel during those 72 hours. I told her what she could and could not do. And, I did tell her that if her symptoms did not proceed EXACTLY how I described that she should head directly to the ER.
72 hours later she was in my clinic and said “How did you know? Everything went EXACTLY how you described!”
I know because I know how disks behave. I know the signs and symptoms of a disk herniation. I know the initial treatment techniques.
I also knew her body. Since she was a current patient (being treated for her neck) I had put my hands on her. Based on my previous knowledge of her body and what she described to me I was pretty certain about what had happened.
That patient made a full recovery and is now living pain free in her back AND neck.
I offer this free phone consultation to any of my patients – current or previous. If you suddenly find yourself in excruciating pain feel free to call me. I am happy to talk with you and see if we can come up with a treatment plan over the phone. If I am uncertain about what is going on and feel that you need to see a medical doctor, I will tell you that.
My goal is to help my patients make the best decisions for their health. To help them avoid unnecessary surgeries, procedures, and medications. So everybody can get back to moving pain free and living the life they choose to live.
If that means we need to spend 30 minutes on the phone discussing your pain, I will do it. If you find yourself searching on YouTube for exercises to help alleviate your pain, please call me. Put down the YouTube and pick up the phone. Let’s find answers that will work for YOUR body.