How do you know when to go to the hospital?

How do you know when to go to the hospital?

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Anonymous (not verified)
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How do you know when to go to the hospital?

I have chronic lower back pain, herniated L5-S1, nerve referral down both legs and muscle spasms everywhere. I am currenty having severe muscle spasms in my neck from the way I have to sit. I have a horrible headache (the domino effect) directly related to my lower back. I had to leave work after only 20 minutes this morning.

It's not that this is pain I haven't been in for a long time although I'd say it's one of the worst days I've had in a while.

I've never been to the hospital for my back pain, ever. It's no an emergency, I'm not dying, but WHEN DOES A GIRL DESERVE SOME RELIEF?

I would probably just get labeled a drug seeker because I'm only 21. I have a copy of my most recent MRI dated September 4, 2008.

Do I go? I can't stop crying so that says I should go but I'm just apprehensive about the hospital making me cry worse.

Thanks for reading...

-Lisa

playgirlsally (not verified)
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Know how you feel

Firstly where do you live lisa? UK or USA? I know in the UK they will probably just give you meds (they did this with me) so i would suggest seeing your Dr a.s.a.p he can then refer you to a spinal consultant who will then assess you (take your MRI scans with you) then he will decide how urgently you need to be treated. I was booked in 5 weeks after seeing mine and @I had been off work for 3 months as in the same pain as you and could not sit at my desk for more than 10 mins. Let me know hown it goes. PM me if you like

haglandc (not verified)
Member
here's what I use

Here's what I use as an indicator that it's time to go to the hospital/ER.

If my pain is so out of control "at the moment" that I can't control my breathing, I'm nauseous or vomiting and I know there's no way I can just hide in a dark bedroom and make it until morning.

"C"

LisaNeedsHelp (not verified)
Member
I didn't go...

I just cried all night and prayed a lot in several religions smiley smiley I am still in a lot of pain, duh, as always but I have to suck it up. Doesn't that suck? Sucking it up? I feel trapped inside a lower body that is mad at me for 11 years of gymnastics and tae kwon do. If only I had had a crystal ball... Yeah, I probably would have ignored the future and kept up with the sports I love... Stubborn woman I am... Now I just have a broken bottom half with a brain that's as eager and sharp as ever. I should have my master's degree in 5 years. But now I can't make it through the day. Something's got to give. Anything.

terror8396
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Joined: 06/26/2008 - 1:21pm
pain level

what about a doctor? why go to the hospital when you can go to a doctor? it doesn't make sense to me. doctors can give out meds. get referred to a pain dr and set up test etc with them. people who go to hospiital for back pain do get labled drug seekers not due to age but because they will ask who your dr is. the hospital is not for treatment, it is for emergencies and use of it instead of a doctor makes our rates go up. do you have a doctor? have you asked him for meds? did you have a referral to a pain dr? the problem back pain is something that is subjective and hard to pin down even with mri's. my advice, get a dr and get started with a pain dr then start treatment. you willl probably have another mri, nerve tests, discography, etc to pin down pain

jon

I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.

haglandc (not verified)
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jon

Good point. I was wondering about that also.

"C"

Robin
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Joined: 08/17/2008 - 9:45pm
I think it was too late in

I think it was too late in the evening when the post was made???

Not everyone in pain need a pain Dr...,but a regular pcp would be a good start,and I agree about the ER thing.The last time I went to the ER was when I dislocated my shoulder.That was a few years ago..the last time(I did it 3 times)

What is the deal with all the ER posts I read?I thought ER stood for emergency room?

terror8396
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Joined: 06/26/2008 - 1:21pm
er

i guess by now you can tell there are certain things that bug me and use of emergency room is one. people should have a doctor if they have back pain and the dr or pain dr should give enough pain meds to last. one should follow the amount and directions, then one should not run out. if you go to er, they will usually ask what meds you are on and who is your dr. this is a screening process. er's are for emergencies. if you can't walk or function, maybe go. or if it is that bad drs usually will say on phone call 911 if this is an emergency. if it is that bad call911. when people go to er our rates go up. this is why in ca we have insurance rates that go up, abuses of hospitals. also why would you want to wait 4-5 hours to see a dr?

jon

I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.

EMTgoneNUTZ
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Joined: 06/24/2008 - 1:43pm
Good points JonIf there's

Good points Jon

If there's anything that can irk Doctors, it's patients that go to the ER for non-emergencies. Being a Paramedic, I was on a different end of the scenerio. We often had "frequent fliers" that would call us to take them into the ER for everything from the college girls with menstrual cramps on exam dates, to poor people that just need a ride to town and can't afford a taxi. This takes resources away from those that do have dire need emergencies and could potentially result in loss of life if someone has to wait because all of the ambulances, or ER docs, are tied up with basic stuff.

Having said that, sometimes there is a change in pain, or a new symptom, that do warrant urgent attention, and if it's after hours then the ER is the only alternative. For instance, a patient with chronic back pain and sciatic nerve damage loses control of their bladder and/or bowels..that is an emergency and must be evaluated right away.

I don't know enough about Lisa's circumstances to deduce whether or not there is a legitimate need for the ER. If it's during Doctors business hours, then patients should call the office and ask what they should do-sometimes the Dr will tell a patient to go to ER. If it's after hours there should be a pager number or phone number to call and that avenue should be pursued before going to the ER if conditions are not life threatening.

At any rate, Lisa, I hope you the are feeling better or at least able to contact your Doctor for guidance. Please keep us posted, OK?

Take care of yourself..

dilauro
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Joined: 06/16/2008 - 9:41pm
Mis use of Emergency Rooms

I agree with Jon in the fact that Emergency Rooms are often mis used. I believe that Emergency Rooms should be used for what the name implies - Emergencies. Now granted this does not mean every instance has to be a 911 situation. There are many times where there is a problem that can not wait and you can not get hold of your doctor. And there are many other legitimate reasons.
But what I have objections to are those that use the Emergency Room as a standard way in obtaining medical treatment. It could be for a head cold, sniffles, a sprained ankle, etc.
If you ever sit in an emergency room for a bit, you will run across these. And what makes it worse is that some of those folks do not pay for the services. We cant turn people away, but who pays for those services in the long run?
I have several friends who have worked in the Emergency room as a doctor, a nurse, or another technician. What I would hope to see is that their time is spent handling emergency situations and not just taking care of a head cold.
I am sure its different in different parts of the country.
Years ago, we had several walk in centers where people could go for the run of the mill treatment. Those have all closed down. I have the utmost respect for Emergency Room personnel, starting at the triage desk to the folks that have to clean the rooms

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Moderator
Dont laugh at me

LisaNeedsHelp (not verified)
Member
TO CLARIFY.

I'VE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS PAIN FOR 6 YEARS, THE PAST 2 BEING SEVERE. I'VE NEVER ONCE GONE TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM, EVER. I HAVE BC/BS PPO AND HAVE MET ALL DEDUCTABLES AND OUT-OF-POCKETS FOR THE YEAR. I HAVE A CURRENT MRI (HERNIATED DISC, STENOSIS, FACET ANOMOLY, ETC.)AND A LOWSY PAIN DOCTOR. I'VE HAD MRI'S, EPIDURALS, THE WORKS! I AM SEEING A NEW PM AT THE END OF OCTOBER BECAUSE MINE HAS SAID THAT IS HIS PERSONAL BELIEF THAT SOMEONE MY AGE SHOULD "JUST DEAL WITH IT". I TAKE 60MG VICODIN, 8MG ZANAFLEX AND 300MG LYRICA EVERYDAY. I SUFFER SILENTLY BECAUSE OF MY AGE. I HAVEN'T SLEPT IN 2 DAYS. MY URINE IS COMING OUT IN SPURTS DUE TO PRESSURE ON MY NERVES. I'VE BEEN HAVING ANXIETY ATTACKS LIKE NEVER BEOFREN THAT MESS WITH MY BREATHING AND FUNCTIONING ALL CAUSED BY PAIN. THE SPASMS IN MY NECK, CAUSED BY MY BACK AND THE WAY I HAVE TO SIT/LAY/STAND/LIVE ARE SO SEVERE I COULDN'T HOLD MY HEAD UP WHEN I WROTE MY INITIAL POST.

BUT I'M NOT DYING, I'M PAINFULLY AWARE OF THAT. I GUESS THE ADVICE HERE IS TO SUFFER, SUCK IT UP AND DEAL WITH IT. BECOME NOTHING. JUST DEAL WITH IT. I'M TOO YOUNG FOR ADEQUATE HELP SO JUST DEAL WITH IT. I'M TOLD I'M TOO YOUNG TO HAVE AN MRI LIKE MINE BUT I HAVE IT, IT'S REAL, BUT SUPPOSEDLY I'M STILL TOO YOUNG. FINE. I GET IT. NOT AN EMERGENCY, JUST MY LIFE.

THANKS FOR ALL YOUR INPUT, IT'S HELPED A GREAT DEAL.

-LISA

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