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Is it stupid to go to the ER for something non-life-threatening?

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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 11:16 AM
Original message
Is it stupid to go to the ER for something non-life-threatening?
Here's the thing. I called telehealth (this phone number in Ontario where you can speak to a nurse), and, apparently, I should see a doctor today because there's a pretty good chance I have some kind of skin infection on my leg.

I have a medical phobia (it's not particularly severe, but it's there), and I really don't want to go to a walk-in clinic. You never know what the doctors are going to be like, and I had a bad experience last time I went to one. Essentially, I have a fear of throat swabs since I have a bit of an overactive gag reflex, and I told the doctor to be gentle, and he proceeded to shove the giant q-tip all the way down my throat anyway. Also, said infection is, um, kind of on my inner thigh, and I'd rather not have a doctor I don't trust handling that area.

There's a children's hospital (I'm almost 17) that I've been a patient at in the past, and I'd feel 1000 times more comfortable going there to get it checked out.

However, I don't want to be one of these assholes who clogs up emergency rooms with trivial problems.
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charlie and algernon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
1. if it's something that can't wait 2 or 3 days till you can see your reg doctor, then go
I've gone once with a non-life threatening issue and they had no problem with it. You just may wait a bit longer than everyone else.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. An infection can be life threatening and is certainly not trivial.
I am in no position to say if yours is an emergency or not. I'd follow the advice of the advice nurse.
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. It is always ok to do whatever feels best for YOU
No fear of "clogging" up the emergency room with health issues. They determine the need when you get there. It's not like they are going to say, "roll that man with a gunshot wound into the hall. We need to see AspieGrrl STAT!"

Do what makes you feel best.

:hug:
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buzzycrumbhunger Donating Member (793 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. Depends on the infection
My son just went through this and almost waited too long. If you have heat, swelling, redness, and especially any combination, get your arse there. He waited until he had lymphangitic streaking all the way up to his groin. What could have been treated with oral antibiotics turned into a 5-day hospital stay.

If you're that anxious about a stranger fondling your good parts, it's probably worth heading to the children's hospital. You might get through triage faster there, as well. (Maybe call first?) Regardless of where you go, you don't have to put up with clods who are in too much of a hurry to treat you with care. Don't be afraid to speak up or ask for someone else!

Go. Better to waste the day in the ER and find it's nothing serious than to sit here debating and wind up with a serious problem. My son actually lost a leg a few years ago to a strep infection that came out of nowhere, so I'm not talking out my arse. *motherly eyebrow waggle*
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malta blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. if they tell you to go, please seek medical attention.
I was stung by a bee this summer, and waited about a week for what I thought was just a bad reaction to go down. Turns out I had staphh infection. It was a good thing that I went when I did.

Please Please Please go.
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. Update:
I decided to suck it up and go to the walk-in clinic close by. I actually got a pretty good doctor.

And yes, apparently it's a bacterial infection and I need antibiotics, so it was definitely a good idea to go somewhere. :)
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malta blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I am glad you got it checked out
:hug:
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. glad to hear it
weren't you the one asking for flirting advice the other day? How did that turn out, may i ask?
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Ha, I have no idea how that turned out.
I didn't end up actually making a move or anything. This person - it's impossible to tell whether they're attracted to you or not. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
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buzzycrumbhunger Donating Member (793 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-15-08 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Well, I feel better
Given that I just went through this with my kid, I was fighting the urge to kick your arse for not taking care of yourself. I totally get "stoic," but sometimes we just have to suck it up and admit we can't fix everything ourselves.

Hope this helped with your medical phobia and next time (touch wood there isn't one) you'll be less resistant to just getting checked out. :)
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