So a few years a go I was hit by a truck, while crossing the street. Broke my femur right in half. Had surgery to get it fixed. Got a rod and screws placed in.
After the first 90 days I was still in a lot of pain in my upper leg/ hip area. The doctor said he can take out the screw he placed in the hip area, but he can not take out the rod. The rod has to stay in for ever because I have a tumor in that bone, and the rob is keeping the bone up, and supporting me.
So he takes out the screw, and I still have pain a few months later. He told me it will pass, and that was that. He pretty much wrote me off, saying have a good life.
I put up with the pain for two more years with no help. I've seen many doctors/pain management specialist. No one wanted to believe me. For two reasons. One: They can't see anything wrong with my leg in x-ray and Two: I keep getting handed meds for nerv pain with no relief.
I finally found a good orthopedic doctor. He did surgery for me back in October to repair the IT Band. After surgery I was giving oxycodon 20mg and percocet 5mg. They worked well. A month after surgey he saw me again. He told me I don't need the percocets or oxy anymore, my pain was just after surgey soreness. If my pain continued past January to see him back.
It's January now, I have no medication for my leg, and am in a lot of pain. I called him, and he wants to see me. Problem is my insurance changed as of the new year and my co-pay for him nearly tripled. I cant afford to see him for another month.
My pain has been unbearable these last two-three days. My question is if I were to go into the ER and explain my situation, can they or will they give me pain meds to hold me over until next month?
I'm a bit perplexed on if this is all about an insurance issue, I would think going to the ER would be 10 times more expensive than seeing your Dr.
I also think that the ER is meant for life/death emergencies. You have been dealing with this pain for awhile now and it's not something to where you are in any danger without strong pain meds. There is ice, heat, resting, Tylenol or Advil, massage, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, do things to distract yourself, etc.
And believe me, I do empathize and understand. I've had dozens of surgeries and 3 cervical fusions to where I have a lot of titanium in my neck to where they went in from the front AND the back this last time to really shore me up..LOL...So I do get pain.
There are many new laws and regulations being passed..NY is one of the first to where the ER is now not allowed to give more than 3 days worth of medications and nothing long acting. The reason is that this is not their job to be someone's chronic pain Dr.
I'm not trying to be snarky, just trying to explain things as I think you will find this no matter what state you are in. By telling them that you can't see your Dr. because your co-pay costs too much, this is not going to have them giving you pain meds.
Obviously no one here is a Dr. and cannot tell you what you should or should not do. I am just saying what I would do (and have done). I haven't had health insurance in over 6 years and have to save up every 3 months to see my PM Dr. I've also had times I was in between Drs. and surgeries and in great pain and I just took it one day/hour at a time. I've only been to the ER twice in my life and they were both for life/death emergencies.
So unless you had just had surgery and you had a high fever, extreme redness and oozing at the surgery site....I just don't personally recommend using the ER just to get pain meds.
If you are able to see your Dr. in February then I would just hold out until then. One other reason to do this is because going to the ER seeking pain meds will go on your medical record and it actually looks bad. If you didn't have the co-pay issue...you would be seeing your regular Dr...correct?
The other red flag that they look for in the ER is someone requesting opiates for their pain instead of someone who has an emergency is just looking for pain relief no matter what they offer. So, you really see this as a true emergency then I would go and tell them you are not looking for any type of opiate but maybe a muscle relaxer or steroid shot or NSAIDs (prescription).
Just my personal thoughts..Let us know what you decide..
I highly doubt the Er will help you out with "extra" pain meds until next month. I highly beleive they will help you out of their ER as soon as possible, probably by treating and streeting you. You will most likely be stabilized with a shot of some type of pain medication, then told to follow-up with your primary care physician. If you havn't got a primary care physician, they will surely discharge you with information on how to obtain one in your area. The ER doesn't want you to come back with the same problem anytime soon. Do you have a PCP Primary Care Physician)? If not, then why not? It would make things easier on you, the healthcare system, etc., etc.
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