QOTD: At What Point Do YOU Decide That Your Pain/Symptoms Warrant an ER Trip?
- At what point do YOU decide that your pain or symptoms warrant a trip to the emergency room?
Many of us become so accustomed to staying strong and stoic through such intense symptoms that we no longer know what kind of pain warrants a visit.
This, compounded with the fear of being labeled as a drug seeker, can leave patients feeling helpless when our rheumatologists or internists are out of office.
So what happens when it’s 2am, your pain is far beyond what your prescriptions for Tramadol or Lidoderm patches can manage, and you are in as close to agony as you can get?
Understandably, ER physicians are adamant that the ER is not a place for treating chronic conditions: it is for emergencies. They are constantly on the receiving end of patients who abuse the system, and many learn to assess patients with a cynical eye.
On the other hand, pain management options are often seriously limited for all parties involved. With the “war on drugs” cracking down on opioid medication prescriptions, medications that may prevent one of these pain crises (and subsequent ER visits) are often not dispensed.
It’s a lose-lose situation. Treatment of chronic pain in people with autoimmune and genetic diseases is not balanced (though this varies by state). There are fatal flaws in our American pain management system— flaws that impose unnecessary fear, judgment, and isolation on patients.
What do you think?
Have you had any memorable experiences in the ER related to your autoimmune/autoinflammatory/genetic disease(s)? Have you ever had a serious pain crisis?
25 Notes/ Hide
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- lovepatientandkind answered: The hard part for me was figuring out it the pain was because of my chronic condition or something else.
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- rj-ames answered: This is a great question. I also have given up on taking trips to the ER, even in severe pain. In my experience, it has never been worth it.
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- highlordmhoram answered: I don’t even consider it. The ER is miles from my home and would turn me away for sure. I usually just have a hot shower; it”s all I can do.
- natureaddict answered: I don’t even go anymore. If it’s a real emergency one day … no idea what’ll happen because I refuse to go anymore.
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