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kidney stones, do I need to go to ER?

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Do I need to go to the emergency room?

Have history of kidney stones. Believe I have one now. First symptoms seven days ago, with a lot of pain five days ago. Pain has been coming and going since.

Have had a fever. Probably have one now, but haven't checked this morning.

Why haven't I gone to ER? No health care insurance.

And yeah, I'm scared, both of the cost financially and of potential impacts to my health.
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replied January 31st, 2011
Hello and thank you for posting your health query on E health Forum.

Based on the history, it seems that episodic abdominal pain could be due to renal stones. Pain that originates due to renal issues (Stones, infection) is episodic ,spasmodic or colicky in nature, originating in the flank and radiating to the lower belly, inner thigh or the testicles. It is associated with other symptoms like nausea, vomiting , etc.

You might consider consulting a Urologist for a physical examination and additional evaluations including a urinalysis, and an ultrasound of the abdomen and this will help to initiate necessary treatment.

I hope you find this information useful.

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replied July 16th, 2011
He must have missed the part about no health insurance. "See your urologist?" !!!!!!!!! I'm sitting here - argh. The blinders doctors put on when it comes to ability of the patient to pay pass all understanding. If he says anything more, it will probably either be that you're a substandard human being who doesn't grasp the importance of medical care, or that you can magically find money somewhere.

He must be the same doctor who wasn't in for more than a day when I had a question, and it wasn't on Saturday!

Ordinarily if the pain or signs of infection don't drive you to the ER than you can see your family doctor or urologist on an urgent care basis. The ER will mostly confirm that it is a kidney stone, and treat pain and vomiting. They will check for infection and treat it if you have one.

You don't need health insurance to go to the ER with a medical emergency. Do however make some calls and learn what hospital or hospitals must take indigent patients; usually one or two are designated per county or city. On Monday you can call financial counselors in the local hosptials and find out which ones may offer aid for those who can't afford to pay. That may be Catholic hospitals, for instance, not necessarily the one designated to take the indigent.

I made the same mistake with appendicitis; delayed going to the ER because I thought they wouldn't do anything for me because I didn't have insurance. If you're sick, go, particularly if you have signs of an infection. If you're not sure, call the ER and ask to speak with a nurse. Some hospitals, and some county health systems, have a triage system you can speak to on the phone.

Also, look into what sort of low income health care aid your county offers. In Texas some offer the minimum - if you make under $220 a month - others offer full care up to the federal poverty level and some help up to twice teh federal poverty level.

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