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Old 09-05-2012, 09:27 PM   #1
rszdtrvl
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Budget Buster - ER visits for an abcess - no vacation for us - UPDATE P4

There goes our vacation for next year.

But he is getting better.


I took DS to the ER on Monday because he was running a fever and had a lump on his back. Turns out it was an abcess and we got it taken care of. It had to get drained and packed with gauze because they heal from the inside out.

His doctor does not deal with abcesses - I do not know of a doctor around here that will deal with the internal packing of one - so we have already had one follow-up visit to the ER, and will continue to visit the ER until the abcess has healed.

The last ER visit, we paid $500 AFTER insurance, and it was not even half as major as this time (DS had a double ear infection and was in so much pain that the doctor after-hours call service said to take him to the ER) so I am dreading seeing the upcoming bills.

The important thing is that he is getting better, and is being such a trooper about it all. And we do have a small savings that can be used towards the bills.

Disney can wait until 2014. I know you know what a bummer it is to have real-life happen when you are looking forward to planning a vacation (we were going to go to Disneyland in February 2013).

Last edited by rszdtrvl; 09-21-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:36 PM   #2
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That is a shame. It's just awful how much medical care costs and how much is out of pocket. Tough break. Hope for quick healing!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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Oh, wow! Your poor guy! hope the healing is quick and so sorry about your vaca
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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There has got to be a better way than er visits for packing abscesses. Is there a surgeon (they often drain those) who would take you on for follow up? Worth asking to save such expenses.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Bummer . I hope your son feels better. There has to be a better choice than the ER for wound treatment.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:37 PM   #6
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That is crazy that your pediatrician or your family DR won't change the dressing!! There is no reason they shouldn't, it is a very simple procedure, in the hosp. nurses do it. I've done it!

Tomorrow call your hospital and ask if they have a wound clinic or if there is a medical practice with a wound clinic near by. Then call and see what you have to do to have your DR write you an order to go there for your follow ups.

This is exactly what wound care clinics do.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:42 PM   #7
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Yeah I have to agree with some PPs here, that there should be another way to go about this getting taken care of, not repeated ER visits. I would strongly urge you to make some phone calls and see what you can find out.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #8
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So sorry to hear this. My son had the same thing happen to him in June. His doctor sent him to the ER. They did a cat scan determined he had an abscess and it was off to surgery. He spent 2days the the hospital because of the infection. Because of the area of the infection they do not close it. He had nurses come every day for 27 days to change out the packing. Fortunately he had very good insurance. I asked at the hospital about the cause and they told me this is very common and has several causes. I am so grateful he had such good insurance. Maybe this is something you could look into.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:45 AM   #9
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Wound packing is not hard to do at home have them show you how or see if the visiting nurse can come. I have been packing dh wounds for about 3 months now and if there is one thing I have found is that I can do it much better then have different nurses do it everyday like there were in the hospital. Good luck and remember that they are there to help you just tell them what you need.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:26 AM   #10
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I just had a bug bite that got infected and it had to be drained and packed, I am a nurse so I knew where to go. My doctor's office has a Dr that takes care of small wounds, removal of warts and other skin issues. It was a total of $160.00 because we have not met our deductible this year. The ER is not the appropriate place to have that followed up with. Call your primary doctor but a General Surgeon's office or Wound Care Clinic could do it if your doctor can't.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:50 AM   #11
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Please, please try to find a place other than an emergency room.

For the care you need you are getting the same care but in the ER it costs a lot more.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:57 AM   #12
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The hospital should have a wound area or just go the general surgeon center if you have one in your area. My mom had the same thing but on her stomach. The nurse taught me how to repack the wound with gauze and I am no where near medically trained. It was nasty though! The surgeon's office kept up stocked with gauze and tape.

Depending on how big the wound is and how long looks like the packing will be there, I would invest in better tape that doesn't pull on the skin so much. My poor mom had welps from the constant changing of the tape.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:03 AM   #13
bear_mom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rszdtrvl View Post
There goes our vacation for next year.

But he is getting better.


I took DS to the ER on Monday because he was running a fever and had a lump on his back. Turns out it was an abcess and we got it taken care of. It had to get drained and packed with gauze because they heal from the inside out.

His doctor does not deal with abcesses - I do not know of a doctor around here that will deal with the internal packing of one - so we have already had one follow-up visit to the ER, and will continue to visit the ER until the abcess has healed.

The last ER visit, we paid $500 AFTER insurance, and it was not even half as major as this time (DS had a double ear infection and was in so much pain that the doctor after-hours call service said to take him to the ER) so I am dreading seeing the upcoming bills.

The important thing is that he is getting better, and is being such a trooper about it all. And we do have a small savings that can be used towards the bills.

Disney can wait until 2014. I know you know what a bummer it is to have real-life happen when you are looking forward to planning a vacation (we were going to go to Disneyland in February 2013).
One of two things: 1 - have the nurse in the ER teach you how to pack the wound. This is something that is routinely done and there is no need for you to go to the ER everyday to have a dressing changed. 2 - Ask for a home health nurse to come see you at home and teach you to the wound packing. They will come out once or twice to do the wound packing with you.

Depending on how big the wound is and how fast your ds heals, it can take weeks to heal.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:45 AM   #14
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yes, your hospital should have a wound clinic.

sorry to hear this...big hugs.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #15
rszdtrvl
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THANK YOU!!!

I did some peeking and found out that we have a wound care clinic at a different campus of our local hospital. Why they didn't tell me that in the ER, I have no idea. But when they open I will call them and let them know the situation. The packing has to be changed today, so hopefully we will be able to skip the ER.

On a plus note, DS could actually walk to the clinic from school - it is only a block away. So I can just park at the school and we can walk from there.

Fingers crossed I can get in today.

I told DS that we should contact his classmate's mom who is a nurse (she assisted on DH's major shoulder surgery he had years ago) and offer to pay her $50 each time she changed the bandages. Somewhat jokingly, but also somewhat seriously.

Thanks again! This is the kind of information I should have been given from the ER. At least I got it from the Dis'.
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