Chronic Pain Support Group

Physicians and professionalsdefine pain as chronic if it lasts longer than three to six months and is persistent. It's distinct from acute pain that is a direct result of injury or trauma. This support group is dedicated to those suffering from chronic pain. Discuss treatments that have worked for you, find advice for your specific experience, and find support. You're not alone in your pain.

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When is Pain an Emergency?

How do you know when increased pain warrants emergency attention? How do you arrive at the decision to go to the ER? I've had terrible experiences in the past, which I posted about here a few years ago. Now I find myself in the same situation... with the same snapping hip problem... not knowing what to do. Pain hit 9/10 on Tuesday and has stayed there since. Extreme loss of function... not able to bear weight. Sleeping 2-3 hours a night ar most. Appetite gone. Concentration gone. Not able to bathe or put on socks/shoes.


Appointment with PCP on 7/20, no clue how to survive until then.


Replies

bobinmaine
bobinmaine

If it is keeping you awake at night then call your doctor and ask if you can be seen immediately. If not, then go to the emergency room.

Good luck!
MeganElaine
MeganElaine

Just a quick update. Still haven't gone to the ER. Called a larger clinic affiliated with my PCP's clinic and was seen by a PA on Monday. PA ordered a Toradol injection and a few days of oral Toradol until Thursday PCP appointment; no exam/imaging. Injection helped a bit but wore off fast. Still in 9/10 pain and the med combo is making me feel really sick to my stomach. Feel like I'm going insane. Can't sleep/bathe/concentrate.
ItsJustMe2012
ItsJustMe2012

If you aren't able to urinate, have a bowel movement, keep food down or walk, it is time to go to the ER. If you say you can't walk, but you walk into the ER. That is being able to walk. If the meds are making you sick to your stomach, ask your doctor to call in something for the nausea. FYI,sleeping 2-3 hours a night at most is not the same as not sleeping at all.
MeganElaine
MeganElaine

Feel a little silly giving an update when there's so few people around on the board, but figured I'd share: Saw my doctor on Thursday. He ordered some x-rays which showed fluids within the joint that hadn't been visible in previous imaging. They prescribed pain medication and referred me for ultrasound imaging and a US-guided injection into the hip. That's scheduled for next Wednesday.

If I could have done this over again, I would have asked my PCP's office for a referral to one of their clinics that takes same or next day appointments. My pain was urgent, not emergent. There wasn't risk of grievous bodily harm, so ER probably wasn't appropriate. But it really began to feel like an emergency when it prevented me from doing basic self-care like getting myself water/food, showering, putting on clothes, sleeping, or walking. FYI, ambulating on crutches is not the same as walking.
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