Monday, March 2, 2009

Deciding when to visit an ER

I'm sure many of you have come across this - something happens, an accident of some sort, and you're encouraged (or are encouraging someone) to go to the hospital. But, when do you decide and how do you decide if a hospital visit is warranted?

Yesterday, I took a major (and I mean *major*) wipe out on the ice. I was just about to get into my car, my foot slipped on the ice. I fell so hard, that a guy loading up his car three houses away heard the whack. I fell straight like a board. My son was stunned because one moment, we were talking over the hood of the car, the next moment, I was gone.

After much discussion between the stranger, who came running over, my son and my husband, about if I should go to the hospital, I got up and, nursing a very, very painful elbow, limped into the house. Going to an ER on a Sunday night wasn't in my plans, thank you very much.

The thing is, the guy who ran over was very, very insistent that I go to the hospital - his concern was a concussion. My kids were insistent because at that point, we thought I may have cracked my elbow. I held off, not because of some sort of "tough mom" or martyr complex, but because I really didn't think that what happened was ER-worthy.

Because I'm in Canada, the decision wasn't a financial decision either. I just didn't want to use up a physician's time, as well as the x-ray techs, nurses, and everyone else involved if it wasn't necessary.

It turns out that I did make the right call. None of my injuries were ER-worthy. This morning, my elbow hurts, my hip is ok unless you touch it and then I go through the roof (just a bad, deep bruise because I bear weight and have full range of motion), my neck is Not Happy and - just to make sure that we're fully covered, I developed a migraine over night.

Would you have gone to the hospital or an emergency clinic? Would you have encouraged someone else in that situation?

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