You wake up in the middle of the night, with your side aching. The pain abates for a bit every now and then but tends to come back with a vengeance. When you try to use the bathroom, it doesn’t bring you any relief at all. You may even throw up, but that doesn’t bring relief either.
In this particular scenario, it’s highly likely that you have appendicitis, and there is no home treatment for it. In fact, you need to get to the emergency room as fast as possible. Appendicitis can turn into a ruptured appendix quickly and potentially cause even more problems. And all you can think of is that you don’t have insurance, and certainly don’t have the cash to pay for an ER visit.
What do you do?
Oddly, a lack of insurance is what brings many people to the ER, even for non-emergency situations like a common cold or urinary tract infection. In the US, emergency rooms cannot turn you away until they have made sure you are stable — whether you have insurance or not. They don’t charge upfront like doctor’s offices do, so patients know they will get seen and can deal with the bill later on.
Go ahead and go to the emergency room, and know this: In this particular situation the less income you have, the better off you are.
Medical Treatment Grants
Hospitals and some doctor’s offices receive federal and/or state funding to help offset the cost of medical treatment for those who don’t have insurance or are underinsured. In doctor’s offices, these grants are normally used to create sliding scale fees, which are based on your income. Hospitals use their grants in different ways.
When you go to an emergency room or have to stay in the hospital without insurance, always ask for a Financial Aid form. If you have limited finances you’re likely to qualify for this financial aid, which relieves you of your obligation to pay for the hospital visit. Note that staff isn’t likely to ask you if you need financial aid, but if you ask for a Financial Aid form they can’t refuse it to you.
Common Medical Issues
Before you ever head to a doctor’s appointment, see if you can take care of the issue at home, Understanding how some medical issues present themselves can help, along with some natural and common at-home treatments.
Burns: A burn is one of the riskiest of injuries because the skin is the first layer of defense for the body. When the skin is compromised, it leaves the body open to bacteria and other things that are floating in the air. For immediate pain relief, try putting the injured area under cold water. First-degree burns can be red and painful, but don’t involve blisters. Second-degree burns go deeper and cause pain and blistering. Third-degree burns are the riskiest because the skin is often charred so badly that the area may be numb. Aloe can help with healing and pain relief, but medical attention may still be necessary.
Infections: Infections usually come with a fever, whether they are viral or bacterial. You can try slowing a fever with a proper bath. It isn’t always necessary to use antibiotics, and in the case of viral infections antibiotics aren’t going to help with the source of the problem. If the infection is external be sure to keep the infected area clean, make sure you’re up to date on tetanus shots, and frequently apply antibiotic ointment.
Pain: Pain is the body’s built-in alarm system. It lets you know when something is wrong, which is why it isn’t always a good idea to stop pain completely. For instance, if you have a torn muscle and take medication to stop the pain you may continue to use the muscle as if it isn’t injured, and make the issue worse. Sharp pains, and pains that get worse over time, are often indications that there is a deeper issue.
Try using temperature to your advantage for pain relief. To start with, the body processes temperature signals before pain signals, which is why cold works so well for burns. The pain is still there, but the cold beats the pain to the punch, so to speak. So, for acute injuries and inflammation that often leads to pain, use a cold compress. When the issue is muscle stiffness or pain, apply a hot compress.
Diet And Exercise
Of course, diet and exercise are integral parts of keeping healthy, but knowing how to use them to improve health can also reduce the time you spend worrying about or paying medical bills. Understanding how the body works can also help keep you from making common mistakes.
Nausea and Diarrhea
When you’re throwing up or have diarrhea, your first instinct is to put a stop to it. But this is the body’s way of getting rid of toxins and, in some cases, simply unburdening itself from the digestive process while it focuses energy on other things. That being said, diarrhea and vomiting can be dangerous and even fatal, because either one can lead to dehydration. Instead of trying to stop either one, keep the boy hydrated while also allowing it to focus energy on what’s important. Avoid solid foods and instead ingest low-sodium broth and drinks that have electrolytes, but not sugar.
Staying in Motion
If you’re sick or injured you aren’t likely to want to head to the gym, but you still need to keep your body in motion — to a point. Laying still for too long cause things like bedsores, which are easily infected when your system is already compromised. Have someone help you turn your body several times throughout the day to prevent these.
Muscles that go without use will develop disuse atrophy. Atrophy causes muscle tissue to breakdown and/or be reabsorbed into the body. When this happens, there simply won’t be muscle tissue there to use. It can happen in as little as a few days. If you’re going to be bedridden or have limited motion over a period of time, use light resistance straps and a helper if possible, to keep your muscles moving.
America is full of people who meet medical challenges by rushing to the doctor. In return, they develop resistance to overused antibiotics and a pile of medical bills. When you don’t have insurance, the result can be a living nightmare. You can prevent this to some extent by being proactive about your health and adopting healthy living techniques along with home treatments for simple medical issues. As always, we encourage you to seek medical help when necessary and not to use any information provided here as medical advice.
~To Your Survival!
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