We had to take my son to the emergency room again the other night. We aren’t the type to go for every little thing and usually go only for big, gaping, bleeding things but it does seem like we have to go there pretty frequently– so much so that I keep an "emergency room" bag packed and hanging by my purse. It includes snacks, sewing supplies, books to read and so on because going to the emergency room can and usually does mean a many hour wait. When the kids were little, I would sometimes have to take the child that wasn’t hurt with me, too. They would get hungry or restless and the things in my bag would help.
Recently, my son dropped a large log on his toe, cutting it and smashing it severely. (This is a hazard you don’t always hear people talk about with regard to heating your home with wood) He is fine and needs just to be on crutches for a few days but he had a good tip for me to give to our readers.
When the doctors were fixing his toe, the nurse took out a large tube of antibacterial ointment to apply to it. He asked her "Are you throwing that tube away?" She said "Yes," and asked if he wanted it, since he had paid for it. He told me that it is a large enough tube that it contains enough ointment to last his family 3-4 years. Then she took a huge piece of gauze and cut a small piece from it. Again he asked to keep the remains.
You can ask for these things. My mom has gotten scissors that they used when putting in stitches or tweezers when they took out stitches. Also, be careful if you are admitted to the hospital to take your regular medications with you or have a family member bring them to you. These are called self administered drugs (medications which you take on a daily basis). Be sure to tell the doctor you are taking them and have them with you. Not all hospitals will allow you to do this but some will, so you might as well take them and ask if you can use your own medicines. It will be much less expensive than if the hospital provides them.
My mom had to go the the hospital and stayed there one night. They asked what regular (self administered) medications she took and she told them. The hospital staff gave the medications to her while she was there. Later, she received a bill for $529 just for 3 pills and 1 aspirin. She called the pharmacy and found out that a 3 month supply of all of the same pills together would only cost $125. If she had brought her own medications with her it would have cost nothing.
This is a perfect example of how many leaders (people in charge of hospitals, schools, government and business) are so messed up in their thinking and can’t use common sense regarding how to save money on medical costs, school costs, business costs, etc.
It isn’t that we need more money but we need to use what we have more wisely.
P.S. I didn’t write this to open up a can of worms about the medical issues happening in our country right now. I’m not burying my head in the sand, I just don’t want arguing on the blog. Please keep this in mind when you comment because if there is negative stuff I won’t post it. I just wanted you to be aware of some things you can do to save yourself money and to let you know not to be afraid to ask to take these things home with you.
P.P.S. I do appreciate all of the great nurses and sometimes doctors who ask if I would like to take things home because I have paid for them and they are about to be discarded. These people are a super help and kind in so many ways. Thank you nurses.
photo by: agacombahia