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HipGnosis6
11-05-2006, 12:50 PM
Here's the back history for those who haven't been following:

In August I was hit by a car while riding my bike. The bike had about $100 of damage which has been repaired. I was taken to the ER and checked out; nothing major.

Maybe a month later a spot that was utterly unremarkable started swelling; it caused my foot to swell up so much I couldn't get my shoe on. The skin was peeling around the center of the area and then it kind of collapsed in on itself and turned into an open, weeping wound. I self-treated the best I could for a few days and then decided it was beyond my ability to take care of on my own. The catch was that my health insurance had come to an end a few days after the bike accident. I finally made an appointment at a local sliding scale clinic (where I did not qualify for discounted care because I have a temp gig that makes too much money - the two months where I was out of work and I'm still not caught up on the bills from don't matter). The doctor gave me an injection of a high dose antibiotic, took a wound culture, and sent me home with a prescription for a double dose of an oral antibiotic. The preliminary diagnosis: MRSA.

I went back after the end of the oral antibiotic run and they rounded up the lab results from the wound culture. It apparently didn't test as MRSA after all, and both of the antibiotics given should have been effective. The infection was mostly cleared out and the drainage had almost completely stopped, and so I was taken off of the antibiotics and told that this type of wound heals slowly and I should soak it twice a day etc etc. That would be virtually impossible for me, though, since I'm out of the house from 6 am until 10:30 pm or later five days a week. I did the best I could, taking fresh dressings with me so I could at least swab and clean the ulcer along the way.

It's been a little bit more than two weeks - and the infection is raging again. The hole in my skin is getting larger (though it's not like the horrific necrotizing fasciitis you hear about on TV - we're talking a few mm larger in each direction) and is draining off enough yellow fluid that I've gone from using gauze dressings to cutting a maxi-pad in half - and finding that to be pretty well soaked at the end of the day. And now it has become painful, which it hasn't been until now. I know I have to go back to the doctor, but each trip there is a financial hardship for me and the earliest appointment I can get isn't until the 13th.

But worst of all is the general malaise that's come along with this. I'm not sick enough to stay home from work or school; I don't have a fever. But I DO have a feeling of not-quite-nausea, and I'm achy and distracted. It's kind of like being borderline hung over, except that I haven't had a drink since the 4th of July. I'm not productive at work and my schoolwork is suffering. Add some pretty serious depression on top of it all. I can't tell where the physical symptoms end and the emotional/psychological ones begin. I'm really tired of feeling bad.

Eden
11-05-2006, 01:05 PM
Not to be worrying you more, but have you ever been tested for high blood sugar? If it's not an MSRA, that can be a cause of slow healing wounds (especially of the feet) and cause other physical symptoms like fatigue too.

more symptoms of high blood sugar (http://www.bddiabetes.com/ca/english/healthyliving/high-low_blood_sugar.asp)

Grog
11-05-2006, 01:14 PM
Big hug your way, HG6.

(Isn't that guy with the free hugs in Seattle?)

I hope you can find a way to see a doctor again. It seems like pretty necessary to me. Being in Canada, I feel malaise and anger every time I read reports here about how the costs of basic, required medical treatment (not frivolous stuff!!) and how it is handled by your insurance companies prevents you from receiving proper care, down in the US, and puts you in a situation where things can get worse. I find this totally absurd.

Good vibes your way. I hope you find your way around this soon.

HipGnosis6
11-05-2006, 02:23 PM
Not to be worrying you more, but have you ever been tested for high blood sugar? If it's not an MSRA, that can be a cause of slow healing wounds (especially of the feet) and cause other physical symptoms like fatigue too.

more symptoms of high blood sugar (http://www.bddiabetes.com/ca/english/healthyliving/high-low_blood_sugar.asp)

I have indeed been checked for sugar levels. Everybody's always suprised when they're normal, since I have PCOS which frequently goes hand in hand with insulin resistance.

Eden
11-05-2006, 02:51 PM
Good to hear that. Take care of your foot though and hopefully they'll keep you on the anitbioitics a little longer next time, since it seems like it almost worked before.

Bikingmomof3
11-05-2006, 02:58 PM
(((((HipGnosis6))))) I understand about it being a financial hardship, but it sounds as though you need to be seen again.

LBTC
11-05-2006, 03:20 PM
sending health and money vibes your way, HipG. I'm sickened also when I hear about how much it costs for basic medical attention, which you *need* right now.

I also, though, understand about the wondering where the physical problems end and the psychological stuff starts. I still have no answer on the possible gallbladder issue, and my next appointment, which will be with the GI specialist is Dec 12. I'm glad I don't have to pay out of pocket for all these tests and doc visits, but it sure is moving slowly. So, I too, am experiencing the fatigue that is not bad enough to miss work, but bad enough to not be able to do a whole much of anything other than work....

It sucks, but remember, as with all things, this too will pass.

Hugs and butterflies,
~T~

chickwhorips
11-05-2006, 03:25 PM
big hugs to you.

i know its expensive, but i agree go back to the dr. i know how painful foot problmes are, i'm experiencing my own. they aren't fun at all.

take care and quick healing.

Dogmama
11-05-2006, 06:36 PM
My DH had wound MRSA and yours sounds like his. He had a month of IV drip vancomysin (sp?) 2X day, 2 hours each time. He had a pic line inserted in the hospital so I could do it at home. Also sterile technique wound dressing, etc. It was quite an ordeal.

The 13th is a week from now. No way to get in earlier? I don't like the sound of this.

Dianyla
11-05-2006, 08:38 PM
Get this problem taken care of as soon as you possibly can. And get tested for diabetes. You want to keep your foot! :eek:

A former coworker of mine was diabetic (and an alcoholic - as you can imagine this story won't end well) and he got a bruise on his foot from dropping a bigass Folgers can on it. That turned into an infection and he didn't manage it very well. Over the next two years they eventually shortened his leg up to the knee in about 4 different increments. He died of other diabetic-related causes a year ago. :(

salsabike
11-05-2006, 08:56 PM
Get this problem taken care of as soon as you possibly can. :(

Exactly. This should not wait till your next appointment.

mary9761
11-06-2006, 05:27 AM
I will reiterate as others have, STAY ON TOP OF THIS!!!! My BIL had something like this start several years ago and has been in and out of hospital with it, (they thought it was initially a spider bite but never have pinpointed WHAT EXACTLY it is) They thought more recently it was MRSA but after having to finally amputate his left great toe, they STILL don't know what it is!! Please be careful:eek: :eek: :eek: He now has problems in BOTH feet and they have no idea what they are dealing with, but is rehabbing from the amputation and trying to keep it from further spreading still in both feet.

Dogmama
11-08-2006, 03:25 AM
Hip

Report in! How are you?

HipGnosis6
11-08-2006, 10:39 PM
Yes, ma'am, Dogmama!!

I'm OK. I've been calling daily trying to get an earlier appointment to see the doctor, but the chances of that aren't great. It's sickness season and it's the local free clinic. Bah. I'll be all right until then. I do think the ulcer is getting larger, though not radically so (we're talking a few mm), and it's become painful when up until recently it didn't really hurt unless you jammed your finger into it.

I have pictures but they're just too icky to put up.

I swear I am not diabetic - they did a sugar screen at one of my recent appointments and it came out dead normal. I worry about it, though, and wish I had the means and a life that wasn't too hectic for continuing with the treatment for PCOS. I just can't manage it, though; the medication is very demanding and adding that on top of my already nutty life doesn't work for me. I hope to be able to do so after I graduate from design school.

grannieann
11-14-2006, 09:43 PM
I had a similar experience when I stabbed my leg just above the ankle with a fork when turning compost. I washed the wound immediately but about a month later a large red throbbing spot came up, it was cut open & drained, antibiotics taken & I had time off work to elevate the leg. I was seeing my Doctors surgery daily for wound dressing but it was not healing. I saw a programme on ABC TV about ulcers & Manuka Honey from New Zealand & its exceptional healing qualities. I bought some the next day from the health food shop & I swear that was the turning point-from that day on it was visibly getting better. I went to see my Doctor the next day & told her what I was doing-she was OK about it but somewhat sceptical. However I did not need to go back in regard to
the ulcer & I am a great believer in this honey. Ordinary honey is treated & would not work. Maybe it is not for you but when I read about your troubles I had to join & post this & hope all is well for you & that the ulcer has improved after seeking medical help. All info re manuka honey & the scientific research to back it up is available on the net.

KnottedYet
11-15-2006, 06:33 AM
One of my coworkers had a hysterectomy and the site got badly infected. Her doc took out the stitches and had her pack the wound with honey (plain ol' off the shelf honey). The sugars concentrated in honey dehydrate and kill bacteria. She changed the wound packing every day, and said she could watch it healing from the bottom up.

We had a dermatologist in town who had folks pack excision sites with plain ol' table sugar for the same reason.

mimitabby
11-15-2006, 07:04 AM
Hip, drag yourself down to the doctor and camp there until they let you in!
There are frequent cancellations at every dr office!
these things can KILL you!

please please please!

Mimi

HipGnosis6
11-16-2006, 11:44 PM
My dr. appointment was on Monday. She said she thought it looked better - and then measured the ulcer and decided to prescribe another run of antibiotics. She gave dire warnings about what would happen if I didn't make the time to soak the wound daily, etc etc. I asked her how I should go about doing that in a bus station loo.

As Knotted mentioned and as I'd run across when researching what exactly was wrong with my leg, the evidence is both plentiful and reputable that honey really is good for wounds. Unpasteurized is better than pasteurized and certain plant sources seem to make it even more effective. The catch here is that the act of actually dressing a wound that's 3 inches across and two inches high and a 1/4 deep in the shallowest part with a honey dressing is more than one can really manage in the ladies' room at work. If it's not doing any better I might give it a run during winter break from school, though.

I'm a full time student and must also work full time to keep a roof over my head. I can't go to the Providence Wound Center; it would cost me tons of time and money I don't have. I don't have health insurance and because I'm temping my income for the last 90 days is too high to qualify for any sort of aid or discounted care. This sucks.

Bikingmomof3
11-17-2006, 05:00 AM
I understand you have a hectic schedule, but if you do not find time to care for you, who will? Your health is vital. Please find a way to fit in the soakings as prescribed by the doctor. I am sorry you are going through this. I do understanbd the financial side, I have been there. It does not seem fair, I know. Please, for the sake of your health, take a few moments in your day to soak the area. Things could turn badly as your doctor told you, then you would not be working or going to school. :(

bcipam
11-17-2006, 06:20 AM
Get this problem taken care of as soon as you possibly can. And get tested for diabetes. You want to keep your foot! :eek:

A former coworker of mine was diabetic (and an alcoholic - as you can imagine this story won't end well) and he got a bruise on his foot from dropping a bigass Folgers can on it. That turned into an infection and he didn't manage it very well. Over the next two years they eventually shortened his leg up to the knee in about 4 different increments. He died of other diabetic-related causes a year ago. :(

Dianyla I was thinking of the same thing. Have seen this happen to several friends.

Please take this very seriously. A wound that does not heal, especially on an extremity is very very serious! I would try and locate a wound specialist as soon as possible!

and BIG HUGS YOUR WAY HOPING YOU GET WELL SOON!

KnottedYet
11-17-2006, 06:34 AM
2 inches by 3 inches!!!! That's bigger than the last time you posted the dimensions!

Do what the wound care chickie said! You risk amputation if you don't get this under control. This isn't something you can just put aside until your winter break.

If you have to, take a basin/bucket in to class and soak there. Soak between classes. Find someone at school (student services) who can hook you up with the resources so you can treat your foot.

Xrayted
11-17-2006, 07:29 AM
Hip, hobble into that office and don't leave until someone takes a look at that foot! I mean it, woman! This is NOT going to go away on it's own. They just get worse. Believe me, you do not want this to get any worse. There's a nurse I work with who had this happen, got superb treatment and still lost part of her foot/ankle and had major skin grafting. I too have heard the honey thing works but don't use it as a substitute for getting to the doc.

Let us know how you're doing. We all care about you.

mimitabby
11-17-2006, 07:35 AM
And we in the "home of the free and the brave" don't have health care for our children.(But we have the most expensive embassy in the world in Iraq)
Does that suck or what?

Dianyla
11-17-2006, 04:00 PM
I'm a full time student and must also work full time to keep a roof over my head. I can't go to the Providence Wound Center; it would cost me tons of time and money I don't have. I don't have health insurance and because I'm temping my income for the last 90 days is too high to qualify for any sort of aid or discounted care. This sucks.
From my personal experience, I can assure you that Providence is very good about charity health care. If you can prove that you have limited (or zero, in fact!) ability to pay, they will work something out with you. This link (http://www.providence.org/washington/billing/charity.htm) explains more.

Keep on it, whatever you do.

HipGnosis6
11-17-2006, 10:19 PM
I called to talk to the people at Providence about the wound treatment center and they set me up for a phone consultation this afternoon - the guy I talked to was really helpful and talked about what I should actually be doing to care for my wound and what to worry about or not worry about. Since my sugars test as normal, I need to worry most about infection and the area of redness around the wound should be watched carefully for spreading there as well as keeping an eye on the ulcer itself. If things got worse I wouldn't need to have my leg amputated at the knee, but I could lose a chunk of my calf to surgical debridement.

He also reassured me that the increase in the size of the ulcer isn't necessarily a bad thing - if there was a ring of dead skin around its opening, that would have been slowly removed by the wet-to-dry dressing technique that was reccomended before. The fact that the bandages were becoming painful to remove is a positive sign in that respect. There are live nerves at the edge of the wound and that is GOOD. Ouch = living cells. However, that kind of physical debridement can also disturb the healing cells, so instead of pulling off the dressing dry, I should soak it if it's sticking.

I asked about honey dressings. The doctor said the same thing a few of you have said - I'm welcome to try it but I should also continue taking the antibiotics as prescribed by my Dr. at the clinic.

The wound center's indigent care program is about the same as country doctor - to qualify for free care you can't earn more than 50% above the Federal poverty level, which is around $8k/year for a single adult. Well, I make about double the $12/K a year they need to provide me with free care and that's enough to exclude me from discounted care as well. But they were kind enough to waive the fee for the phone consult today, so that was nice of them.


Experiment 1: Soaking tub

I obtained a kitchen trash can that measures 11x14 at the bottom and 18" tall. Lucky me, this is about the same height as my desk chair. Filling it proved easy, since the tap in the bathtub is higher than that. Moving it somewhere usable proved.... doable, if a little sloshy. A good "Fill Line" got marked on it (I tested it out to make sure it covered the appropriate area and didn't overflow the tub). I hauled it out here and set it on a towel. It worked out well. Tomorrow we will figure out how much epsom salts to add.

Experiment 2: Honey dressings - this weekend

Manuka honey is the most effective but is hard to come by in the US.... or well, it's easy to order but for the price I could just go to the doctor. Unpasteurized honey of any variety also works but needs to be changed more frequently to keep from being overdiluted by the fluid oozing from the wound. My particular wound is oozy, but not like it was - I was cutting a maxi-pad in half and in six hours it would be pretty thoroughly soaked with yellow goo. So... the trick is to figure out how to make a honey dressing that will effectively hold the honey in place without access to expensive occlusive dressings and without ruining my slacks.

The answer so far is to apply the honey to the inside of the dressing sponge and tape it on. On top of that, a secondary dressing made out of a square of lightweight vinyl will be put in place to act as a water- and honeyproof barrier. I may also wrap this with athletic tape, but that's maybe overkill....

pll
11-18-2006, 06:56 AM
{{{Hip}}}

This situation awful and scary. Please be careful with the wound dressing - I read you mentions of vinyl and athletic tape with trepidation.

It sounds to me like you should qualify for the Providence sliding scale (http://www.providence.org/resources/washington/SlidingScale.pdf). The 2006 federal poverty level is $9,800 for a one person household, so someone earning $26k still would qualify for 70% charity sponsorship.

Take care.

Bikingmomof3
11-18-2006, 08:01 AM
(((((((Hip)))))))))

KnottedYet
11-18-2006, 08:52 AM
I don't like the vinyl or athletic tape ideas either. Please talk to the Providence wound folks again before you put anything non-breathable or constrictive in the area.

Even the commercial occlusive dressings are breathable to some extent. Can you change dressings more often rather than trying to keep an old one on after it is soaked through?

doc
11-18-2006, 01:40 PM
HG6, I feel so bad for you. This is a terrible predicament you are in. But like everyone else said, that ulcer needs close and frequent follow-up. I am worrying about your leg/ankle alot. As far as the honey goes, it should be applied fairly thickly. Enough so that the sugar totally overwhelms the bacteria.

A gross but true fact, maggots are fabulous for helping to keep the type of wound you have very clean and aid tremendously in healing. I don't think you can get anyone to actually give them to you, but this has been studied repeatedly and is known to be true. I guess no one can bring themselves to actually putting maggots on another human being on purpose. Here are 3 of a zillion reports about maggots.

http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/94/102721.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/gmis9814.htm

http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTX024102.html

HipGnosis6
11-18-2006, 09:02 PM
The problem with occlusive dressings that are available on the consumer market is that I can't buy one that's large enough. I figured out how to order them on the interweb, but they're much too expensive to even consider. The same with burn dressings, which are designed to be wet - I COULD get them, but they aren't really readily available to the average consumer and are outrageously expensive.

I don't like the idea of saran-wrapping my wound either, but I'm having a hard time coming up with any better plan. I don't know, w/p/b yardage maybe?

pll
11-19-2006, 03:06 PM
I understand the predicament, but the alternative (not healing properly and needing surgery) is surely more expensive than a supply of dressings. Since you mentioned you are a full time student, can the student health services at the college/university you attend come up with some samples you can use, some discount (or even a charge to your student account) on appropriate dressings for the wound?
Thinking of you,

-pll

HipGnosis6
12-10-2006, 02:04 PM
Here's the latest:

Nothing's changed.

The lady at the clinic doesn't seem to be able to really help me much and I, being uninsured, can't persue more aggressive treatment without incurring sizeable debt (which would probably tip me over into bankruptcy, which would mean my credit would not allow me to get the loans I need for school).

I was covered at the time of the accident but my health insurance expired six days afterwards, and now they're denying my claim for the ER visit because it was related to an accident and it's my problem that I don't have auto insurance to pay for it.

I still have a painful, disgusting open wound halfway up the side of my calf.

Grog
12-10-2006, 02:10 PM
HG6:

This is awful, and I am terribly angry at what's happening to you.

What a stupid system you are caught in!!!!!

Can anyone you know - friend, family member - help you with this? I really fear for your leg...

pll
12-10-2006, 04:40 PM
How about we help? HG6: send me a PM with your snail mail address. A little cash may help (crazy idea on a Sunday evening). This situation in one of the richest countries in the world.

-pll

Triskeliongirl
12-10-2006, 05:27 PM
There is something not right here. I work for a university, and our university hospital, as a public hospital is legally obliged to provide medical care for all regardless of their ability to pay. Furthermore, we require all our students to purchase health insurance, so I don't understand why you have none. Please go to infirmary at your college, or public hospital and seek appropriate care. I was a poor student once too, but I was never denied care by the folks at the university medical center. Maybe you screwed up and didn't elect health insurance coverage through your univeristy. But this wound center says they treat folks on a sliding scale so please go there and be treated. Your health is more important than debt. Sorry to be so blunt, but how much money can you ever earn if your leg ends up amputated? Do you have parents or other family members you can call for help? As bad as the situation is in the USA your siuation just doesn't make sense to me.

ridethewind
12-10-2006, 06:35 PM
Hip, was this problem caused by your getting hit by the car? Was the driver at fault? If so and if the driver was insured, you may be able to make a claim against the driver's insurance to pay your medical expenses. Perhaps you have already looked into this, but it's worth considering if you haven't.

_____________________
Jean

Triskeliongirl
12-10-2006, 07:06 PM
One more thing. I looked back at your original post. It said you were hit by a car while riding your bike. First of all your health insurance in that case is supposed to pay your claim, although they may then seek compensation from the motorists insurance company that hit you. This has nothing to do with whether you have auto insurance. I know because I was hit by a car and the other insurance company did pay my medical expenses, the replacement cost of my bike, lost wages, and a whole lot more. My lawyer worked for me for a percentage of my winnings, so if more is at stake here you may consider this option as well (I didn't have to lay out a penny to pay the lawyer- his fees were simply deducted from my settlement check). I didn't mean to be insensitive in my last post, but you strike as someone perhaps who is young and doen't know her rights. If that is the case, please seek the help of an older family member that may be more experienced in these matters. From what you have told us, the motorists insurance company is responsible for any medical care that is required as a result of the accident. Sometimes big companies will try to walk all over young people. Its happening to my son now. He has been trying to settle a claim on his own but tomorrow my husband will call on his behalf cuz its clear they are trying to take advantage of his youth and inexperience. He tried to take care of it on his own, trying to assert his independence, but sometimes it takes old folks to yell and scream to make people do what they are supposed to. Perhaps that is what is happening to you so please seek help from someone. If there isn't a family member that can help maybe one of your professors at school would help (and yeh, I did this for a couple of my graduate students too). I know all students aren't young, but just maybe that is part of the problem.

mimitabby
12-10-2006, 07:13 PM
She said that the accident was her own fault. but still, here in Seattle there are places you can go if you don't have insurance to get care. The problem is,
she can get Emergency Room type care and a little medication, but when she's used it up, she has to go through the whole experience again.
My son found a Doctor's office, called the country doctor, who did everything on a sliding scale (he's another young person who didn't have insurance)
http://www.cdchc.org/index.php
Even as poor as my son was (IS), he still had to fork out a lot of money for the prescriptions he needed.

BUt Hip, you ought to give it a try.

Triskeliongirl
12-10-2006, 07:30 PM
She didn't say it was her fault, not in this thread, only that she was hit by a car while on her bike. In my state it doesn't matter whose fault it was, if the car hit her the motorist's insurance has to pay, but maybe not in your state. BUT, she said she did have insurance but they said her auto insurance policy had to pay but that part makes no sense if she wasn't driving a car. I just want to make sure she is exploring all options avialable to her, cuz I think she is describing a situation that is potentially very serious.

Dianyla
12-11-2006, 12:55 AM
So, how much does amputation surgery and recovery cost these days?

Seriously, get a lawyer if you have to. :eek:

Triskeliongirl
12-11-2006, 04:58 AM
Hip, this is a very serious medical situation. PLEASE ASK YOUR FAMILY TO HELP YOU GET THROUGH THIS. Whatever it ends up costing, take care of your health now and worry about filing insurance claims later. Also PLEASE follow the doctors advice on caring for your wound. To not do so will cost you much more in both money and emotional stress later on.

bcipam
12-11-2006, 05:41 AM
I guess Imissed he original "hit by a car" post but if you have automobile insurance and carrying medical coverage on that policy, it should cover some of your medical expenses for this accident (usually there's a limit of $5,000 - 25,000). Please call your insurance agent as soon as possible and file a claim. If it's rejected OK but it's worth a shot!

bcipam
12-11-2006, 05:54 AM
Sometimes big companies will try to walk all over young people. Its happening to my son now. He has been trying to settle a claim on his own but tomorrow my husband will call on his behalf cuz its clear they are trying to take advantage of his youth and inexperience. He tried to take care of it on his own, trying to assert his independence, but sometimes it takes old folks to yell and scream to make people do what they are supposed to. Perhaps that is what is happening to you so please seek help from someone. If there isn't a family member that can help maybe one of your professors at school would help (and yeh, I did this for a couple of my graduate students too). I know all students aren't young, but just maybe that is part of the problem.

Tris... I don't know what your son's experience is with the insurance company, but I am a insurance professional and usually (although I agree there are some bad apples out there) adjusters handle claims fairly and promptly. Trust me, adjusters don't want to be screamed at by someone's parent. Do you know exactly what conversations have taken place between your son and the adjuster? I would first call, tell the adjuster who you are and that you are calling as your son has mentioned his dissatifaction and you would like to hear what is going on. Let the adjuster explain his/her side first. Try to keep the tone of the conversation cordial, don't give the adjuster an excuse to terminate the conversation.

Problem is most auto adjusters are the most inexperienced. In other words the first 1 - 2 year adjusters usually handle auto claims. They have to learn how to properly interact with people. I admit, some had a knack and talent and some need alot of coaching.

After your conversation with the adjuster, if you feel the proper answers were not provided, escalate the call to the supervisor. I would not ask the adjuster to transfer the call. I would ask for the supervisor's name and number and then initiate the call yourself. Again keep the tone cordial. The adjuster might tell the supervisor you are a jerk and if you are angry on the phone the supervisor might think its true. Make the supervisor think and know you have called just to get the matter settled and are reasonable to work with.

I know this is effort on your part. Having a claim is work for everyone. But the old saying "you get more flies with honey..." really does work. Also just an FYI, many states have regulatory insurance commissioners (by state - CALIF - does). The adjuster is under strict guidelines to perform in a certain way or risk heavy fines by the State. However this only aplies when a claimant is unrepresented. As soon as you get an attorney, the adjuster can know put the file on the bottom of the stack. Most of us like it when claimants get attorneys, we can move on to the next file.

If you want any advice or wish to discuss your son's claim and what's happening you can PM me. I am a claims director for a major insurance carrier.

PS: Tris I noticed you are in Texas. They most definately have an insurance commisioner and the Ins. company is under strict guidelines to resolve claims fairly. If you are dissatified with the result of your conversation you have the right to file a complaint with the Dept. of Ins. Ask the adjuster for that information.

doc
12-11-2006, 09:19 AM
Here's the latest:

Nothing's changed.

The lady at the clinic doesn't seem to be able to really help me much and I, being uninsured, can't persue more aggressive treatment without incurring sizeable debt (which would probably tip me over into bankruptcy, which would mean my credit would not allow me to get the loans I need for school).

I was covered at the time of the accident but my health insurance expired six days afterwards, and now they're denying my claim for the ER visit because it was related to an accident and it's my problem that I don't have auto insurance to pay for it.

I still have a painful, disgusting open wound halfway up the side of my calf.

You truly risk losing your leg if you don't aggressively treat this wound. Frankly, if you develop a staph or strep infection on top of whatever you have you are risking your life. Hospitals, especially those affiliated with medical schools treat people who can't/don't pay all the time. At this point the money is no longer relevant. Many people file for bankruptcy and emerge and go on with clean financial records. Figure out the money later. Get to the wound clinic/surgeon NOW

crazycanuck
12-20-2006, 02:52 AM
Hip...just wanted to see how your're doing...I hope you were able to sort something out kiddo.

Take care of yourself and i'm keeping my fingers crossed that something good comes your way.

c

doc
12-20-2006, 03:59 PM
Hip...just wanted to see how your're doing...I hope you were able to sort something out kiddo.

Take care of yourself and i'm keeping my fingers crossed that something good comes your way.

c

Ditto

Triskeliongirl
12-27-2006, 08:23 AM
Hip, its been a while, please post and let us know how you are doing.

HipGnosis6
12-27-2006, 06:27 PM
Funny you should ask, Triskeliongirl....

I have interesting things to share. Since knowledge is power, maybe if you all know this too, somebody else can also benefit from this knowledge.

As a bicyclist or a pedestrian in Washington state, if you are in an accident with a car, the driver's personal injury protection (PIP) insurance must be extended to you regardless of liability. PIP is not a required insurance, so you might still be out of luck, but if they have it, you are covered by it n matter whose fault the accident is. It's state law.

As of today I have $10K of coverage to get my ulcer treated! Yay!!!

snapdragen
12-27-2006, 06:30 PM
As of today I have $10K of coverage to get my ulcer treated! Yay!!!

Woman - get your tail to the doctor!:D Now!

mimitabby
12-27-2006, 06:33 PM
what great news!
I agree, tomorrow morning, call the doctor!

KnottedYet
12-27-2006, 06:59 PM
Yay! Go to the wound care clinic!

LBTC
12-27-2006, 07:38 PM
That's fabulous news!! Get to a doc and tell us what happens!

Hugs and butterflies,
~T~

Triskeliongirl
12-27-2006, 08:32 PM
That is such terrific news!! Please, tomorrow, get yourself some high quality medical care, and write back and let us all know how it goes.

Bikingmomof3
12-27-2006, 08:35 PM
Fantasic news!! :) Please call the doctor's office tomorrow and get immediate treatment. Keep us updated.

logdiva32
12-27-2006, 09:17 PM
hi, not sure what school you attend, but at Pacific Luthern university, Tacoma, they have a clinic. My Mother works, with out health ins and she goes there if she needs to; I pay the $20 or so. May even be worth the drive, sounds like it will only get worse if unattended. Sorry to hear that.

Dianyla
12-28-2006, 10:12 PM
Hip hip, hooray! :)

HipGnosis6
12-29-2006, 07:47 PM
Actually I have to wait for paperwork to arrive from Iowa. And I do have to go to see the nice lady at Country Doctor for a referral to the Wound Care clinic. The paperwork will be there and back by the time the appointment I made this afternoon comes around - it's not until the 11th. It's the soonest I could get in and not miss a whole day's work.

This comes just in time - the skin outlying the area has been red and tight and sensitive for a while, but the adhesive tape's been making a mess of it in a big way the last week or so. It's starting to be its own problem, and one that's been hard to solve. I'm still a little worried about the coverage running out - it's only $10K and $2k of that has already been absorbed by the sky-high price tag on the ER visit on the day of the accident....

snapdragen
12-29-2006, 10:20 PM
Maybe you should go to an urgent care clinic?

crazycanuck
12-30-2006, 05:38 AM
Dumb question.. it will actually cost the whole $10k to be treated???

Holy batmans..:eek:

Take care of yourself k.


c

Triskeliongirl
12-30-2006, 07:00 AM
Hip, I am really glad you finally have an appointment, and wanna stop momming you, but from what you say maybe its better to miss a little work and get seen sooner. I know you are young and think you are invincible, but you have to take care of yourself or lifelong problems can follow. If timing of the paperwork is the issue, can't it be faxed?

HipGnosis6
12-30-2006, 07:07 AM
Maybe you should go to an urgent care clinic?

Snappy, if I hadn't discovered that I can get some coverage, I'd probably be headed to the doctor anyways. But the 11th is fine, my foot's not going to fall off between now and then. I just have to figure out a different way to keep the dressings in place for a bit while my skin heals up. So far a self-adhesive wrap, wapped loosely, has been OK.


Dumb question.. it will actually cost the whole $10k to be treated???

Holy batmans..:eek:

Yeah, Canuck. It really could cost that much. My initial ER visit was $1800, plus separate and quite significant charges for the x-rays and for the doctor's time. The price of medical care is out of control.

Saaaaay.... you're from Canada, and live in Australia.... know any nice single 30-something guys that would be willing to help a girl expatriate? :D

crazycanuck
12-30-2006, 03:57 PM
weeell hip...here are a couple of ideas.

1-Finish uni, move to London & you'll have all the kiwis, aussies, saffies and canucks you could want. Find a nice pub frequented by the aussie or kiwi guys or go to a cricket match, rugby game or something like that..

2-Find out where the local Aussies & Kiwis hang out in Seattle and :D

I did it a very weird way...I met my dear in Kelowna while visiting a friend, moved to Japan, then NZ. It wasn't a plan to move to Australia until Ian was promoted & transferred by his company.

Right, back to tissue infections-are you sure you want to wait until Jan 11th? Is that a good idea?

Duck on Wheels
12-30-2006, 04:23 PM
weeell hip...here are a couple of ideas.

1-Finish uni, move to London & you'll have all the kiwis, aussies, saffies and canucks you could want. Find a nice pub frequented by the aussie or kiwi guys or go to a cricket match, rugby game or something like that..

Or do like UK Elephant did, and find out where the Brits, Irish, Aussies etc. hang out at your US uni ... ;) Worked for her. 'Course, she already had national health insurance from Norway, but the bf is quite nice anyway.

uk elephant
01-01-2007, 03:44 AM
why do you need anyone to help you expatriate? Find a job in Europe and go. Free health care to anyone who needs it! You get sick, all you have to do is turn up at the doctors and they do the rest!

Trek420
01-01-2007, 09:20 AM
why do you need anyone to help you expatriate? Find a job in Europe and go. Free health care to anyone who needs it! You get sick, all you have to do is turn up at the doctors and they do the rest!

UK, what a novel idea! Health Care for all. Why that's unthinkable, we can't have that here, you'd have all these sick and injured people just showing up :eek: at the doctors expecting to get care like any day at all, not even waiting till the 11th till wounds fester and so on, just getting things taken care of right away and getting back to work. We can't have that, it's it's un-American ;) :rolleyes: :cool: .

sorry for the hijack, now back to your normal thread.

KnottedYet
01-01-2007, 09:29 AM
Behold the power of insurance companies. Don't let me get started.

Knot-infuriated-by-ins-cos-every-day-at-the-clinic

(BTW - all that money getting charged to y'all? It ain't comin' to me! SKnot and I are living below the "low income" line for Seattle, and I pull in b*ttloads of money every day for the powers-that-be.)

mimitabby
01-01-2007, 02:56 PM
yes, Knot, I had a frozen shoulder a couple years ago. I started a regimen with a great PT. I have "excellent" insurance but after 1000 dollars, I hit the limit. Even though I was responding well to treatment, I no longer had coverage! I ended up paying out of pocket, but what if i had a more serious problem? I would have been well into debt quickly!

HipGnosis6
01-10-2007, 09:07 PM
The nice lady at Country Doctor took one look at me and wrote me the necessary referral with the statement, "I don't think I've ever been happier to send somebody away to the specialty docs in my life."

snapdragen
01-10-2007, 09:21 PM
So when do you see the specialty doc?

HipGnosis6
01-10-2007, 09:25 PM
I'll make an appointment in the morning - they close at 4:30, so they were already gone by the time today's appointment started.

HipGnosis6
01-14-2007, 11:10 PM
I'm hitting red tape on getting into the Wound Care Center, but I'm determined. I'm hoping to get an appointment no later than the end of the week, but first I have to get them to acknowledge that I exist.

And if any of you ladies are curious, my friend Cory gave my wound a name - Richard, Earl of Ulcer. And for those of you who are strong of stomach, there's pictures in my LiveJournal. (http://spacegrrrl75.livejournal.com/93041.html) They're icky, don't say I didn't warn you....

crazycanuck
01-15-2007, 02:38 AM
:eek: :eek: :eek:

I'd like to rant..You're meaning to say your health care system doesn't allow for the treatment of such wounds???? :mad: :mad:
So, it's safe to say your leg would eventually have to be amputated and noone would help? All because of your financial situation?

That's disgraceful!! Not you dear..
Would writing to your local congressperson help? What if i wrote a letter?

It just doesn't make sense. I still don't understand the US & am not even going to try...

End of rant, move along...

Hip-Take care of yourself ok!!! :D Good thoughts being sent to you from Perth..

It better be healed by the time I get up to the NOrthern Hemisphere.

c

doc
01-15-2007, 05:09 AM
A picture sure is worth a 1000 words! I am so worried about your leg. You could try just showing up at the wound center and lifting your pant leg. They might not see you that minute, but I doubt they would hem and haw about giving you an appointment real soon.

Glad you are finally going to be able to take care of the wound. How long have you had it?

KnottedYet
01-15-2007, 05:18 AM
cc - this is the US, where healthcare is a privilege, not a right.

I hate what capitalism has done to our healthcare, and I see it every day where I work.

Hip-you got hit at the end of september, right? So Earl of Ulcer has been around for 4 months?

mimitabby
01-15-2007, 07:38 AM
oh geez, it's worst than i thought. And today's a holiday!!
I cannot imagine living with that!

chickwhorips
01-15-2007, 11:42 AM
holy cow! that is bad. so sad that they haven't done anything for you yet. someone needs their shins kicked into action!

interesting... its in the shape of a heart.

Duck on Wheels
01-15-2007, 01:46 PM
You could try just showing up at the wound center and lifting your pant leg.

I agree. I remember a story about a lady whose baby had a condition where a few minutes after every feeding the kid would projectile vomit. The mom couldn't get a doctor to admit that the diagnosis was obvious and needed immediate treatment ... til her Mom told her to take the baby to the children's hospital emergency room. No appointment, just take a seat in the waiting room about 3 feet from a wall. At xx o'clock, about 20 minutes before the doctors parade through on their way from morning meetings to clinic appointments, feed the baby. Then just sit there with the baby facing the wall. Right on time, the baby vomits, vomit hits the wall a yard away, and the doctors come running over saying "Ma'am! Your baby has gastro-intestinal stenosis (or whatever the diagnosis was)! You shouldn't be sitting here waiting! That baby needs immediate surgery!" ... And then comes the big trick: Do NOT say "That's what I've been trying to tell you doctors for weeks already!" Just smile and accept treatment.

So yeah. Take your bod down to the wound clinic, find a front row seat, roll your pants up, and prop your leg up on a coffee table. Stage a sit-in. When they ask, say "Yeah, it's been like that since the car accident x months ago. The driver's insurance is supposed to cover it, but for some reason the hospital wouldn't refer me down here ..."

bcipam
01-15-2007, 02:11 PM
I am so confused and maybe different states have different issues but I called over to one of our local trauma hospitals and asked what they would do. They told me by law they would have to treat you. Of course I'm in California where the health care system is crumbling to bits due to all the treatment of illegal immigrants and their families. Many trauma centers have had to close down because of this issue but that's another soap box item for another day.

Call home, speak with your mother or father, an aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend someone, anyonw and ask they to help you. You so risk losing your leg to gangrene or staph. Please, please keep the wound clean an watch for signs of infection (although that red angry skin tells me you are already there).

Cripes I hate to see this go one but there are medical options - it's not like people are left out in the cold when they need help.

bcipam
01-15-2007, 02:18 PM
:eek: :eek: :eek:

I'd like to rant..You're meaning to say your health care system doesn't allow for the treatment of such wounds???? :mad: :mad:
So, it's safe to say your leg would eventually have to be amputated and noone would help? All because of your financial situation?

That's disgraceful!! Not you dear..
Would writing to your local congressperson help? What if i wrote a letter?

It just doesn't make sense. I still don't understand the US & am not even going to try...

End of rant, move along...

Hip-Take care of yourself ok!!! :D Good thoughts being sent to you from Perth..

It better be healed by the time I get up to the NOrthern Hemisphere.

c

Crazy - our health care system does provide medical care to the needy and indigant. It's the in between people that suffer. But uncertain why Hip is not getting treatment. If she has no money resources the state should take care of her med bills. Problem is too many people who have no resources (ie illegal immigrants) have damaged the system so too few resources around. There just aren't that many care centers, hospitals and doctors anymore.

Blueberry
01-15-2007, 02:20 PM
I'm voting for parking yourself in a doctor's office with the leg on a table. Please, please get yourself treated. Do not wait for red tape. Do not let this go another day. Get thee to the wound clinic now (or 1st thing in the AM). Not a time to be polite.

Your poor leg!

Carrie Anne

Bikingmomof3
01-15-2007, 02:28 PM
WOW! I just looked at the pics of your wound and leg. You need treatment right now, not tomorrow, but now.

Kitsune06
01-15-2007, 02:52 PM
Are you soaking with *just* hot water or adding a tsp of sea salt per cup of water? Yes I'm splitting hairs, but upping the salinity of the soak may have at least a slight effect.

However, if tissue integrity is suffering that much, introducing water may actually be worse for you. Maybe someone can confirm or deny this for me, but I would be more apt to recommend a dry, hot compress like a heating pad or the like.

Yeah, the red irritation is a bad thing. Has the infection been cultured? Do they know what type of bacteria they're working with? Apparently the broad-spectrum antibiotics hadn't been working. :rolleyes:

I'd be most concerned with the possibility of septicemia with such a long, ongoing infection in progress. How much vitamin C are you taking? If you're not on antibiotics at all right now (and even after you are...) I'd suggest at LEAST a 1,000 mg/day, up to 5 or 6,000mg. I will PM you on this.

My suggestions are modest at best, but at this point, every little bit that you can do will help.
A therapy used increasingly in California and with relative regularity in other countries may be an option... I'm linking to it here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggot_therapy) but it may cause distress in those with weak stomachs... But it's proven effective even in wounds infected with MRSA group A and B streptococci, gram-positive aerobic and anaerobic strains.
Best of luck to you.... I hope it all turns out okay.

HipGnosis6
01-15-2007, 08:31 PM
OK, so today despite it being a holiday I called the Wound Center and convinced them to accept the necessary documentation faxed from me and not from the clinic (before they had only wanted to accept it from the doctor's fax number). I'm glad that I requested a copy of all the paperwork! The appointment is first thing Friday morning.

Here's some facts about public health care in Washington state. Most institutions require that you earn no more than twice the federal poverty line for your household. For a single adult, the poverty line's about $9k a year, or doubled is $18,000/year. I make a little more than that - last year I brought in $21K. I do not have full time permanent employment (I am working as a temp contractor) and don't have medical insurance, but don't qualify for any sort of state benefits. I could rant on about how I would be raking in the bennies if I was a single mom or an illegal alien, but I'll leave that for some other time. yes, the emergeny rooms would have to offer me treatment, but I would be billed and becaue I'm over that magic 200% of federal poverty guidelines, I would have to pay for it in full - and that's more expensive than seeing a specialist. The $2100 tab for the ER visit after the accident proves that.

I do go to school, but there's no relief becuse I'm going to a very small and brand new branch of a private art school that does not offer things like a wellness center or insurance.

It was difficult to find anyone who'd even see me without medical insurance. The treatment I've had is the best I could expect from a low-cost clinic and a general practitioner, except that I think the doctor could have been a little more aggressive in treating the infection, which the lab results defined as "staph, but not a resistant form, and some other bacteria as well." The area surrounding the wound responds to the antibiotics but was never 100% cleared of infection, so it would return quickly once the run ended.

Richard is fairly stable; he was two thirds the size he is now within a week of it opening and has grown very slowly and shows minimal erosion into the underlying tissue. This was, by the way, the point of contact where the bumper of the car hit my calf in my accident at the end of August; the ulcer opened nearly a month later.

By quirk of Washington State law, if you are a cyclist or a pedestrian involved in an accident with an automobile, the insurance company must extend personal injury protection coverage to you regardless of fault. I don't want to get into the fault and liability issues of the accident (suffice it to say that it's murky enough that I may yet decide to get a lawyer) but it doesn't matter - the driver has $10k PIP coverage and I get to use it. But rest assured, ladies, even without it I would have been seeking medical care regardless of cost after the new year. Richard isn't exactly a great roommate, you know?

crazycanuck
01-16-2007, 01:19 AM
:) Thanks for getting help Hip. Take care k.

c

Bikingmomof3
01-16-2007, 05:25 AM
Hip,
I am so glad you will be seen on Friday! Keep us posted.

Duck on Wheels
01-16-2007, 03:27 PM
You're calling him "Richard"? Oh dear. UK Elephants bf's name is Richard, and I'm sure UK would declare him a very sweet roommate indeed. Would you consider changing Sir Ulcer's name? How about Ulrik?

HipGnosis6
01-16-2007, 05:15 PM
You're calling him "Richard"? Oh dear. UK Elephants bf's name is Richard, and I'm sure UK would declare him a very sweet roommate indeed. Would you consider changing Sir Ulcer's name? How about Ulrik?

The name is a horrible, horrible joke. The Earl of Ulster is a secondary title for the Duke of Gloucester. So Richard, Earl of Ulcer is a terrible parody of the official title of Richard III before he ascended to the throne of England.

ribbit_zap
01-16-2007, 09:47 PM
WOW!!! That is horrible. Seriously, go show the lady at the clinic your leg and she will probably faint. I am so sorry! I hope everything turns out okay. Good luck :)

ribbit_zap
01-16-2007, 09:51 PM
One more thing...like a pesky roomate that you can't stand, tell Richard to go away! I love the fact that it has a name. You seem to have such a positive attitude which can go a long ways toward healing. Good for you!

Kitsune06
01-17-2007, 08:20 AM
Maybe you could get an Rx written for you and fax it to Monarch yourself? Only if this drags out any longer, that is...

KnottedYet
01-17-2007, 12:19 PM
I like the idea of going to a full clinic waiting room, pulling up the pant leg, and loudly saying, "I think this is contagious! What do you think? Gee, I wish the doctors would see me!" to everyone else in the waiting room!

But I'm evil. :D

chickwhorips
01-17-2007, 12:34 PM
i'm sure you would get results if you followed that idea!

Dianyla
01-17-2007, 01:02 PM
I absolutely adore the idea of walking in wearing capris and kicking your feet up on the table. See how fast it gets handled now! :rolleyes:

Brandi
01-17-2007, 01:24 PM
Holy sh*t! I just read this whole thread and I am just beside myself here. The whole thing is just not right! You poor thing. And i am sorry i did not read this sooner i feel bad. But not as bad as your poor leg. Please know I am thinking of you and praying that it all comes together and works out for you. I will be checking back as well to see how your next app. goes! Damn I can not believe how bad our system is it really makes me angry! This country really needs some big changes! I am so angry right now!!! You should have driven to canada and got treatment there! I truely hope you will be on the road to recovery following your app. this friday! Screw my stupid toes thread!

Duck on Wheels
01-17-2007, 04:25 PM
Yep. The system is scr@wed. And yep, the working not-poor-enough and the self-employed take the brunt of it. The very poor are in the next-worst position, since they at least get coverage for emergency care (at least some bare bones version of it, although they often get the run-around before some institution caves and takes responsibility). But nope, it is not the poor folks or the illegals who are draining the system. Face it. It's the drug profiteers and the tax evaders and the war mongers who are draining the system. In a good system, there is coverage for all, all get good care, and we're all better off for it. The half-hearted treatment your Earl of Ulcer has been given is contributing to bacteria developing antibiotics resistence. That harms the health of all, and we all wind up paying. What goes around, comes around, and in the end a bad system is not cheap, while a good system doesn't have to cost all that much. Here in Europe we pay half what gets paid per capita, all in all, for health care and insurance in the US, yet here we're all covered, legals and illegals alike.

OK. I'll stop ranting and get back to crossing fingers that your appointment Friday gets you on the right track at last.

KnottedYet
01-17-2007, 04:59 PM
BTW: the U.S. now has the highest per capita infant mortality rate in the developed world. We used to be behind South Africa, but they got their sh*t together, and now WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!! (and aren't we proud?)

I work in health care. I see this b.s. every day. It makes me CrAzY!!

Hip, take the pics of your leg and send them to KOMO's "help me out" reporter, along with your story.

(local TV station for all you non-Seattlites. They've got someone to cover stories of injustice like this. It's an "if it bleeds, it leads" reporting mentality, but if it gets some action I think it's justified.)

Brandi
01-17-2007, 07:03 PM
BTW: the U.S. now has the highest per capita infant mortality rate in the developed world. We used to be behind South Africa, but they got their sh*t together, and now WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!! (and aren't we proud?)

I work in health care. I see this b.s. every day. It makes me CrAzY!!

Hip, take the pics of your leg and send them to KOMO's "help me out" reporter, along with your story.

(local TV station for all you non-Seattlites. They've got someone to cover stories of injustice like this. It's an "if it bleeds, it leads" reporting mentality, but if it gets some action I think it's justified.)
Yes i agree tell your story!!!

Dianyla
01-17-2007, 08:39 PM
Hip, take the pics of your leg and send them to KOMO's "help me out" reporter, along with your story.

(local TV station for all you non-Seattlites. They've got someone to cover stories of injustice like this. It's an "if it bleeds, it leads" reporting mentality, but if it gets some action I think it's justified.)
Another great idea. Didn't you always want to be the poster child for MRSA when you were a little girl? ;)

bcipam
01-18-2007, 07:07 AM
Yep. The system is scr@wed. And yep, the working not-poor-enough and the self-employed take the brunt of it. The very poor are in the next-worst position, since they at least get coverage for emergency care (at least some bare bones version of it, although they often get the run-around before some institution caves and takes responsibility). But nope, it is not the poor folks or the illegals who are draining the system. Face it. It's the drug profiteers and the tax evaders and the war mongers who are draining the system. In a good system, there is coverage for all, all get good care, and we're all better off for it. The half-hearted treatment your Earl of Ulcer has been given is contributing to bacteria developing antibiotics resistence. That harms the health of all, and we all wind up paying. What goes around, comes around, and in the end a bad system is not cheap, while a good system doesn't have to cost all that much. Here in Europe we pay half what gets paid per capita, all in all, for health care and insurance in the US, yet here we're all covered, legals and illegals alike.

OK. I'll stop ranting and get back to crossing fingers that your appointment Friday gets you on the right track at last.

I don't want this to become a political statement or rant on my part but I do have to say... the system here is not that bad - really. Help if there if needed. Poor people here get excellent emergency care. The problem is that poor people don't have the money for routine medical care - like sick children exams so they clog up the ER making it difficult to get service for everyone - insurance, money or not. It's not the ER system that's bad. What we need to do is provide routine medical care for people who otherwise don't get insurance.

Most people here have a good insurance plan that covers most anything. That is the norm. I'll not get into a discussion re why illegals should not be covered but keep in mind in Norway and other places where everyone gets free medical care, taxes are extremely high. Everyone pays for the poor to get care. I would like to know if your illegal immigrant problem is as bad as California's (or the entire West Coast). This may sound hard but I work hard - and I don't like the fact much of my taxes go to supporting people who can't or won't make the effort to become legal immigrants. I don't care they come here - just make some effort - dang it!

If Hip needs help she can get it. She just needs to be proactive. Our system here, with few exceptions, is really very good. The only change we need is 1) to deal with the rampant illegal immigrant issues - folks who otherwise damage a fragile health care system , 2) provide well-care medical services to those who can't afford it to clear up our ER's and 3) provide services for preventive medicine - nutrition programs and other services to help poor society on the whole become more healthy.

Anyway I apologize for the semi off topic rant but just had to put my 2 cents in for the USA. No response is neccessary as I know many of you have different opinions. I just hate to see my country bashed that's all.

mimitabby
01-18-2007, 07:51 AM
Yes, what you were saying was true that most people have health insurance. But it also means that 47,000,000 Americans do not. And you said it; most of them are the poor and the children of the poor. Implying that all poor people are illegal immigrants (and therefore do not deserve health care) or that even "WE" shouldn't bear the burden for our country's poor just doesn't sit right with me. Just because some little kid was born in another country, we should let him die from... whatever? What happened to compassion in this country?
Why do you think our country is so unpopular now?

Right now, in the USA half of all the bankruptcy cases are caused by illness and medical bills. that's right, people are poor because they couldn't pay their health care costs.

And while it is true that anyone can walk into most hospitals in the USA and get instant care, that's only good for a few days. People with chronic conditions like Hip, either have to come up with a bunch of dough to afford the prescriptions they need, or they go home and wait until they are sick enough again to go back to the emergency room.

Our health care system stinks here. We pay more (or those of us who are more fortunate, our employers pay more) for health insurance than any other country in the world. It's clearly broken when senior citizens pay huge portions of their income on medicine and medical insurance.
Too many people in our rich country have to choose between paying for prescriptions or for anything else.

Don't get me started on immigration, it doesn't belong here. But suffice to say, immigrants legal and illegal pay taxes. They pay taxes on the cars they buy, the houses they buy, and all the products they buy. Those that are lucky enough to get jobs "OVER" the table are paying plenty of taxes too.

The people who aren't paying taxes are the super rich. Those are the sliders in this country, not the poor.

KnottedYet
01-18-2007, 07:58 AM
Here are statistics for anyone who is interested.

http://www.nchc.org/facts/cost.shtml

Like I said, I work in health care and see this stuff every day. It can burn you out, and make you want to change careers.

chickwhorips
01-18-2007, 09:17 AM
when i was going to school full time in sunny arizona and wasn't working, my appendix ruptured. i went to the ER and they saw me as soon as they could, but it was misdiagnosed as the flu and i went home. i put off going back to the ER for another 5 days because i didn't have medical insurance and i was already terrified of the bill i was going to get from the first ER visit. eventually i had no choice and went back. they finally figured out what was wrong with me and i had emergency surgery and spent good time in ICU.
i still remember a gentalman coming in and talking to me. he got me all set up with ACCESS which is AZ's medical program for the less fortunate. they even set it up so that they paid for my first visit to the ER. they were wonderful.
i was able to stay on it for about 2 years until i started making just to much to stay on it, but not enough to have it through my employer or pay for it on my own, but bless the people at DES for trying their hardest to keep me on it.
if it wasn't for DES i would still be in medical debt. so all of you that pay your taxes and do believe, THANK YOU!

Blueberry
01-18-2007, 10:06 AM
If Hip needs help she can get it. She just needs to be proactive. Our system here, with few exceptions, is really very good. The only change we need is 1) to deal with the rampant illegal immigrant issues - folks who otherwise damage a fragile health care system , 2) provide well-care medical services to those who can't afford it to clear up our ER's and 3) provide services for preventive medicine - nutrition programs and other services to help poor society on the whole become more healthy.


I agree in part. However, I did want to address one issue. [I think - please excuse if I'm not right] Hip was concerned about incurring medical debt that she knew she would not be able to pay, thus forcing her into bankruptcy (and all attendant problems). Further, this was/is something that needs *ongoing* care. Sure, she could have gone to an ER. But she would not have received the appropriate follow up care, which is critical for something like that. She couldn't see a private doc because she didn't have insurance and couldn't pay up front. So yeah....she could get care....but not really the care she needs. So, address your point number 2 above, and I think she would have been set.

CA

snapdragen
01-18-2007, 10:10 AM
Here's the line girls:

____________________________________________

Let's not cross over to Politics.....:rolleyes:

Trek420
01-18-2007, 10:35 AM
mimitabby "Right now, in the USA half of all the bankruptcy cases are caused by illness and medical bills. that's right, people are poor because they couldn't pay their health care costs."

keeping it above snaps line .... and here I thought the bancruptcy is from 100k weddings .... and too many fine Italian steel bikes ;)

Something I think we all can agree on is yes, we do not do enough here on preventative care, nutrition.

I'm puzzled for example I can go to the same store in my neighborhood and find few "health food" options. Same store in _____ more choices, same place in _____ choices abound.

Begs the question do folks make bad nutrition choices or lack the info and availability?

What makes it hard is when people see fast food as "the friend of the poor". Hungry? Got a buck? You're in luck. ;) :cool:

I think we all agree on is that this is a wonderful country, we're lucky to live here where things can be discussed. And we're lucky to have an international board here. :)

It's a great country and Duck on wheels country too, she was born and raised here as I happen to know. :)

oooh, I've only got 2 minutes left on break....just enough time to get some chips :cool: :eek:

spindizzy
01-18-2007, 05:32 PM
Richard is one ugly character! I am a healthcare worker and that is one nasty wound that has decided to live with you.You've had that for such a long time! I am distressed that no one seems to care..I hope you find someone at your next appointment and I hope that person wants to see you again and again and agian until that wound is eradicated..forever!!

bcipam
01-18-2007, 11:30 PM
I agree in part. However, I did want to address one issue. [I think - please excuse if I'm not right] Hip was concerned about incurring medical debt that she knew she would not be able to pay, thus forcing her into bankruptcy (and all attendant problems). Further, this was/is something that needs *ongoing* care. Sure, she could have gone to an ER. But she would not have received the appropriate follow up care, which is critical for something like that. She couldn't see a private doc because she didn't have insurance and couldn't pay up front. So yeah....she could get care....but not really the care she needs. So, address your point number 2 above, and I think she would have been set.

CA


I understand the debt thing - lord knows I just went through cancer surgery - and a severe back injury (plus collarbone surgery late last year of which I was still paying off bills when I found out about the cancer) have any idea what my bills are (even with insurance)? I called each vendor and all were willing to work out a payment plan with me. It may take about a year to get everything paid off but it will get paid.

I have my opinion about health care, and have been a victim of the system myself. It takes hard work to get things cared for. But with some effort - it gets done.

I am by no means a wealthy person - I live pay check to pay check like most people. I pay my share of taxes (probably more than a fair share since I'm divorced and renting and sit somewhere in the lower "middle class"). I do agree we need to come up with a well care (as oppose to ER) system. I believe we pay a sufficient amount of taxes unfortunately the money paid into the system is poorly managed (this is not a liberal or conservative issue - it's a government issue). If someone had the b*lls to clean up the system, there would be adequate money nationally to provide well-care health benefits.

Anyway Hip - I know its tough. Just keep pushing for help. I know its out there - you just have to sort through some tape here and there...

Brandi
01-19-2007, 12:40 PM
I sure hope we get an update today! Today is hip's appointment at the wound treatment place! I hope it is a good one!

Blueberry
01-19-2007, 03:59 PM
HIP???????

How'd it go??????

Brandi
01-19-2007, 05:09 PM
I am going nuts here! I sure hope she is ok!

Blueberry
01-19-2007, 05:29 PM
Me too! That is one mean looking wound. Reminds me how lucky I am to be in good health and have good health insurance.

chickwhorips
01-19-2007, 05:38 PM
since we haven't heard from her, hopefully this means she's getting good treatment!

Brandi
01-19-2007, 05:43 PM
Me too! That is one mean looking wound. Reminds me how lucky I am to be in good health and have good health insurance.
I know exactly what you mean. My insurance isn't great but I am covered enough I wouldn't loose my house. I hope:o

Brandi
01-19-2007, 05:45 PM
since we haven't heard from her, hopefully this means she's getting good treatment!

I was thinking the same thing. We just have to be patient and hope for the best. Does she have any family around there? I can't remember if she has mentioned any?

KnottedYet
01-19-2007, 06:12 PM
Her family is here in the Seattle area.

Honestly, whoever suggested going to Canada had a good idea. Even if you pay cash (non-resident price for healthcare or medicines) it's often cheaper than what you would pay out-of-pocket here. The drive from Seattle would get expensive for the long-term care an infected wound would require, though.

I grew up right on the US/Canada border, and we'd often go to Canada for things that were just too expensive here. Sometimes I feel more Canadian than US. (and I'm told I sound Canadian, too.)

HipGnosis6
01-19-2007, 06:18 PM
LOL... all of you who are like, check in! check in! are so cute. :-) It's only just now 6, and I stayed at work until 5 like a normal person today.

Anyhow, the nice people at the wound clinic did the following things:

1. They took a new wound culture and will have the results when I go back early next week. They don't think there's serious infection left, but the damage was done by a MRSA infection so they want to be sure which antibiotics will be effective. They feel that this is primarily stasis ulcer caused by swelling and then excaberated by the MRSA infection, so they're going to treat with compression therapy.

2. They listened with a little microphone tool to the circulation in my leg and foot below the wound to check for problems. That was fine, which was kind of up in the air - the wound had its genesis in a car accident so there very well could have been blood flow problems.

3. They dressed the wound. And they were for serious about it, too. It's a compression dressing to force the fluids out of the limb. They started with an ointment on the cracked, irritated skin around the mouth of the ulcer and then topped the ulcer with a sponge covered with some sort of iodine paste (they told me the name but I forgot). They topped that with some sort of non-stick mesh, then wrapped me up in an absorbent cotton dressing from the ball of my foot to the knee. That was topped with an elastic wrap, and on top of that is a layer of self-adhesive stretch gauze. I go in for a dressing change on Tuesday afternoon, and then once a week thereafter.

4. They asked me to do my best to elevate my foot 10 inches or more above my heart for 1-3 hours a day, with more being better than less. And drink plenty of water, and walking is beneficial - it creates a kind of pumping action that helps move blood and fluids through.


And that, my friends, is all the treatment they think I'll need to clear up this miserable wound! No surgery, no grafts. It's a cost-effective solution, and we can all sleep better knowing that I'm not going to lose all or part of my leg. YAY!!!!!

I will keep you all informed if there's any changes, and plan on taking photos at each of my dressing change sessions. I know, a little morbid, but I want to watch Richard smother. Ha.

colby
01-19-2007, 06:29 PM
Finally! Great news, Hip. :) People who know what they are doing are actually doing something for you for a change.

Brandi
01-19-2007, 06:32 PM
Yeeeeessssss! That all sounds awesome! Very good. It all sounds really posative! Can't wait to see your progress! And thank you for keeping us updated and finally with some good news.

KnottedYet
01-19-2007, 06:33 PM
Hip, you've earned the right to watch the Earl of Ulcer "smother"! Go for it!

So glad you're getting treatment!

Kitsune06
01-19-2007, 06:37 PM
OOh! OOh! Pictures! :D :D :D Call me a ghoul, but I love case studies etc. :D :cool:
These are going on your lj?
Glad the solution looks like it's going to be cost-effective. I woulda put my money on it being MRSA related, but what do I know? ;)

Glad things are working out! *HUGS*! Take care, heal well. Lots of water, and then while you're upping your water intake, up the amt of water soluble vitamins you're taking (particularly c) to make sure they're not getting flushed outta ya.

Eden
01-19-2007, 06:41 PM
.... and plan on taking photos at each of my dressing change sessions. I know, a little morbid, but I want to watch Richard smother. Ha.

It's not morbid at all. - Its actually a good way to track the progress you are making. Strange as it sounds I am trained as and worked for 7 years as a medical photographer. One of the things that I did each and every week was go to the wound clinic and photograph all of the wounds to put into the charts for progress checks. The doc/nurse sees so many wounds that it may be hard for them to remember the size and conditions of each individual person's enough. Sometimes I've seen them put a little plastic thing over the wound and trace it, but hey a picture really is worth 1,000 words. Put something in for measurement every time if you want to be really effective. (I used to work up in your neck of the woods Mimi - at the VA)

crazycanuck
01-19-2007, 07:11 PM
Good to hear you were able to get treatment Hip.

Thanks for being forceful & getting the treatment you require. Yes, please keep us updated.

C

mimitabby
01-19-2007, 07:48 PM
well, this is the best news I've heard all day! a great relief.

Mimi

Blueberry
01-19-2007, 07:48 PM
Yay!!!! Glad things are looking up - hopefully it will *feel* better too!

CA

Bikingmomof3
01-19-2007, 07:57 PM
Wonderful news Hip!! :) keep us updated and i think it is great you are watching him smother. :D

Dianyla
01-19-2007, 08:31 PM
Most excellent! And I look forward to all the gory photos. Cause I'm geeky like that. :o

kelownagirl
01-19-2007, 10:10 PM
Her family is here in the Seattle area.

Honestly, whoever suggested going to Canada had a good idea. Even if you pay cash (non-resident price for healthcare or medicines) it's often cheaper than what you would pay out-of-pocket here. The drive from Seattle would get expensive for the long-term care an infected wound would require, though.

I grew up right on the US/Canada border, and we'd often go to Canada for things that were just too expensive here. Sometimes I feel more Canadian than US. (and I'm told I sound Canadian, too.)


That's funny Knott - we used to go to the states to buy gas and dairy products among other things. Of course, that was back before the exchange was so bad...

chickwhorips
01-19-2007, 10:58 PM
great news! smother him good!!!!!

Duck on Wheels
01-20-2007, 02:49 AM
Great news HipG! Sounds like they did a thorough assessment and came up with a sensible plan. Let's hope this drives the Earl off your leg fast and for good-and-ever.

pll
01-20-2007, 01:44 PM
Hello to all,

These are great news. Best wishes Hip. May Earl disappear promptly!

Best,

Patricia

Brandi
01-22-2007, 10:28 PM
How you doing hip? Everything still feeling ok? When do you go back in to the Dr's?

HipGnosis6
01-23-2007, 05:49 AM
Dressing change #1 is today, and then weekly thereafter. :-)

Blueberry
01-24-2007, 06:01 AM
Hip - How'd the dressing change go??

CA

East Hill
01-24-2007, 06:57 AM
Hip, you know that this is no excuse for you not to ride with us in, say, a month?

How's that for the power of positive thinking, eh?

East Hill

Pax
01-24-2007, 07:00 AM
Hip, hope you're healing up quickly, I was scared for you reading this thread.

HipGnosis6
01-24-2007, 05:51 PM
East, I'll be in bandages for at least twice that long. They're restrictive enough at the ankle that riding would be quite uncomfortable and I can't get my foot into my fashionable size 43 1/2 Sidis. Tres pout!

But anyhow, y'all, here's the latest. I didn't take pictures at the first dressing change, but I will at the next one, which is monday. They'll asses and change the wound dressings weekly or thereabouts. At this first dressing change, the ulcer itself was a little less yellow and gross and is still 6 cm across and shaped like Australia. The skin around it was MUCH improved, which gives me faith that these people know what's what.

KnottedYet
01-24-2007, 05:52 PM
Hoooray!!!!!!!

Do everything they tell you! Oh, I'm so relieved that you're finally getting some care!

matagi
01-25-2007, 01:15 AM
Good to hear you can already see positive changes.

You could always rename it "Ulcer Australis" given its shape.:p

spindizzy
01-25-2007, 06:36 AM
I grew up right on the US/Canada border, and we'd often go to Canada for things that were just too expensive here. Sometimes I feel more Canadian than US. (and I'm told I sound Canadian, too.)

Ehhh?

HipGnosis6
01-27-2007, 10:45 PM
OK, kids, I've found the downside to this treatment plan. The dressings get changed weekly, but in the meantime it's a lot like wearing the same socks for a week straight.

LBTC
01-27-2007, 11:05 PM
Awwwwwwwwww {{{{{{{{{{{{{{Hip}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Try to look at the bright side. Hard to do at times, but that darned nasty thing is going to be cured, dirty socks and all.

hang in there!

Hugs and butterflies,
~T~

doc
01-28-2007, 05:01 AM
Yea Hip!!!

Pictures, we want pictures. That Earl is going down!!

KnottedYet
01-28-2007, 07:48 AM
hang in there! (don't worry, we won't breathe too deeply around you...:D ;) )

HipGnosis6
01-29-2007, 10:16 PM
So I had another dressing change today. I know I said I'd take pictures, and today would have been a good day for it. The wound bed is slightly smaller, and the depth has changed. However, she used a little scraper and took of a thick layer of what she called "Wound Snot" - a layer of dead tissue. Underneath it was red, healthy tissue! Yay!!!!

However, that last post of mine suggested that the dressings develop quite the odor. Well, it turns out that they shouldn't, at least not like they had. The odor was being caused by a yeast infection in the surrounding skin. She used a powder treatment and set me up for a dressing change on Friday instead of waiting until next monday.

Triskeliongirl
01-29-2007, 10:19 PM
I am sooo glad you are finally getting good care!

chickwhorips
01-30-2007, 09:21 AM
yipeee!!!! i'm glad your seeing improvement and getting good care.

Bikingmomof3
01-30-2007, 09:45 AM
I am so pleased to her your wound is healing and you are finally receiving excellent care. :)

Dianyla
01-30-2007, 10:19 AM
Yea Hip!!!

Pictures, we want pictures. That Earl is going down!!
Ditto on both counts! :rolleyes:

mimitabby
01-30-2007, 11:22 AM
progress! great!! thanks for keeping us up to date. we don't need photos
as much as we need these reports!

HipGnosis6
02-02-2007, 08:07 PM
So I seem to be a bleeder and have been continuing to soak through the dressings on my wound - so I'm still having dressing changes twice a week instead of once. However, the dead yellow gross stuff on the surface of the wound is coming away and the hole is shrinking!!!

Today I forgot my camera. Next time, pictures will be taken.

KnottedYet
02-02-2007, 08:15 PM
I am so relieved you are getting treatment. You have no idea how worried I was that you were gonna end up with an amputation!

Hooray (?) for U.S. healthcare!

LBTC
02-02-2007, 09:49 PM
Personally, I think if you're getting your dressing changed twice a week, even if it is from more bleeding than average, that's a good thing! All that bleeding is flushing the really yucky stuff out, right?

Yay! So glad you're making such great progress!

Hugs and butterflies,
~T~

Brandi
02-03-2007, 08:35 AM
Yeaaaaaa! progress! So cool! I am happy for you!

emily_in_nc
02-03-2007, 06:43 PM
This is good news -- I am very relieved for you, Hip!

Healing wishes,
Emily

Grog
02-03-2007, 10:45 PM
I am so relieved you are getting treatment. You have no idea how worried I was that you were gonna end up with an amputation!

Hooray (?) for U.S. healthcare!

Same for me. I was truly worried for you and couldn't believe what happened.

However I can't endorse the "hooray", I just can't believe how much you had to go through just to get treated. Geez, it would almost have been the same time for you to move to Canada as a student and become eligible for care!!!

I'm happy Richard is vanishing, and hope he'll soon be history.

KnottedYet
02-04-2007, 08:02 AM
(that's why I put a "?" after the hooray.;) )

As long as your leg heals, that's all I care about.

crazycanuck
02-14-2007, 01:40 AM
Hey Hip,

How's Sir Richard? I'll visit your blog to see if you've noted anything there.

C

HipGnosis6
02-14-2007, 08:40 PM
There are new pics (http://spacegrrrl75.livejournal.com/94070.html) in my livejournal.

Today's valentine's day visit to the wound clinic revealed Richard to be down to 4.2 cm across (from 6.5!) and shaped more like a heart than ever. I heard it mentioned by the staff a number of times. :-)

chickwhorips
02-15-2007, 12:23 AM
keeps lookin better! good good.

crazycanuck
02-15-2007, 02:44 AM
Hip! Good to hear Sir Richard is decreasing in size. :)

How much pain are you in? Any idea of how long it will take to fully heal?

Take care of yourself

c

KnottedYet
02-15-2007, 07:04 AM
Oh, Hip, I'm so glad it's healing! :D

mimitabby
02-15-2007, 07:05 AM
fantastic! Thanks Hip, we keep thinking about you!

annie
02-15-2007, 11:42 AM
Definitely looking healthier! How ever did you manage that heart shape, tho?? :D :D
Taking progression photos is such a good idea. Lets you see the shrinking of Richard, bit by bit. Very encouraging!!

Annie

doc
02-15-2007, 11:48 AM
I was very impressed by how much better the surrounding skin looks. Wonderful.

Richard is trying to hold on to his "earl-hood" and endear himself by transforming into a heart for valentines day. Don't fall for it! Be ruthless!:D

Brandi
02-22-2007, 09:23 AM
I am so glad this is clearing up for you. Keep us posted!:D

lizbids
03-23-2007, 02:00 PM
Any more news on richard?? My kingdom for an update!:p

Popoki_Nui
05-08-2007, 04:32 PM
Anyone heard from HipGnosis lately?? Looks like we haven't heard from her in quite a while. Hope she's ok and her leg is healed.

gozlin7
05-09-2007, 10:13 AM
She's been posting over on her live journal with the latest (as of May 2nd):
http://spacegrrrl75.livejournal.com/

It looks like she's got a lot of things going on this year.