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bottombaby
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Back in 2007, I had my first bought with Kidney Stones WITHOUT insurance. It cost me $8k PLUS and additional $3k for a second ER visit that was he result of a reaction to the pain meds that they sent me home with. It took me 10 days to pass the stones. I was fortunate enough to have enough cash on hand to pay the bills off immediately at a 30% discount. But boy was I pissed about the second ER bill. Like the OP, I should have never left the ER. Like half of the second bill was just a charge for walking in the door.

Kidney stones are mostly diet related. We do live in the kidney stone belt. Because of that and the fact that I didn't have health insurance, the cause of my stones weren't really explored in depth. Fast forward to 4+ years later, I am pregnant with my second child and go into the early stages of kidney failure. Now I have health insurance and doctors get right on it. Turns out I have MSK and dRTA, congential diseases of the kidney that turn you into one lean mean kidney stone making machine. The films of my kidneys look like someone has shot me with buck shot. That's how riddled with stones my kidneys are and no amount of dietary change are going to make an significant impact on my stone formation. I'm currently on medication to minimize the effects.

Uhm. Moral? Don't leave the ER just as the OP stated. If you don't have insurance, pray and hope that you have cash on hand. And lastly, don't expect anything other than immediate band-aide care unless you have health insurance. It took a nephrologist all of a couple of tests and a single visit to find out what was wrong with my kidneys and come up with a treatment plan, but that didn't happen until I had health insurance to pick up the bill.

11/20/2012 11:12:17 PM

skokiaan
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Quote :
"-If there is any doubt how horribly expensive our healthcare system is, this is a fairly good example.
"

11/21/2012 12:01:06 AM

ncsuapex
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When you start to feel the pain start drinking beer. And drink lots of it.

11/21/2012 7:30:44 AM

mrfrog

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This thread is one of the most convincing reasons to become vegetarian I've seen.

11/21/2012 8:33:50 AM

wolfpackgrrr
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Being vegetarian won't save you. I used to work with a guy that was a vegetarian/vegan and that dude had kidney stones at least once a year. I don't know how he didn't just kill himself

11/21/2012 8:38:24 AM

jbtilley
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There are several types of stones. A doctor will want you to collect the stone so they can analyze it to determine what it is made of.

calcium oxalate (80%) - avoid all kinds of nuts, spinach, wheat bran, beans, berries... pretty much all the food that's normally good for you. Seriously, I don't see how anyone with a history of this type of stone can adhere to the diet. I've heard there's no point in attempting to reduce calcium intake as your body will just get it from your bones. I just read something that said an increase in calcium may actually help the calcium and oxalate bond in the digestive tract instead but I'd have to read more about that.

uric acid (5-10%) - avoid red meat, excessive alcohol.

struvite (10-15%) - caused by infections.

cystine (less than 1%) - hereditary.

And I make sure to drink lots of water. I think that's what lead to my stone and may be why the south is the kidney stone belt. You sweat so much in the summer that you don't end up draining your kidneys enough. But that's my grandma's home remedy guess.

11/21/2012 9:20:33 AM

LunaK
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my doctor recommended citric acid to help balance out the calcium build up. granted - i haven't been very good about taking it

11/21/2012 9:59:37 AM

kylekatern
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I hope to god that I can keep my insurance as long as possible. I am in a self insured industry, where all major employers pay into a central plan, that uses BCBS to handle paperwork, then send me a statement form the plan once the plan pays out.

I have a 9 year old, plus the wife and I have the 9 MONTH old rugrat who is trying to eat me leg as I type. Total out of pocket for non dental dr visits, etc this year? The $600 deductible, plus 1 $50 ER copay.

Dental on our plan is wierd, I get a tiered procedure plan based on what I have to pay out, and a yearly cap that is under 3k per person

of course, last I checked the company is paying out, as part of my benefits agreement, something like $3 or $4 to the fund for every employee

11/21/2012 10:05:03 AM

jbtilley
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Quote :
" the 9 MONTH old rugrat who is trying to eat me leg as I type"


Hopefully not the good one.




[Edited on November 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM. Reason : -]

11/21/2012 10:15:08 AM

mrfrog

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Quote :
"I've heard there's no point in attempting to reduce calcium intake as your body will just get it from your bones."


ahhh!

WHY NATURE, WHY?

11/21/2012 10:26:39 AM

bottombaby
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Calcium phosphate stones are the bane of my existence. There isn't much that I can do about them because it isn't related to diet or water intake. The pH of my urine is extremely high because my kidneys aren't quite doing what they're supposed to. I take an Rx potassium citrate to bring that pH down, but I'm still going to make stones. I had to collect urine for 48 hours to find out that there's not a lot to do.

Potassium citrate is a real pain in my butt because it's a horse pill that I have to remember to take at least 30 minutes before I'm going to lay down. The morning pill is no problem, but the night pill always trips me up.

11/21/2012 10:37:38 AM

Snewf
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Quote :
"If you decide to roll the dice and not have health insurance, hope nothing ever happens to you."


Yeah... I DECIDED to not have health insurance

it was my CHOICE

11/23/2012 11:29:25 AM

settledown
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"It has been described as the most pain a body can produce from non external forces."


this sounds really scientific

it must be true

2/11/2013 10:07:22 PM

frugal_qualm
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Quote :
"When you start to feel the pain start drinking beer. And drink lots of it."


I had some minor kidney stones in college (while on an internship and absolutely broke) and that was what the doctor at Urgent Care told me off the record when I said I didn't have insurance for pain meds. I had a very drunk weekend, but peed SO MUCH it got rid of all of them and didn't care as much when they did pass.

2/13/2013 3:19:54 PM

Kurtis636
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Quote :
"Yeah... I DECIDED to not have health insurance

it was my CHOICE

"


Probably. In much the same way that some people decide not to have a car, or cable, or a cell phone.

Unless you're actually in some way prevented from having it.

2/13/2013 3:57:55 PM

moron
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Quote :
"Gary Larson has a $5,000 deductible insurance plan, but has found that his medical bills are cheaper if he claims he's uninsured and pays cash. Using that strategy, an MRI scan of his shoulder cost him $350. His brother-in-law went to a nearby clinic for an MRI scan of his shoulder, was billed $13,000, and had to come up with $2,500.""


So the in-law basically paid for the guy's medical treatment. That's one reason costs are so high, is because the care providers milk people with insurance, to pay for the people without insurance.

If only there was some way to get more people to have insurance... if only...

2/13/2013 7:17:54 PM

David0603
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Yeah, I had to pay about $1500 for my MRI. If only I knew now what I knew back then.

Oh and

Quote :
"Probably. In much the same way that some people decide not to have a car, or cable, or a cell phone.

Unless you're actually in some way prevented from having it."


[Edited on February 13, 2013 at 8:51 PM. Reason : ]

2/13/2013 8:50:52 PM

jbtilley
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^^Maybe everyone can go without insurance and we can go back to cheap healthcare.</facetious>

2/14/2013 8:11:33 AM

Wolfmarsh
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What is your guys out of pocket maximum? We've already hit our $2500 deductible for the year, so everything is at 10% co-pay until we hit $6500 out of pocket.


I get stones frequently enough to where my urologist will prescribe pain killers if I just call the office and tell them another stone is passing. Last check I had 8 still in, but only 2 are big enough to be "iffy".

The urologist I use here is one of the first robotic surgery guys, so he said he can have them out a minute after getting me on a table if need be. So unless one gets stuck, I am under orders just to keep passing them.

I've pissed on myself, thrown up all over myself, and rolled around on a public bathroom floor crying, all in the name of passing stones.

2/14/2013 8:16:45 AM

Smath74
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dear god. this sounds horrible. i hope i never have to deal with passing a kidney stone.

2/14/2013 9:31:47 AM

BobbyDigital
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dear god. this sounds horrible. i hope i never have to deal with passing a kidney stone.




ok, now off to fill up a nalgene bottle with water.

2/14/2013 11:23:39 AM

TKE-Teg
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^&^^agreed!

Quote :
"What is your guys out of pocket maximum?"


My yearly deductible is $0. Regardless of what I'm having done - doctor's visit, surgery, MRI, etc. I just pay the copay, which varies from $20-100 ($100 being ER visit).

2/14/2013 11:46:59 AM

Skack
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Quote :
"ok, now off to fill up a nalgene bottle with water."


Are you going to fill it with Pepsi Cola and sweet tea?

2/14/2013 4:09:57 PM

ssclark
Black and Proud
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Quote :
" he says he'll pay in cash, his bill is 50% less than with insurance.

Are ER trips similar?
"


no they aren't... as an aside. if ya'll have ER questions lemme know, I work at rex

2/14/2013 7:22:23 PM

BobbyDigital
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^^

i've been known to fill 'em up with liquor.

2/14/2013 10:02:21 PM

Skack
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Ditto. I like the little measuring bars on the side. 400ml of liquor makes it a party.

2/15/2013 10:10:39 AM

Wolfmarsh
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Quote :
"My yearly deductible is $0. Regardless of what I'm having done - doctor's visit, surgery, MRI, etc. I just pay the copay, which varies from $20-100 ($100 being ER visit)."


I chose our premium HDHP instead of the co-pay plan. Saves me about 10 grand a year because of our medical bills.

At least with our HDHP I know all I have to pay out of pocket is $6500, and 99% of that is covered tax-free with HSA deductions.

We had already hit the $2500 deductible by Jan 26th. $6500 usually hits around October, then we are covered at 100%, no co-pay, no nothing.

2/15/2013 11:10:02 AM

CarZin
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My individual max out of pocket copay is something like $3500 (individual).

2/20/2013 11:34:38 AM

Kiwi
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I’m pretty sure I have my first kidney stone. Fuck this.

Also, drs of two, please tell me I don’t have to go to a dr for this. I’m not vomiting in pain yet, obviously if that happens or I get symptoms of an infection I’ll go but til then? Come on, I’m tired of drs and I have kids to watch and no time to spend all day doing stupid tests. For real. Can we not? Tell me I don’t have to go.

11/27/2017 2:19:45 PM

Wolfmarsh
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If you are sure it's a kidney stone you don't have to go. Since it's your first one though, how certain are you?

I get them fairly frequently, and my urologist only has me come in if I need more pain pills or if something weird is going on. I pass most of them within a couple of days. Just drink a TON of fluids, you want to pee a lot.

The big worry is if you all of a sudden can't urinate, like the stone has blocked something up. You need to go in ASAP then.

11/27/2017 4:35:14 PM

Kiwi
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I did talk to a nurse friend, initially I thought it was my pancreas because I had my gallbladder removed and feeling pain in the same area. After describing the pain she said it sounded like my kidney. I also have another friend who passes kidney stones like it is her life’s purpose and said it sounded like it as well, to,d me what to look out for so I knew when to go to the dr. But the other side of me does think that because it is my first one I should get it checked out. But dammit that requires wasting time at either my gp or the er before referral an my first ct scan and a lot of nerves and also a babysitter. And also going alone. Which I can do but I’d really really rather not. Really rather not. I need tww to tell me I’m not stupid for taking the wait and see approach.

11/27/2017 5:44:16 PM

Kiwi
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So I know you are all dying to know what happened, I will tell you. Turns out it wasn’t a kidney stone but a slipped rib. So no amount of chugging water and peeing was going to fix that bad boy. The more you know..

12/1/2017 1:08:12 PM

The Coz
Tempus Fugitive
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What WILL fix it? Time?

12/3/2017 5:21:49 PM

TKE-Teg
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How did you manage that?

12/4/2017 2:15:58 PM

Kiwi
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The only thing I could think of was moving some heavy ass furniture on my own a few days before the first flare started. It’s been an interesting few days. Time is used to fix it, due to the pain and not even hydrocodome touching it they put me on a muscle relaxer, which I had an allergic reaction to, so I tried a different kind and again a reaction. So today I got a steroid shot on the butt and an rx for more. I’m on high alert for a severe allergic reaction and have also developed mild jaundice which should clear in a few days. It can take 4-6 weeks to heal and if it doesn’t then surgery will. Face effing palm.

12/4/2017 9:07:25 PM

BigMan157
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you know it's bad times when you wish it was a kidney stone

12/4/2017 10:05:12 PM

Kiwi
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Haha I almost do, this pain is incredible. I just don’t have time for this.

12/6/2017 2:50:00 PM

Kiwi
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If you are still following this saga I have the finale for you. The pain could not be managed so I spent a better part of the day looking for ways I could fix this myself. My doctor said time. But I did notice chiropractors could help too, unable to drive or find a babysitter I looked up ways chiropractors fix slipped ribs. Without much hope but also a desire to end this I did a couple yoga moves. I felt a pop. Then a soreness near my spine. I slept that night for the first time in a long time with no pain and haven’t had any since. Hallelujah praise baby Jesus. The end

12/10/2017 3:46:00 PM

SSS
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Wow! I hope you now do not have a slipped spine.

12/11/2017 11:27:23 AM

Kiwi
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Ha ha. Well so far, so good. No pain since I popped it back in place. Our bodies are weird, man.

12/22/2017 4:10:13 PM

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