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Wolfjewel
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I just came home from emergency appendectomy at my local hospital. Had to wait hours in pain, in the ER cue. Just glad they diagnosed appendicitis quickly once I got a CT scan. I was able to get pain meds and fluids intravenously until I got into surgery, which was laparoscopic — no big cut, just 3 little incisions. I was out in time to go home for the night. 
I really feel for anyone who gets appendicitis or any other health emergency while off hiking somewhere. Do any of you who go deep outback have a “Plan B” for getting to hospital? 

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25 minutes ago, Wolfjewel said:

I just came home from emergency appendectomy at my local hospital. Had to wait hours in pain, in the ER cue. Just glad they diagnosed appendicitis quickly once I got a CT scan. I was able to get pain meds and fluids intravenously until I got into surgery, which was laparoscopic — no big cut, just 3 little incisions. I was out in time to go home for the night. 
I really feel for anyone who gets appendicitis or any other health emergency while off hiking somewhere. Do any of you who go deep outback have a “Plan B” for getting to hospital? 

We carry a Garmin Inreach Mini.  We could trigger the personal locator beacon, but who knows how long it would take to get rescued.  With the Mini we can exchange texts with the SAR group, so we could notify them about the nature of our emergency.  
 

Broken limb or something like that…it would suck but we could wait for rescue.  Heart attack, appendicitis, something like that…try to self rescue if possible.  If not, hope that we can hold on until they can get to us.
 

There’s just two of us out there.  I am 6’3”, 240.  She ain’t carrying me out.  That’s just the risk we all take.  


Glad to hear that you received care quickly and are on the mend!  How are you feeling post surgery?

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1 hour ago, BlackRockBigfoot said:

There’s just two of us out there.  I am 6’3”, 240.  She ain’t carrying me out.  That’s just the risk we all take.  

 

Same with Mark and I. I'd feel uncomfortable leaving him and going for help, and I'm pretty sure he'd never agree to leave me in the woods alone at night, at least. However, we're both armed and prepared to overnight at any time.

 

So, it would greatly depend on the emergency, time of day and location. One of us hiking out or the Garmin, are our two options if we have no cell service.

 

And, we always try to tell someone where we are going and when we'll be back. If we are a no-show, sooner or later, someone will come looking for us.

 

Also, sorry to hear about your appendectomy!

Edited by Madison5716
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Good answers, guys! I didn’t want this thread to get lost in the shuffle, bc it Could happen to anyone. So: Garmin Inreach Mini, exchange texts with SAR units — sounds essential for any serious hike. 
 

Thanks for your caring thoughts. I’m doing well after surgery, pain way down, drinking lots of fluids. Able to make phone calls and enjoy the forum more thoroughly. BTW, appendicitis is most common in younger people ages 10 to 30. So if you’re still a cub, watch out for that lower right belly quadrant!

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Glad to hear you're on the mend! They are no fun. Had one 10 years or so ago, went into emergency, PA gave me an ultrasound, sent me home. 3 weeks later when I can't stand, go back to same emergency room cuz I'm a slow learner. Same PA, tell him I was in 3 weeks ago for appendix area pain, you gave me an ultrasound--"we don't use that for appendicitis" Well that's what you did, I've the $500+ bill to prove it. "nope you must have been in for something else" Uh...I don't even have a doctor, nor have I needed one. "Well we wouldn't have done that" Me: it wasn't a we, it was YOU! Surgeon came in and whisked me off to remove the thing before it blew. Dying is easy compared to dealing with that industry. Hope your OR experience was professional and smooth.

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You had an Awful experience, Kiwakwe! That PA should be removed, especially since you have documentation of who he is and what was done to you on your medical bill. For me, they used a CT, aka Cat scan, that proves using ultrasound for you wasn’t right. After my CT, I asked them how long it would take for results, they said about half an hour. Back in my ER pod room, a bright-eyed doctor came to me no less than 15 minutes later and said, “We’re taking your appendix out! We suspected that’s what you would need.” I said yes,that’s what I thought, too. In my case, the pain built up over the day on Monday, whereas you had symptoms in advance. 
I’m  grateful for the good hospitals in the Boston area. The one I went to (Newton Wellesley) had a big sign saying it was chosen as one of the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. I only wished the emergency department was bigger and faster that night. Everything after I got in went fine. And that’s what I told the nurse who called me today to follow up and see how I rated the care. So yeah, it was professional and smooth after the wait. I do hope some improvement can be made to the quality of your hospital!

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When I was younger, I would leave my house around 3 am to go hunting. I would do a 12 mile bike ride and a 2mile hike in behind a gate by myself. One day way back there, I got a deer. I always lay my knife on the deer so I don't lose it. It is always in my hand or on the deer. I turned around from working on boning it out to grab something out of my pack and as I stepped back and turned toward the deer, I tripped and fell on the deer and my knife. My crotch was resting on my knife and the tip of the knife put a cut into my paints were my femoral artery is. I was ok, but it drove home a point that you can not be too careful. 

 

I always let several people know where I'll be when I go out alone. I don't think that if the knife had stuck in me the full length, that I would have survived it, however, they would know where to find my body and that is important too. I have never had any other problems before or since, but, my buddy got stung by a bee and I gave him an allergy pill and some antibiotic cream for the sting. He was in a unpleasant way when we got him to the ER. Doctor said he probably would have died if he didn't have that pill. I learned about doing that when a friend of mine said his friend died from a bee sting and was told an allergy pill would have probably kept him alive.

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10 hours ago, Wolfjewel said:

 Do any of you who go deep outback have a “Plan B” for getting to hospital? 

I 7.62 bein of sound mind and broke legs do hereby leaveth my bear rifle to whatever finds it It's a good rifle and it kilt the bear that kilt me

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Air ambulance. The deal maker for my health and welfare package was the ambulance package which includes helicopters / fixed wing.  $300 deductible, world wide. Sometimes, a motor vehicle is not fast enough. Not sure if a window seat is an optional feature.

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Glad to hear you're Ok WolfJewel.  You hit on one of the thorny issues of being in the hinterlands. A medical emergency in an area that is not easily accessible. There are three major hurdles---the first being able to summon help, the next is being to get you out, and the final one is keeping you alive until help arrives.

 

The Inreach Mini (or its equivalent) is a must so you can communicate the nature of the emergency.  I also have a PLB and if I thought I would be in danger of blacking out, I'd trigger both the Mini and PLB. I have a preset message on the Mini providing my PLB# and saying that I may not be conscious throughout the emergency and have triggered the PLB as well.

 

Your incident underscores the important of having an emergency plan and appropriate medical kit or supplies that can get you through while the cavalry makes it way to you. 

 

I can't speak for all flight (helicopter) insurance policies but the ones I've looked at exclude emergencies within 100 miles of your home.  All of the locations I go to are within that distance so ones I looked at wouldn't cover it.

Edited by wiiawiwb
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On 7/28/2021 at 1:28 PM, Kiwakwe said:

Glad to hear you're on the mend! They are no fun. Had one 10 years or so ago, went into emergency, PA gave me an ultrasound, sent me home. 3 weeks later when I can't stand, go back to same emergency room cuz I'm a slow learner. Same PA, tell him I was in 3 weeks ago for appendix area pain, you gave me an ultrasound--"we don't use that for appendicitis" Well that's what you did, I've the $500+ bill to prove it. "nope you must have been in for something else" Uh...I don't even have a doctor, nor have I needed one. "Well we wouldn't have done that" Me: it wasn't a we, it was YOU! Surgeon came in and whisked me off to remove the thing before it blew. Dying is easy compared to dealing with that industry. Hope your OR experience was professional and smooth.

As a former ultrasound tech, I can say that ultrasound IS sometimes used for suspected appendicitis. Usually, the decision depends on the proper body type i.e. skinny. If the text comes back inconclusive, it is then often off to the CT. It's done this way to hopefully save the patient money if it can be located with ultrasound. 

 

@Wolfjewel I am glad to hear you are ok and doing well. May you continue to heal. 

 

And I would never leave @Madison5716 alone out there. If I could not treat whatever it is, I would like to think I could fashion a travois, and pull her and her pack out, albeit not as fast as I could when I was but a wee NorthBreeze.

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10 hours ago, NorthWind said:

As a former ultrasound tech, I can say that ultrasound IS sometimes used for suspected appendicitis. Usually, the decision depends on the proper body type i.e. skinny. If the text comes back inconclusive, it is then often off to the CT. It's done this way to hopefully save the patient money if it can be located with ultrasound. 

 

@Wolfjewel I am glad to hear you are ok and doing well. May you continue to heal. 

 

And I would never leave @Madison5716 alone out there. If I could not treat whatever it is, I would like to think I could fashion a travois, and pull her and her pack out, albeit not as fast as I could when I was but a wee NorthBreeze.

My daughter recently had an MRI when Dr's suspected her pain was appendicitis.  It turned out to be cysts and the MRI bill was significant.

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20 hours ago, NorthWind said:

As a former ultrasound tech, I can say that ultrasound IS sometimes used for suspected appendicitis. Usually, the decision depends on the proper body type i.e. skinny. If the text comes back inconclusive, it is then often off to the CT. It's done this way to hopefully save the patient money if it can be located with ultrasound.

Well Thanks NW, it's nice to know that he simply forgot that they may have some value from time to time.

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