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When Do I Go To The Er


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As you may recall from a previous post the past few weeks my GI issues have gotten worse to the point I can't ignore them. My cardio said he would try to find a GI Dr. for me to help "pave the way" and see if anyone was willing to take my case.

From doing some research and talking to a few people I've learned that I need to find a motility specialist but I'm also being told it's hard to find a good one.

I basically put myself on the step 3 gastroparesis diet (which is broth, saltines, pudding, rice, small amount of chicken, egg, toast--stuff like that). It has helped but the nausea is still bad, especially at night. The med I had for nausea isn't working well and seems to be dropping my bp.

I've passed out several times the past few days and passed out twice this morning. I think my body is not getting enough sodium or potassium between reducing my diet and throwing up.

I have no GI Dr. and I have no "family" dr to call. I can call my cardio on monday and try to push him to hurry to find a GI dr but I'm getting weak really fast & don't know if I can wait until Monday. I'm afraid if I go to the ER they will just send me home and I really feel like I need to be admitted and have them run the tests on me and monitor me while we try to find some meds to get my symptoms under control. I hate ER's though.

Anybody have any experience or advice in this area?

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Sorry Pooh you are feeling so badly.

You can go to the ER, but they could only call your primary and he/she would have to contact a GI doc. It has to come through the primary. He might admit you, your cardio, but it's hard to say as they don't like to go beyond their scope. So if you are not having specific heart stuff to admit you, he may be hesitant to do so, even if he wants you to see a GI. I'm not sure I'm making sense here.

Even if the Er wanted to have you seen by a GI, their hands would be tied, because you don't have one yet. BTW, I don't know of any GI docs that don't deal with motility issues.

You can call your primary or his on call person and let them know what's going on. My primary put me in the hospital to force the hands of doctors to come see me. Maybe yours would do the same.

I hope you feel better soon. If you don't have a pcp, you need to get one, for times like these. morgan

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It is my unprofessional and probably inexperienced opinion that if you are passing out more than usual, you should go to the ER. Something is wrong and your body is telling you it needs some extra help. Usually they take passing out seriously in the ER (at least around here), and it would be worse in my opinion to do nothing and end up in worse shape than to chance the ER.

Are you home alone or do you have someone helping you??

Hope you feel better.......and good luck

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Morgan, I did have a family Doc but I got a letter two weeks ago saying she had left the practice (they only gave me a 3 day notice) so I've not had a chance to find one. I could call the office (I think they have two other Dr's in that office) and see if one of them would take my case but I'm certain they would tell me to go to the ER.

I have been trying for over 2 yrs to get a family Dr. They don't want to take my case because they don't understand Dysautonomia, they say they don't have time to research it and learn about it and tell me to find someone else. I finally found someone this past fall (who suddenly and abruptly left the practice); she was fresh out of med school but even she wouldn't do anything for me stating "I'm afraid I will make you worse so just stick to your specialists"

The other problem is that the family Dr I had is out of one hospital and my cardio is out of another (competing hospitals and it gets competitive and political). So if I go to the one hospital I have no cardio Dr and they don't know what to do with me. If I go to the hospital my cardio is out of then they may address my bp and hr issues but I still have no GI dr. I guess my thought would be maybe the cardio would admit me and request a GI dr to see me????

I do live alone but I'm used to passing out and being alone (as "used" to it as you can get)

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Before docs figured out I had a heart arrhythmia I would end up at the ER literally 2 or 3 times a week. Finally the ER doc decided to keep me over night and had a cardio see me the next morning even though I had never seen a cardio ever, until all this happened.

If you aren't feeling well I would go to the ER, esp if you don't have anyone at home to keep an eye on you. The last thing you need is for your electrolyte levels to become abnormal, then you'll have even more to deal with. I hope you feel better. Keep us updated.


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I agree that you should have the cardio admit you and then request the GI, usually passing out is referred to cardio first anyway to make sure you are stable ?? I think. I dunno, I would just go to the ER either way to make sure you are stable, even if they can't address the GI issues right away.

I'll be thinking/praying for you - that is scary to deal with living alone :angry:


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I would go to the ER. I'd hope they'd take you seriously if they tell you you've been fainting. Even if they don't admit you, maybe you could at least convince them to test your potassium and sodium and give you an IV. You don't have much to lose. At worst they will be incompetent and tell you you're fine, which wouldn't be the first time for any of us. I think it makes sense to do it through the cardio.

Feel better soon,


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Guest sonotech

I know, from working in the medical field, that if you complain of "chest pain" in the ER then it is an "automatic" 24hr admit. Then while you are admitted and the testing is being done, as long as they have an actual diagnosis, they will keep you longer. There is ALWAYS a doc on call for EVERY specialty, so there should be a GI doc on call to see you if they think its necessary.

Hope this helps.....good luck, and hope you feel better soon!!!

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Pooh, I would go to the er and see if the cardio will admit you and yes, see if he will get a consult. You have no control over your pcp leaving a practice with no notice. (this sends a red flag to me, either she was doing something bad or the partners were) But I digress. Have the er explain to your cardio what's going on, you lost your pcp without notice, you have no other doctor to admit you and then you can hopefully get a GI that works out of the same hospital as your cardio.

Also, your cardio might be able to help you find another primary that works out of his hospital too. Then you don't have the conflicts.

If nothing else, you need fluids for sure. You don't know that you are not bleeding either. You can be passing a small enough amount of blood in your stools that you don't see it, but they could test it and pick up on it. That would be enough for a follow up. If it were me, at this point I'd probably say I had a stool that looked like it had blood in it, but i couldn't be sure.

Then they'd have to at least do some tests. And you never know. With IBD that could be very possible. Not that I'm a liar, but it's not really a lie, because you are not sure if you are passing blood with all the stools. You do need to know that as it is very common with inflammatory disease.

We took my son in and said no, he hadn't been bleeding and when they tested his stool, he in fact HAD been. He was in for 5 days and got a big work up, even though he has a history of IBD. good luck, morgan

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