When to seek medical help

I’m home sick since Wednesday with what I thought was an ordinary cold. It has continued to progress through the weekend to the point where I’m running a fever of 101.5. Coughing feels like razor blades slicing my lungs. Blood sugar is minimally elevated. It keeps bumping up over 200 but it does come down again when I correct.

Here’s my question… when is it time to go to the ER? Going to the hospital is going to be a major undertaking for me tonight. I’m going to have to get up, put some clothes on and drive myself there. I don’t want to do that if I’m just going to be sent back home again. I might as well stay where I am and continue with Tylenol and cold medicine every few hours.

The big worry is sepsis. I have known two people that died from it. They hung around at home thinking they would get better. Both of them died on the way to the hospital. One of them was a diabetic.

My criteria for going to the hospital is the following question: “Do I feel I need immediate treatment, tests, or monitoring?” If the answer to any of those three things is yes, then I go.

If you’re worried about sepsis, then I would go. Even if they just do tests and monitoring for a while and say it’s nothing, it’s better to rule something like that out than to wait and find out the hard way. I, too, had a very close friend who died while at home sick. So ever since then, I’ve erred on the side of caution.

I also wouldn’t drive myself to the hospital (if I could drive). I’d get someone to drive me or take a cab. Or call 911 and go by ambulance if I felt I was dealing with something life-threatening.


Sounds like more than an ordinary cold. Could be flu. And that can be severe… even life threatening. Go to the ER. Do not drive yourself. Get a friend or a neighbor to take you.


Since your cough feels so badly, and you’re running a fever now, maybe get checked out. Even if it turns out to not be serious, it’s better to be safe. Go to rule out bronchitis or pneumonia. I know that I have a rule now when I’m sick which is; if I am not getting better, and develop more or worsening symptoms, I go to the hospital. Hope you get to feeling better!

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