If You Ever Get A Rock Stuck In Your Nose

Yesterday our two year old stuck a pebble in his nose.

Although we could see it, we couldn’t get it out.  We tried briefly, but were afraid we would push it further in or that it would somehow wiggle it’s way into his sinuses, so we decided that the wise choice would be a trip to urgent care.

After our son’s finger incident last winter, he’s understandably wary of doctors, and as soon as we got out of the car at the urgent care clinic, he started saying “no doctor, no doctor”.  Hopefully he’ll remember that next time he thinks about sticking something in his nose.

We went to an urgent care that is part of Poudre Valley Health Systems on Harmony and Timberline in Fort Collins.  The receptionist greeted us, took our insurance card and id, and started filling out paperwork for us.  She asked us if we had attempted to remove the stone ourselves, and we told her what we had tried.  Then she mentioned that if we wanted to possibly save $140, there was one more thing we could try:  Hold his other nostril shut and blow into his mouth.

So Jay did just that.  And on the third blow, the rock came shooting out of our son’s nose.  We were thrilled – no need to sit in the waiting room at the urgent care facility, no need to subject our son to whatever instruments doctors use to extract stuff from toddler noses, and no need to pay for an urgent care visit (we have an HSA qualified policy with a $5000 deductible, so we’d have been paying for the whole thing).

We were in and out of the clinic in under five minutes, and it didn’t cost us anything.

A lot has been said about over-utilization of health care lately, and the need to reduce both cost and utilization in order to make our health care system sustainable.  But I wonder how many urgent care clinic front desk people would be willing to give out free advice like that, and how many would have just taken our insurance info and sent us in to see the doctor?

About Louise Norris

Louise Norris has been writing about health insurance and healthcare reform since 2006. In addition to the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, she also writes for healthinsurance.org, medicareresources.org, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.



  2. I once had a mom do this – the dad and siblings were watching. It was a small plastic ball so it went shooting across the room. The kids broke into spontaneous applause. One of my best doctoring days ever.

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