Picture this. You start to feel a dull sense of pain around your belly button that shifts to your lower right abdomen. Within just a few hours the dull pain has escalated to a sharp pain that can no longer be ignored. When you move, the pain gets excruciating and if by chance you need to cough or sneeze – you’d better be gripping onto something!
At this point, you realize you need to get your butt to the ER. After what seems like a million bumps in the road on the way to the hospital, you check yourself into the ER. The ER doctor then begins the examination. After just a few moments of probing your lower abdomen — she is confident that you have appendicitis.
The doctor explains that if appendicitis is not treated quickly, the appendix can rupture. When that happens, it releases bacteria into the abdomen and potentially leads to other, life-threatening infections.
Because of this danger she explains, appendicitis is considered a medical emergency. It typically needs to be removed within 24 hours of the condition being diagnosed. Given the amount of pain you’re are in, surgery sounds like the least of your worries. So, you tell her, “Let’s do it! Get this thing out of me. Nobody even knows what the heck an appendix does anyway!”
Then comes a response that you were not at all expecting. Instead of starting the process to prep you for the appendectomy, she instead asks you just about the …
Strangest Question You Would Expect a Doctor to Ever Ask
“I would love to perform this appendectomy, but before we can proceed, I need to know how much you have saved for your retirement?”
You are thinking … WTF! What in the world does my retirement saving have to do with this emergency surgery? But given how much pain you are in, you will answer just about any question if it means getting you closer to the pain meds.
“I have about $70,000 saved up in my 401k,” you answer proudly. Still, you hadn’t seen the 401k management questions in the admittance form. What’s this about?
Her reply leaves you totally dumbfounded. “That is great but, unfortunately, you don’t have enough saved for ME to perform the appendectomy you badly need.”