Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monday, May 11, 2009 Cindi Atkins, Community Member, asks

Q: pain in neck gland

I have had pain on the left side of my neck for about 1 week. It moves upward, today my left ear is hurting. Right under my jaw bone is very tender to touch. I went to the dentist thinking I had a cavity but I don't. I don't know what to do, I have no insurance but I'm starting to get scared.

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Answers (1)
Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
5/12/09 10:00am

Like you, my first guess would have been tooth related since I've had an abcessed tooth that gave me very similar symptoms.  However, if your dentist did x-rays and didn't find an abcess, then it must be something else.  I know you'd like to avoid a doctor visit since you don't have insurance, but you really should see your doctor about this.  You may have an infection or other problem with your lymph nodes or salivary glands.  I learned the hard way that you don't want to let an infection go untreated, hoping it'll go away on its own. 


Be sure to ask if your doctor will give you a discount for paying cash at the time of your visit.  Mine gives me a 30% discount.  She says that's about what the insurance companies pay anyway, plus she doesn't have to pay her office staff to file insurance claims.  Also, make sure your doctor knows you don't have insurance and don't hesitate to request that he prescribe the least expensive medication or ask if there are any free samples of a comparable medication available you could have.  If you do have to get a prescription filled, call around to find the best price.  In my experience, Wal-Mart, Costco and Target usually have the best prices.  (I've been told you don't have to be a member of Costco to use their pharmacy.)





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By Cindi Atkins, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/01/14, First Published: 05/11/09