Probably one of the greatest magicians of all time was Harry Houdini .  On Halloween in 1926 Mr. Houdini died, probably of peritonitis brought about by a ruptured appendix.  He was 52.  Did he have health plans, maybe a critical illness plan?  I could not find any information.  He was a very famous person and perhaps he was treated at no charge.  I would not count on that happening for you though.  Even if Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans had been around at that time he would not have been old enough to be enrolled in one of those. There were, however, major medical plans in place at that time.  In fact, health plans had been available since the 1840’s.  If Harry had had a high deductible health plan with a deductible of $7500 he would have had to pay that before his insurance company paid anything. One of the biggest contributors to Harrys’ untimely demise was that he did not want to seek medical treatment.  I don’t think it was because he had not paid his health insurance premiums either.  Actually, he seems just like the men of today who also are not too big on seeing their doctors. The only way he finally did go to the hospital was when his wife, Bess, insisted.

I hope that none of us end up like Harry. We should all be aware of the warning signs of appendicitis.  From webmd:

  • Dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen.  This is usually the first sign
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
  • Abdominal swelling
  •  Fever of 99 to 102 F
  • Inability to pass gas

Almost half the time, other symptoms of appendicitis appear including:

  • Dull or sharp pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
  • Painful urination
  • Vomiting that precedes the abdominal pain
  • Severe cramps
  • Constipation or diarrhea with gas

Call your doctor if:

  • You have pain that matches these symptoms.  Do not eat, drink, or use any pain remedies, antacids, laxatives, or heating pads, which can cause an inflamed appendix to rupture.

If you have any of the mentioned symptoms, seek medical attention immediately since timely diagnosis and treatment is very important.

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