Is this an ER trip or can it wait until morning?

Spoilered for TMI poop talk.

I think I am bleeding. My poop is very dark colored, sticky, and doesn’t at all smell like it should (it’s quite nasty actually). I first noticed it looking a bit strange over the weekend but I’ve been known to eat foods that turn my poop strange colors. About an hour ago though, it occurred to me that I’ve had an upset stomach and have been eating bland, beige food for the last 3 days - nothing that would change the color of my poop. When I caught some on toilet paper, it felt very thick, soft, and sticky. When spread thin, it has a slight greenish tint but otherwise it looks black.

Non-gross stuff:
I have GERD and hiatal hernia. I used to be on Protonix but I’ve been treating it with Zantac for a few years now. I am currently on Clindamycin HCL 150mg and I have been known to have antibiotic issues. I have been taking this since Tuesday. I have been taking Oxycodone-Acetaminophen 5-325 off and on since Tuesday. I have only taken 6 and 3 or 4 of them were on Tuesday (I had a tooth pulled). I have been taking Tylenol also off and on since Tuesday but only when I haven’t taken the prescription painkillers for at least a day. I have been taking the Zantac 150 at least once a day since Tuesday because my stomach has been bothering me since I started the antibiotic.

So, in your educated (or not) opinions, do I need to get my ass (heh) to the ER or is this something that can wait for Urgent Care in the morning? This isn’t an insurance issue. I am covered. I just don’t want to take up ER time if I’m not in any real danger.

Don’t you have a doctor? They can be called afterhours for advice. That is why they make the big bucks.

Tarry stool is bad.

I don’t have a doctor. He just retired and I haven’t found a new one yet. Also, the medication was prescribed by a dentist. I have no clue if they have after hours. Gonna check in a minute.

Also, I checked Sounds like I have quite a few symptoms of an allergic reaction to the antibiotic (big shock there :rolleyes:) but it bloody stool doesn’t fall under the “holy shit get to the ER” category, although it is under the “stop taking and call the doctor you don’t have” category.

Call the dentist, then. Any doctor that prescribes a drug has to be responsible for taking calls regarding possible reactions, even during the middle of the night.


It has always been my understanding we are not to ask medical advice here, but tarry stools are not a good thing (get it?).

This needs to be looked after.

Sooner, not later.

Get yourself seen ASAP, okay?

I wouldn’t go to Urgent Care for this, either. Urgent Care is for sinusitis, urinary tract infections, minor cuts, things of that nature. You will waste your money if you have a copay, and your time if there’s a wait, and you will be referred to a hospital for a workup since you don’t have a doctor. There is nothing that an urgent care can do for you for this.

Never occurred to me to call a dentist for a medication problem but what you say makes sense. I’m on the phone with the answering service right now. Surprisingly the oral surgeon is on call tonight and they’re trying to get him on the phone.

Well, at least in my case, I really am not sure I would be able to get a hold of my doctor after hours, either, anyway. She doesn’t have an answering service, so I would just end up leaving a message on her office machine that I’m sure she doesn’t check until morning.

Anyway, it sounds like an upper-GI bleed, whether it’s stomach or upper intestine. If you’re passing stool in a normal way, and not having bloody diarrhea or anything, it can probably wait until morning, but no longer than that. Tarry, sticky, and smells bad is definitely digested blood.

My guess - it’s gastric bleeding caused by the acetaminophen in your Oxy and also in the Tylenol. Tylenol -is- acetaminophen. Too much, especially if you have liver trouble, can cause liver damage and upper gastric bleeding.

Acetaminophen side effects are very serious. Don’t take any more aspirin or acetaminophen tonight.

Should you go to the ER - if you start to feel worse, get nauseous, dizzy or light headed, I’d say yes. If you remain stable, see someone immediately tomorrow morning.

I’ve been seeing a lot of medical discussions lately. I thought the rules had changed. Anyway, I fully intend to be seen. Just didn’t know if this was a time sensitive issue or not.
This hold music is terrible.

K, just got off the phone with him. That wasn’t very helpful. He said Clindamycin reactions don’t usually present this way. He recommended that I talk to a physician because he doesn’t handle GI issues and doesn’t want to steer me wrong. Since bloody stools aren’t really his area, he can’t say whether or not it’s urgent.

I’ve worked for a lot of doctors, and even dermatologists have to have someone on call for afterhours. I find it hard to believe a primary care doctor could legally leave her patients with nothing while she sleeps. Could you be mistaken? Maybe the office phone goes straight to her cell if she doesn’t use a service?

If you have insurance, you could always try their ask-a-nurse line. They say they can’t give you medical advice, but maybe could tell you something to either set your mind at ease or convince you to go to ER tonight.

Who’s your pharmacist? They won’t give medical advice but they might talk to you about side effects from your various medications. I use Walgreens’ and they have a number to call.

Did you mention the tylenol/acetaminophen thing to whomever you just spoke with?

I called her at 9pm once, last August when I had a horribly painful throat infection that I ended up going to the ER for at 4am (they kept me there, IV fluids, morphine, steroid, CT scan, released at noon with vicodin and antibiotics), after I had left a message on the office voice mail and didn’t hear from her.

I didn’t think it was so unusual, though. I’ve never had to call a doctor after hours before, either. I guess I figured that’s what the ER was for, anyway. I’m seeing her soon, I’ll ask about it then.

I called Urgent Care. She confirmed what Alice said - they’d just send me to the hospital.
I can’t find my damn insurance card. It was in my schoolbag yesterday and now it’s gone.

If you call the emergency department at your hospital and ask to talk to the triage nurse, she may be able to assist you. Some facilities don’t use telephone triage as a rule while some facilities have a “Telephone Triage Bible” that guides them through very specific questions that will lead to the right course of action for you (like “If yes to question 4, seek medical attention immediately. If no, proceed to question 5…”).

My local hospital doesn’t offer this service. Their standard answer for everything is “If you’re concerned you should come in.” It’s obnoxious.

If I were you, I would call the clinic at 8am and request a same day appointment. (I should say, my clinic is attached to the hospital and they both use the same insta-results lab so if you don’t have a similar set-up, I suppose this may not be the best option for you. You almost certainly will need lab work regardless of when/where you go.)

Well, you’re probably going to end up at an ER anyway for this, since you don’t have a PCP. The question is, do you want to go now or tomorrow? At any rate, do let us know how it turns out.

I’m pretty sure we can’t ask for medical advice in General Questions. I don’t think that rule applies on IMHO.

You were right. Since I don’t have a doctor and Urgent Care said they would just send me to the hospital, I figured I may as well go now.

So, the good news: my internal organs aren’t trying to quietly bleed me dry.

The bad news: unless they call me later today or tomorrow and tell me otherwise, there’s one more antibiotic I can’t take any more. They’re testing for C. diff but if that comes back negative, then it’s safe to say that the antibiotic is the root of my problems.

The doctor said that despite how it looked, there wasn’t actually any blood in my stool. He called it “antibiotic induced diarrhea” (it’s the most solid diarrhea I’ve ever seen). He also said it’s entirely possible that the ONE dose of Pepto that I took on Friday has managed to give me black crap for 2 days. He didn’t seem to have any concerns about the Tylenol but told me to stop taking the antibiotic.

Ya know, I’ve had some really irritating reactions to antibiotics, ranging from insanely intense stomach pain to rashes all over my boobs. I think in the future I’ll definitely take a rash instead of this. I’ll pass on the stomach pain though. I’d rather have black crap.

Well, thank you all for your suggestions and information. I am going to bed now because I have to be at the dentist’s office in 4.5 hours to find out if my face will stop hurting at any point in the near future. All in all, this has been a shitty month and I still have to have a root canal.