I’m a big nerd and decided that since it’s March (by the way, it is unreal how fast this year has gone by already), I am going to talk about a couple things – also that start with M – that I have been thinking about in the past week. See, what did I tell you…nerd 🙂
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to win the lottery – not because I don’t want to work ever again or because I want fancy toys and a sweet car. I just want to be able to afford a nice dinner with friends once in awhile or a vacation to Hawaii would be nice. You would die if you knew how much money I spend on medical expenses every year, which is one of the many stresses I have to deal with, including budgeting every paycheck just to afford rent and food. So I’m going to give you a snapshot of what I spent last week, which will blow you away.
Last week I was billed for my February doctor’s appointment, which cost $85 after my insurance paid their portion (since they hardly cover specialists). And of course I received a list of supplements and vitamins to purchase for my new regiment (since what I’ve been taking isn’t working) that cost me about $450 – and this is after searching for hours for the cheapest prices online. I also have to shovel out $500 on some genetic testing that my doctor needs (who knows where that money is coming from at this point), and $60 on a blood test to re-check my heavy metals levels (to see if any of the chelation in the past year has worked). Oh and then there was the $90 I spent on counseling in February (since all of this makes me nutty), and $120 for my monthly thyroid medication that had to be refilled. I think we are at $1,305 (we are now nearing my entire paycheck for the week), but this doesn’t even include the monthly payment plans I have going at a hospital, a few doctor’s offices, my dentist, and a collections agency – which totals to an additional $175. One week.
The good news is that I was able to itemize a few medical expenses on my taxes for last year (not nearly as much as I had hoped thanks to California), so I should be receiving a significant check in the mail soon. And instead of putting this toward my school loans or the next month of medical expenses I have coming, I decided to use my tax refund on a trip to Austria to visit my best friend – Miss Tais Hoelzinger – this summer! Hell, I deserve it!…don’t you agree?!
They say that keeping my body in shape could help slow down the RA (they being my doctor, my mom, my friends…okay fine). But dealing with the daily aches just typing on my computer at work and sometimes not being able to hike up the hill to get to my door without pain at the end of the day, I lack the motivation to try something even more strenuous. Yoga unfortunately went off my list when my wrists gave out on me a year ago. So, Pilates was the next best thing – and I’d have to say it’s pretty fun for an exercise (other than costing a fortune…as always, we are back to the money).
So after postponing Pilates lessons for the past couple of months, I finally have the motivation to schedule a lesson this week. I’m very excited because – although it is a slightly annoying process of adapting exercises and systems that do not cause more pain for my joints – I absolutely love being active. I was very active growing up – I danced as a child and was really good at track and field (especially the high jump, since I towered above most my peers until middle school). I studied at the Royal Academy of Ballet during high school, which was a big commitment, and when I went to college, the gym was a daily activity to hang out with friends in between classes.
But since I have been diagnosed with RA and have had to adapt my lifestyle around my pain and limitations, the motivation – let alone energy – is lacking. I barely have the energy to pick up some groceries and cook dinner after working all day. But, this is a new year, with new medications and hopefully more energy to come – and my Pilates studio is only half of a block from my doorstep, so I really don’t have a good excuse – I have decided to start it up again.
I have a feeling this week is going to hurt…