Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Why sometimes it's worth it to pay for an experience.
Recently all my money has been going to one specific thing.
I created a budget and apparently the amount I budgeted for health is not nearly enough.
So, to make a long story short, I, Heather ran a race last year, April 2010. It wasn't even a long race. But,after that something happened to my legs. My IT band hurt all the time. My hamstrings hurt. Soon my feet hurt. Suddenly I couldn't wear flip flops or heels. Then my hips started to hurt. Before I knew it, I was in so much pain I could hardly walk a block, let alone run. I had been a runner my whole life and without warning I woke up realizing I had to plan my day revolving around how far my feet could go. I was diagnosed with a combination of plantar fascitiis and tendonitis and overly inflamed hips. But after a year, doctors are still confused over my symptoms and why I have not healed faster.
Needless to say I entered the exciting arena of the medical health professionals. Doctor visit after doctor visit. I gave up speed dating for "speed doctoring" and let me tell you, I know where the real raw experience is at now. So far I have seen a chiropractor, a physical therapist, an orthopedic, a nutritionist, massage therapist, a podiatrist and a nurse practitioner. The solutions they have given me vary a bit but most of them fall into these three categories:
1. Drugs (need I say more)
2. Referral ( aka "I think it's time for you to see a physical therapist for awhile"...)
3. Natural remedies (stretching, ice, vitamins, change diet, foam rolling, yoga )
The funny thing about these solutions is how they actually boil down to one simple solution to all of life's health problems:
Truth is, even with insurance, drugs are expensive. A massage therapist is pricy. And I had no idea how expensive it was to eat more healthy and invest in a whole slew of vitamins, fish oil, magnesium, calcium, Sublingual B-12,liquid mineral supplements, Floridex liquid iron among other things. And referrals end up being expensive depending on how many gadgets they want you to buy to "invest" in your health.
You always thought money couldn't buy happiness but it just might. After all happiness is about an experience and the experiences I have had are priceless. Like the day I had an apt with my new nurse practitioner for the first time. She asked if she could bring in a med student who was shadowing her for the day. How could I say no? But the minute he walked in I realized I should have said no. He was young (as in 20's and I wondered if he had ever seen real blood before by his innocent face) And second he was cute which made me feel more on edge. (and by cute I mean not even close to how cute my boyfriend is) The nurse decided to break the ice by asking about my sexual life and if I had any diseases. Next she asked about skin diseases. Lastly she asked for me to point to the picture on the wall of the poop that described me most. Poop 1. Poop 2. Poop 3. Poop 4. I looked over as the med. student sheepishly laughed. We ended our lovely time with her having me lay on the table while she asked if she could lift my shirt up. (Right) So the med student could see my abs and feel how tight my hips are. Dang are they tight. Yes. That's why I'm here.
My appointment with the orthopedic wasn't nearly as magical. She poked at my legs and feet for several minutes. Rambled off some possible diagnoses and finally said condescendingly and with as much bite as possible, "Do you have some kind of pain problem?"
"Yes. That's why I'm here" I said.
"Are you depressed?" she said.
"No", but the reality was, I was starting to feel rather depressed suddenly and ironically.
Even if I was severely depressed I was mortified by the way she approached such a subject. I felt bad for the rest of her patients and didn't go back to her.
My appointment with the podiatrist promised to be the answer if I could chuck out 500 for the orthotics. I am starting to believe if you just pay enough you could actually grow a new foot. I mean my colonoscopy was a couple thousand and I'm pretty sure they implanted a new ass for me. Then again I was on a lot of drugs and would have believed them if they said they gave me a sex change.
Within the last couple days, weeks, I have spent literally hundreds on new minerals and vitamins, new anti-inflammatory drugs, new shoes, blood work, new inserts, and x-rays. I have decided there has to be a better solution than spending money to heal (or to even cope for that matter) So here are my new solutions:
1. Become a cheetah. I would love to become a cheetah. Then I could run super fast and my feet wouldn't hurt. That's because I would have paws and they would be furry and I just feel like they would feel so much better. If doctors would recommend becoming a cheetah I think a lot of good could be done for those who have leg/foot injuries. Becoming a cheetah would be free of course because it's about the power of the mind. If you believe long enough, you would start to transform into a cheetah.
2. Grow wings. Who really needs to run if you can fly? I don't know why this hasn't been invented. I mean if surgeons perform face lifts, breast implants, and botox, you would think wings would be no biggie. Then we could get rid of cars and all this pollution. We could fly to work and school.
3. Invent a time travel machine. If doctors invented a time travel machine, I could go back and meet Jesus. I am convinced he would heal my feet and legs with one touch, one look. Of course if I went back far enough in time I would find I was a monkey and the whole "healing thing" was super unnecessary.
Even though these solutions are free, I think I've decided I would probably pay for these solutions. I think this type of experience is more what I'm looking for. I'm kind of over the stoic feeling of a big building, white walls and sterile environment.
If you have pain of any kind do share your top 3 solutions. We really need to start informing and educating the public health field!