Health vs. $$$

Thursday, February 11, 2016

 

I'm sure if you're a living, breathing human reading this, you've heard something like this before: "You have nothing if you don't have your health", "money spent on your health is not wasted", "buy this product, it's scientifically proven to make you healthier", blah blah blah. Every day we are faced with decisions on which products to buy, which system to support, what diet to live by, what exercise program to start, etc. We are aggressively targeted on television and in the media to look a certain way, eat a certain way, and if that isn't working, buy a certain drug to cover up the problem. The business of "health" is booming indeed. 

 

Many are aware of the certain hot button words like "healthy", "organic", "free-range", "scientifically proven", and my personal favorite: "natural". Going to the grocery store lately has become a long endeavor for me, as I scour the incredient lists and take photos of new brands to research later. If you've read my previous post, then you know shopping has become even more complicated, now that I'm eliminating yet another facet of the food industry. Or at least, I'm trying to...

 

This weekend I was struggling to find a topic for a blog but everything has sort of escalated into today's grocery store trip. Firstly, my experiment: the vegan/paleo 2/3rds thing. Did it work? Yeah... pretty well. I mostly succeeded at maintaining a protein intake that included alternatives of meat, completely banned eggs and bacon, and ate plenty of vegetables, and enjoyed it! Challenges were financial first and foremost, and I dipped into my emergency stash of Top Ramen due to a lack of funds and lack of food. My anemia symptoms also returned within 6 days. Worst of all, I got sick, which I don't completely attribute to the diet change because it's going around at school, but I can't deny my immune system was weakened.

 

The anemia symptoms were a big blow to this master plan, but I'm determined to give it another go and to try to remember to take iron when necessary. I also got a check this week so no more starving, just getting more creative. Money. An enormous issue in the quest for health food, and I'm putting on my battle helmet to get my brain working on more ideas to save money. Let's attack this problem and fix it!

 

Speaking of fixing problems, I spent some extra time with my fiance this weekend and we attended a seminar at a local chiropractor's office. This chiropracter claimed to be different, featuring massages and x-rays and in-depth diagnosis of the "diseased-state" we were unknowingly living in. My fiance had been to a couple sessions in the last week to get a real idea of how to treat his posture and back/shoulder pain, but he was required to attend this seminar. What's more is upon finding out he had a dearly beloved, the chiropractor suggested I skip school to attend this thing (really????) so I could better support him. 

 

Well lucky for this office, getting sick kept me from focusing in class and I decided that I might as well join him on his chiropractic journey with this new office. They immediately made me feel welcome and excited about helping my man with his recovery, all while getting some recovery myself when I had the insurance. To be fair, I would just like to say that everything discussed in the seminar was spot on. He showed the statistics about the reality of our American Capitalist Healthcare system (treat the crisis, get them back to work) and he showed how research about posture has gone largely ignored in the grand scheme of health related issues such as heart disease, cancer, and rehabilitation. 

 

After being introduced to all of these findings, seeing my fiance's x-rays and practically being guilted into participating in a 6 month program, we got the estimate for the bill. Both of our jaws dropped. Even with the enormous "savings" included, it was still going to cost us $3,000 when previously he had been paying close to nothing with his fantastic insurance policy.

 

Immediately I felt that it was necessary for him to still go through with this and to drop any worry about the wedding costs. This was his health! This was important! He was in a "diseased state" and must be cured! Thankfully, seeing a little more sense than me at the time, he requested to wait a day to think it over (much to the annoyance of the office). After hopping in the truck and recovering from the shock of it all, he convinced me round. What was I doing?! This was the same scheme that drug companies pull on everyone else and I had fallen for it!

 

We both admitted to feeling rather "duped" by it all and came home pretty dissapointed in the experience, but eventually, talked ourselves into reason. Yes, we were sacrificing an excellent (albeit pricey) service to our health for our wedding costs and we were both unimpressed with the shady salesman-like pitch of this chiropractic office. Yes, were letting money get "in the way" of our health. Yes, I didn't buy the organic bananas today simply because they were too expensive. We aren't perfect.

 

Money is a huge issue, and I feel like this battle is long from (if ever being) over. Having a strong inner sense of priorities is the best way to guide myself through these life decisions, but I can learn along the way. You can bet that after this weekend I'll be working a lot harder to improve my posture! But I think the best thing I can say after all of this is that I make my choices, and now I'm going to live with them. That's all we can do. We must make educated decisions about our finances and about our health, and we must live with the consequences.

 

If you are struggling or going through something similar, I'd love any thoughts or advice you have! Please feel free to shoot questions or comments or shares to my email: carlysmashesivory@gmail.com

 

Stay strong, stay fierce and empower!

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