Snap Crackle Pop

Last March, I made a stupid mistake. I chose the cheapest insurance plan my University offers, and I didn’t make use of the Health Savings Account. A mere two weeks after I signed that paperwork, I decided to finally pursue gastric bypass. I never claimed to be smart.

So my cheap risk-reward plan has a $1500 deductible and a $3500 out of pocket maximum for the year. I have an elaborate spreadsheet for tracking all of my medical expenses, and with things that are not covered by insurance (nutritionist, Dr. Jawad’s program fee, etc) the total out of pocket will total more like $4,200. Now, in light of the fact that some insurance plans don’t cover the surgery at all, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to spend just $4,200 on this procedure. I get how fantastic that is.

At the same time, it’s a lot of money for the household budget to handle. So since I’m investing so much money in self-care this year, I decided to go all out and really focus on my heath. Total health–not just the typical weight-related stuff.

So I finally went to see a chiropractor on Monday for the neck pain I’ve had since I was, oh I don’t know, TWELVE YEARS OLD. It has gotten progressively worse, and I was convinced I’d need spinal surgery or something. I’ve put off going to the chiropractor all these years using many excuses. I always thought that once I lost weight, my back would stop hurting and I half expected any chiropractor to say, “Of COURSE your back hurts, you idiot, do you KNOW how much you WEIGH?” But considering my recent 48-pound loss with absolutely no improvement, coupled with the fact I’m meeting all my insurance out of pocket costs already anyway, and also in light of the fact that I’ve lost all sense of shame in front of doctors, I finally bit the bullet.

Monday’s chiropractic appointment was my Favorite Doctor’s Appointment of All Time. There was no scale, no getting undressed, nothing weird or uncomfortable at all. I explained my neck and back pain to the doctor, and he said it has nothing to do with my weight. He said, and I quote, “It’s called life. Just living will get your spine out of alignment.” You mean it’s not my fault? I didn’t “do this to myself”? Gimme a kiss!

So anyway, Dr. Green popped my neck, worked on my spine, and then hooked up some electrodes to my back while I lay there falling asleep. It was heaven. I left feeling 4 inches taller and in absolutely no pain. I was given instructions to come in for treatments twice a week until the pain stops.

Sadly, once I left the office and started back into my daily routine, I felt my spine pop back into all the wrong positions. It’s not feelin’ so hot right now, but I have another treatment Friday morning and I know it will continue to get better. Now I’m trying to get my husband to go for his lower back pain, but even getting Lee to the dentist takes 5 rescheduled appointments and threats of teeth rotting out of his head. He has never been the first to volunteer for a medical appointment of any sort.

But all the care I’ve received this year leaves me feeling incredibly fortunate. I’m grateful for the job I have, thankful I work in the education industry which is known for generous benefits, thankful I live in this country, and thankful I can take the time off work to take care of my body. I can tell you this much: I will never go back to ignoring my body again. I love knowing what’s happening with my health, and being proactive about fixing the things that aren’t working. I feel healthy and strong, and I know it only gets better from here.

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