Spending Money on My Own Health

Updated on October 06, 2011
M.. asks from Schenectady, NY
11 answers

so my husband and I make decent money, but in today's economy, I find that we are struggling to make ends meet. With car payments, student loans, two kids in daycare, two in diapers, one on formula, and every day living, we have money to get us through the end of the month, but not enough to really save anything.

I feel like I go through this once every other month. At this time, I am not going to be getting a raise any time soon and my husband may get a new position next fall, but it isn't a done deal. If he did, we would be doing great. But for now we are just paying bills and making ends meet and hoping that it gets better soon.

The problem right now is that I have a genetically messed up back. The spine in my neck is straight up (not curved like it is suppose to be) and causes a lot of pain and burning in my neck and upper shoulders. I have scoliosis which has slightly progressed over the last couple years and causes an S curve in my mid back. And my hips are not lined up so that causes lower back dull pains as well as knee pain and just over all uncomfortableness. My mother’s back is 100x worse than mine. She was 5’8” but now she is 5’3” and has a lot of pain and has spent a lot of money on this problem.

I have found a wonderful chiropractor that I really believe could help me, but even with insurance and their payment plans, with as often as I should be going, it will cost me $240/ month for the first year. Then it will come down. Can we truly afford this? Not sure. Some months I would say that we could find the money and be ok. Other months, I would say- I will be surprised if we can afford gas to get to work.

Even with a decent budget and no crazy credit card bills (some but they aren’t that bad)- there are always unexpected expenses every month and it seems like if I lock myself into this, I could be totally screwing us in a couple months. But if I pay as I go, I will be spending and absolute fortune in the beginning and know that I will stop right away because of the cost upfront.

What should I do?

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answers from Dover on

That sounds pretty high to me also. Can you possibly "shop around" a bit more & look for another office maybe?

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answers from Albany on

Pain management is a NEED not a WANT. Least the way I see it. Like food. A person should not live in pain. It's oppressive and effects your mood, your relationships, everything.

Please be kinder to yourself and try the chiro. To me, this is worth even debt.

Feel better, enjoy life. No more suffering, k?


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answers from Richmond on

You only have one back... and you're going to be out of commission forEVER if you don't take care of yourself. It might hurt the wallet, but honestly, I think you're better off taking care of this NOW, before you need a metal plate in your back. Imagine how long that will take you out of you need surgery? I'm not just talking about the cost of corrective surgery, I mean, your husband would have to take time off work to care for you, you'd need to hire a babysitter or nanny and possibly even a housekeeper... it would cost you so much more in the long run. I'd take the loss and take preventative measures NOW.

As mom's, it's so hard for us to spend big money on ourselves. For me, I have to get my abs fixed before I have serious medical issues. When I get my tax return, I'm going to swallow my guilt and get these repaired before I REALLY screw everyone over.

Take care of yourself sweetie!! Your family needs you to :)

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answers from Dallas on

I was a Chiropractic Assistant. GOOD chiropractors, do not lock you into treatment times. Chiropractic care should NOT cost $240 a month!! How many times a week would you be going? What treatments is he doing? Is he manually adjusting you, using spinal decompression, or other machines? What is included in that cost? He should have given you a short term treatment plan to help the immediate symptom, pain. Then, you should be regrouping after that, and deciding a treatment plan. Has he even adjusted you, yet? If not, how in the world is he coming up with arbitrary treatment plans and numbers? Are there x-rays, teaching you at home therapies, giving you practical tools when you aren't in his office, suggesting what treatments he plans to do over the course of this time, etc?? Has he ever mentioned who he would refer you to, should your back problem be too severe for his treatments, if you aren't responding to them after a while? Has he given an outlines as to what treatments he will be doing, WHY, and what he will do if they won't work? Has he suggested physical therapy, or muscle therapy, as well? Your muscles in your back will be atrophied in certain places, because of your spine being in an incorrect position. The only way for your spine, disks, vertebrae to stay in a proper position, are for those muscles to be built up, so that they can support the new positions. Otherwise, they will constantly slip back into their old position.

I agree with Theresa, your pain treatment is a NEED. However, I think you should get second opinions from other Chiropractors. Do your research. You need to be out of pain, but make sure it's someone who REALLY wants to help YOU, not their pocket book.

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answers from Burlington on

I have mild scoliosis and knots in my muscles. They used to be worse. I used to go to the chiropractor. I discovered that those problems were the result of food intolerances. Gluten seems to be the main culprit. Before I had my blood tested I ate pizza for supper, french toast for breakfast, and pizza for lunch. Then I had my blood tested. Results came back negative for gluten problem. But! After I had my blood tested, I stopped eating gluten grains. Three days later I woke up not in pain! For two weeks before that I woke up everyday in so much pain that I HAD to get up. Three days after not eating gluten, no pain. With wheat and other gluten grains out of the way, I discovered that I still had problems. I had a hard time figuring out what was causing me discomfort in my back and in my gut. What has helped A LOT is the paleo diet.

I lost a lot of weight trying to figure out what I COULD eat. I found this diet to be the most in line with what my body can handle. I do have problems with some nuts, milk, etc., but it makes sense to eat real food as opposed to industrialized "food." Be sure to eat plenty of raw food too.
I gained back some weight because I had lost too much trying to figure out what didn't make me feel lousy.

I felt like I went through a mild case of withdrawl when I started eating differently. I felt slightly queasy for a few mornings, but that went away quickly. I am much healthier now. Still recovering, but feel and look a lot better.

A friend of mine tried going gluten-free and discovered she no longer needed her medication for Graves Disease. A period of stress in her life made her need to take medication again, but after that stressful time passed, she was medication-free again. She doesn't follow the paleo diet, just gluten-free.

I also suggest getting plenty of exercise. Nice long walks.

Good luck! : )

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answers from Victoria on

wait a yr until your hubby gets that promotion. in the mean time set aside $240 a month as if you were actually paying the bill. that way you already have it saved and if there is a month where you dont know if your going to have gas to get to work...skip the monthly savings and use it for gas. I also suggest a dave ramsey class.

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answers from Dallas on

You need to get your back treated because it will only get worse. Can you get rid of one car payment by getting rid of a car and then buying a cheap one off of craigslist? Can you get less expensive diapers? Switch your formula baby to real milk soon? Get rid of cable tv? Stop eating out? You may have already done some of these things - my husband and I are able to save alot of money by driving older cars with no car payments.

Is a chiropractor the best bet for your back? It seems like your regular medical doctor should be able to refer you to someone who would be covered by insurance. Scoliosis is a real medical condition so it seems that there should be some treatments for it that are covered by insurance.

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answers from Dallas on

Daily swimming can keep scoliosis in check for even moderate cases. There are many places that you can swim year round for little cost. Check you city and schools that have indoor swimming pools to see what the expense would be to swim if you don't belong to a gym. Many health insurance plans cover gym membership, and people don't realize this.
A rheumatologist may be able to help with the aches and pains, and be covered by your insurance. There may be something else causing your pain like fibromyalgia. Daily walking keeps my hips in balance. (My legs are different lengths, and my hips end up tilted) Chiro could never last in keeping my hips balanced, but 1/2 hour of moderate-speed (3 m.p.h.) walking keeps them balanced. You will have to keep active, even though you are in pain. It is difficult, but you will eventually reach a point where you feel better being active than being inactive. Good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

Sorry things are so rough right now and hope it gets betters. You're the mom, the back bone to your family. You need to take care of you! Can your parents/inlaws help in anyway? Good luck to you...



answers from Kansas City on

I'm a chiropractor in Kansas City, and while I believe in the value of chiropractic care & know that (based on what you've shared) it could be of great benefit to you... that just seems like way too much care to me. I see people with chronic pain issues, and no one pays that much--- or comes in often enough to generate a bill like that--- even if they are paying 100% of their bill.

I agree with the others who say to shop around. You should be able to find a chiro who can help you without so many visits (I'm assuming that's why the bill is so high... 3x/week for 1-3 months, 2x/week for 1-3 months, etc.)

I also agree that you should be a priority. It seems to me that you should be able to find a great chiropractor that fits into your budget.

Good luck!



answers from St. Louis on

Have you tried laying flat on the floor with a rolled up towel under your neck for a little while each day? it helped with me after I had been in a car accident and broken my neck. I realize it isn't the same but they told me it would help it heal without the neck going straight after the whiplash etc.
Also have you tried in home daycare instead of regular daycare? It may be cheaper. Just a thought. When I do in home care I base it on what the parents can afford to pay, usually $30 a day for one and $10 for the second for all day, but its all negotiable.

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