I will start this by saying I completely understand how money works.
I understand living paycheck to paycheck, I know it may not seem like I do, but before my shift in mentality I had no savings and more bills than cash.
Please do not dismiss any of these options based on lack of money,
creativity can stretch a budget immensely!
In my case, I was paying $62/week for health insurance. My deductible was $250. I was healthy and not on any medications. My only issues were excessive sweating and a pinched nerve in my shoulder. I needed a few blood tests to figure out what the sweating issue was and I wanted to try acupuncture for my shoulder. I found out acupuncture was not covered under my (and many) insurance plans. I got the blood tests and paid the deductible out of pocket. When my results came back my Doctor suggested I get more blood tests to further investigate the cause. Unfortunately, this all took place at the end of the year so I was responsible for the deductible once again. I decided to wait and try to save that money before scheduling the tests. Before I was able to save the money my deductible was raised to $1000!
I felt so helpless! I was paying a minimum of 10% of my paycheck on health insurance but wasn’t able to use it for what I wanted (acupuncture) or needed (blood tests). After much deliberation and number crunching I canceled my health insurance. It was the scariest thing I’d done in a while; I still had 6 months until open enrollment, 6 months to stay safe and healthy.
I’m happy to say that I have been living without insurance for just about 2 years and I couldn’t be happier! I got my blood tests done again, however because now I was an “indigent patient” I was given a form from my Doctor saying I was entitled to a 50% discount making my tests cost $120 this time around. (Even better, the results came back perfect now that I had been off a certain medication for 12 months!) As for the pain in my shoulder, I tried a couple of routes which I will explain over these next couple of articles.
I’ll start with Chiropractic because
most insurance companies now cover the treatments.
In each of my experiences (once when I was 16, again at 23 and once more at the age of 30) the first visit consisted of basic range-of-motion tests and x-rays followed by a consultation describing the course of treatment. Each time it was requested that I return 3 times a week over the course of many months (upwards of 4). The treatments I received from the first two doctors were different from the last one so I will describe them both.
The first two chiropractors would lay me on my stomach on a flat table (similar to a massage table), they’d ask me to take a deep breath in and then as I exhaled they would press down on my spine, which would crack each vertebra in the area – this would be repeated for my lower and upper back. Then, laying on my side with my knees tucked, they would rotate my body slightly, breath in, pressure on the exhale causing the cracking along the length of my spine – repeated on both sides. Lastly I would sit up and while cradling my head in their hands, breath in, and on the exhale they would twist my neck in a manner similar to what you see people doing in the movies to break someone’s neck – CRACK! And again on the other side.
None of this would hurt, it actually felt rather nice, imagine cracking your tight knuckles. After the adjustment I would be taken in to another room where I would lay face down with my shirt pulled up exposing my bare flesh. Electrodes were attached and small waves of electricity were sent to correct my muscles’ problematic movement compensation. You can read more about ARP treatments here.
During my visit to the 3rd doctor, I did not receive the ARP treatments, nor did I ask why. It had been almost 10 years since the last time I was in a chiropractor’s office and I noted how things changed. Other than the lack of ARP, the table had been replaced with what is called a “drop table”, basically the Dr. positions a part of the table up a little higher and going through the same breath in and pressure on the exhale, the table would drop back down to it’s original position and he’d start over with another area. He didn’t lay me on my side and he took about 3 visits before he cracked my neck. (But I was there for different pain than in my younger years.)
All in all, chiropractic therapy helped with my immediate pain but I never completed the entire course of treatments so I cannot comment on it’s effectiveness.
My rundown of my experiences with chiropractic treatment
and my personal conclusions:
- As a child I was excited for a non-traditional route however I quickly came to regard it as a money-making scheme due to the excessive amount of recommended treatments and the lack of immediate results.
- As a young adult I was receiving treatments for free (I was working as the nanny for the Doctor’s children), even still, after lack of expected results I stopped receiving treatment within the first 10.
- As an adult I went for 5 adjustments before I ran out of money and stopped once again.
- Although my immediate pain had subsided, I didn’t trust that chiropractic was the cure I was seeking.
- I know it was my responsibility to remain to the end if I wanted to see results, but I was not convinced it was worth the money. I went on to research other holistic remedies for chronic pain which lead me to acupuncture.[/list]
[button color=”#eeeddc” background=”#315e62″ size=”large” src=” http://lifebyyourownrules.com/acupuncture/”%5DComing Soon: Acupuncture[/button]