Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Updates -- Health

Hopefully, my foot injury is still healing. I loved all the kind words and advice I got from you all on Friday.
On Saturday, I walked a third of a mile before running two miles then walking again at the end. I think walking first helped.
I stopped and bought new shoes on Sunday, getting the exact same kind I had before. I didn't want to try anything new because I was happy with the previous pair and had just worn them out.
New shoes on my feet, on Monday, I walked and ran again. Plus, I took Sally's advice and found a yoga video online to do afterwards.
This morning, after walking at the beginning, I ran three miles without pain. Then I stretched with the yoga video. 
I'm not going to try to increase my mileage for a couple of weeks. I'm just going to run three miles on four or five days a week and keep track of my pain. Yes, my foot hurts  now as I move around the house doing laundry and vacuuming, (it's my day off) but I didn't have pain while I ran. That's an improvement in my book. 
It's probably hard for people in other countries to imagine why I wouldn't go to the doctor after a month of pain and inability to run, but those people probably aren't dealing with the U.S. health system. Unfortunately, it's gotten worse since the expansion of health care.
I am definitely in favor of health care for all and would prefer a single-payer method, similar to that in Europe. Maybe our health care here is only going to get worse before it gets better.
We've always had health care through my husband's insurance. It's something over $100 per week that they take from his paycheck to cover the five of us in our family. 
For a normal doctor appointment, we pay a $25 co-pay, which seems reasonable. 
If we want to go to a specialist, the co-pay is $40. 
We also have a medical spending account that sets aside $2500 per year to pay those co-pays, prescriptions, and other medical expenses. With five people, that money goes surprisingly fast. We've used it to pay for contact lens and dental work plus two surprise costs. 
My husband had a colonoscopy, which is supposed to be no cost since it is considered a screening. But they found a non-cancerous polyp and removed it during the procedure. That meant it was no longer a screening and we had to pay $600 for it. 
Grace's voice teacher was worried about her vocal cords. She wondered if she might have a nodule or if the cords hadn't grown together yet, as they do in the early 20s. Grace made an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist.
We paid the $40 co-pay for the specialist, and Grace spent about 10 minutes with the doctor who said Grace's vocal cords looked okay. She used a camera on the end of a wand to stick in Grace's mouth and get a picture of the vocal cords. 
We were really surprised when the bill for the doctor and the facility (which was a typical doctor's office) arrived. Our part was $650. Those two surprise costs ate up half of the money we had set aside for the year. 
Tucker also needs his wisdom teeth out this year, which I think runs around $900 for us. So medical costs really add up.
With an injury, I could go to the doctor, which would probably lead to physical therapy, but I can't really afford it. That's why I self-diagnosed. 
No matter what the doctor diagnosed, I figured rest would be the main treatment. 
I've had stress fractures before and they told me to rest it for six weeks. I've also been doing stretches in case it might be plantar fasciitis or an Achilles tendon.
I try not to turn down the kids when they feel like they need to go to the doctor, but I'm definitely more cautious for myself. The cost just makes it not worth the trip. 


Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Hope the yoga is helping. Don't do anything that actually hurts. If is pose causes pain don't do it or modify it. I do not go to doctors either....he would most likely recomend rest anyway. Good luck.

Linda said...

If your heel hurts and you can hardly walk on it when you get up, my diagnosis would be plantar fascitis. Shoe inserts help and very deep painful massage on the area. I had it and it was awful. Hope your foot is soon well.

Just Me said...

I totally get it. Sounds like a plan. Make note if flip flops aggravate the problem.

I'm much more thoughtful about using medical services. I'm still a little peeved that when I was actually sick a couple months ago, I could not get in to see my doctor. I can't even remember the last time I was sick enough to go to the doctor. So I had to go to the Urgent Care (in the same building) and my co-pay doubled to $60. After tax that's about a days work. I really lucked out and am very grateful that the one rx required no copay and the other was only $4. Our prescription drug program is another story all together. Ha!

Still you know me, it's the principle of the thing.

p.s. Make note if wearing flip flops aggravate the problem.

Jeanie said...

Glad you are beginning to heal but yuck. Feet injuries are the worst. I currently have a broken toe -- nothing too terrible but annoying with shoes!

And boy -- those medical bills are just screaming. I have great insurance with a low co-pay for most things but still with the deductible, it mounts up. My friend on his affordable health care program pays $22/month (and $20 copays). Sounds good but then, his income isn't great... always a balance...

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oh my word Paulita ,, that is so bad with your Health Care.

I still not sure how you manage to run 4 or 5 days a week ..maybe more rest would be the answer. But as a non runner I can only guess. Hope your foot improves very soon ,

Lucia said...

I feel for you. I couldn't imagine not having paid health care. As I'm from Canada it's paid for. My work health inusrance covered me when I plantar f. I went to see a chiropractor who hooked me up to ultra sound and electrodes. what a difference, I've been walking pain free for 3 years!!!

Lucia said...

P.S. the girls lost one game and won their second. At the hotel now get showered up. It's been a hot day, enjoy your shakespeare in the park!

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