In early December 2014 I went to the doctor for a twinge. Fifty-six days, two surgeries and countless tests later I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I could recount for you all the co-pay and medication costs, but let’s talk about all the things I bought that insurance doesn’t come close to covering:
- $99 – Parking for my various medical appointments thus far.
- $16 – Two Peapod delivery fees because I was bedridden several times over the course of that month and a half.
- $26 – Surgery preparation items from CVS: Gatorade and laxatives—breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions.
- $8 – Post-surgery incidentals: Sitz bath salts and extra gauze. My mom bought these while I sat high in my apartment. Then she went to Dunkin’ Donuts for a coffee before feeding her daughter who had not eaten in 39 hours.
- $35 – Panera bagels and cream cheese. I lost my appetite completely, except for bagels, so I drove there in my pajamas with a fever and then ate half of a blueberry bagel standing at their counter, spooking the cashier.
- $24/mo. – Over-the-counter meds prescribed by my doctor.
- $3 and then $10 – For a pillbox, and then a larger one when I realized just how many pills I’d be popping.
- $35 – For a Craigslister to come shovel my car out after snowstorm number two because I was grossly fatigued.
- $30 – For a different Craigslister to come shovel my car out after snowstorm number three because I was grossly fatigued.
- $17 – Thank you gift card to my nurse friend who answered all my weird texts like, “Would it be bad to take oxycodone while doing colonoscopy prep?” in a timely and non-judgmental manner.
- $40 – Wash and fold services. I got fevers every night for weeks. This resulted in a lot of sweaty clothes. Not having the energy to go to the laundromat, I ended up visiting a wash-and-fold way more than I would have normally. (Side note, is it weird to bring your own detergent to a wash and fold if say, the detergent they’re using isn’t strong enough to get the sexy fever smell out?)
- $9 – Bubble bath, as to make my medically necessary baths seem less like medical necessities and more like luxuries.
Money I Should Have Spent
I should have ordered delivery food more. It seems like such a luxury to me, but I should’ve ordered whatever food I wanted the second I craved it. My appetite was fleeting at best and I should’ve entertained it better.
I should have bought food at the hospital cafeteria between appointments. Thirty times I should have done this. What on earth is the matter with me?
I should have done more wash-and-fold visits.
I should have hired a cleaner for my apartment, even just once. I was too tired to wash dishes, and I’m one of those people who gets anxious when things are messy. I got so stressed about not being able to wash up the toothpaste smudges on my sink and rock salt stains on my floor and bagel crumbs on my rug. I should have realized that $100 was worth the peace of mind I lost during those weeks.
Having Crohn’s means I’ll probably end up in a mess like this again sometime in the future. But next time, I’ll hopefully remember it’s worth it to throw money at the problem.
This post originally appeared on TheBillfold.
More from TheBillfold:
- New York on $70 a Week
- Talking to Millennials Who Just Bought Their First Home
- Marriage as a Strategic Life-Planning Decision