Healthcare: The Struggle of Health and Wealth

There is something to be said of living a life of ignorance, as long as your world is chugging along who really cares what happens to the rest of it.  I am guilty of living a life of ignorance for a long time, for many years there really wasn’t much to bother with.  It’s now been a year since I made my little life changing decision and I’m even coming up on a year working at one of the two jobs that I started afterwards.  During that year and the struggles that came with it a lot of the things that I didn’t care much for in the past were things that started bugging me in the present.  One of the biggest things that really bothered me was healthcare and the lack of real good healthcare options

During my earlier years I was getting paid enough to not let it bother me what was being taken out of my salary for healthcare.  You almost have to plead ignorance when a 2 percent raise is countered by a 5 percent health care hike.  Perhaps the biggest problem is that for the most part I never used any of that healthcare money since I only went to the doctor if I was really sick which was at worst once a year.  In hindsight I’m thankful for that of course, but no one cares that you were healthy and didn’t use any of that healthcare money, you never see it again.

So when your out of work and in need of healthcare later in life what are you hit with? Large premiums, high costs, high deductibles and not much else, in fact what we realized was that if we had no insurance at all the bills we had to pay would actually cost us less!

Thankfully around the time when things started to be too much and the thought of either the cost of buying healthcare or just taking the government penalty at the end of the year were a debate I was offered healthcare at one of my two jobs.  It was then that the job I was working at part time became a full time gig since going full time cut the cost of the healthcare in half.  Maybe some day it’ll be dubbed the move that saved my life.

If you know me you’ll know that I’m not always the most relaxed guy in the room and most people would probably think that my blood pressure would pop at times, how true they’d be.  On my last visit to the doctor I found out that indeed I do have high blood pressure, finally a reason for my insanity.  I don’t know much about what numbers are good or bad (well I do now) but when I told my wife what the number was at the doctors her reply was “holy shit”.

HealthcareThere is a history of high blood pressure in my family so it’s not a surprise but my mother will tell me that because of my personality I’m probably at a higher risk.  This makes high blood pressure my first big after 40 present.  It also means that since the last time I went to the doctor he put me on Omeprazole for my stomach issues I am now taking two pills a day.  Taking one pill a day was a chore for me to remember now that I’m taking two I of course have an app to remind me to take them (I’m using Medisafe in case your wondering).

Actually being diagnosed with high blood pressure was actually a relieve in some ways, I knew something wasn’t right I just had no idea what it was.  It also helps to understand what the risks are and what I should and shouldn’t be doing.  Thankfully neither of my jobs are very stressful but it’s still up to me to manage the stress in my life.  Taking time to enjoy the things I can and spend time with my kids and be involved when I can helps as well.

Today I really am trying to take it much easier than I was before since it’s now something in the back of my mind all the time.  Taking my pressure every morning at least to see where I am at is now part of the routine.  I’ve even started dabbling in meditation and relaxation, and my fish tank helps with that a little.

I’m thankful now that we have decent insurance and maybe it’s not the most glamorous job but it helps where it counts.  the other day at work a customer who is dealing with much bigger problems than mine said to me “stay healthy and get regular doctor checkups”.  I guess you never know where the best advice will come from next, you just have to take it.