By: Revanche

Health makes wealth?

August 15, 2006


Three weeks ago I started going to a yoga class that a few friends were going to try. The relief has been incredible. I’ve been able to go without a couple of my daily pain medications that had become routine substitutes for pain and stress relief.
[I know, bad, I didn’t like the idea either.] I’m saving money on those prescriptions and who knows? Maybe the condition that those meds were prescribed for will improve as well! Ok, maybe not but still, it’s a far better treatment for my aches and pains than the “take three, call me next month” routine my doc and I had going.

If I break it down, purely financially, then I think this is the more expensive out of pocket route:

Yoga: approximately $8 per class, once a week.
vs
Meds: $30-$40 once every three months, plus a $10 copay for the bimonthly visit.

Total:
Yoga: $88 for three months
vs
Meds: $50 for three months

However, the intangible benefits are more difficult to measure. How much is not having a funny taste in your mouth worth? How much would you pay to learn how to ward off the physical symptoms of stress rather than popping a pill when they start manifesting? Let’s say it’s worth $5 for a major stressor, $2 for a minor stressor. At that rate, I could “afford” to be stressed or upset 2 major and 4 minor times, or 3 major and 2 minor times in three months before yoga broke even.
I’m going to guesstimate that Yoga will break even in two days. Tops.

Here’s my real math problem for this post:
Can I afford to go twice a week AND take MaDucky with me one of those two days? Obviously I’d be paying her shot. Yes, it’s a luxury to take the class twice AND add MaDucky to the bill, it’s just that … well …. I take that class to get away from everything. That includes family and family problems. I’m concerned about her health too, but am not willing to completely sacrifice my only relaxation time.

I’ll lose an hour of overtime per day that I leave *early* to go to this class, so I’ll lose that if I just don’t work on the train. Again, I break even working on the commute home twice a week. I’m planning to take up that second class when the next session starts, in about three weeks. The second class will be the one I bring MaDucky too.
It’ll cost $88-90 for the both of us for the next 6 weeks, due in early Sept. [It’ll go on my credit card of course, but I don’t use the card as a crutch, it’s just a halfway house for my finances – a means for me to make a little extra on the side.]

Hm, at $15/week, that’s about $60 out of my personal budget, leaving me $30. Or I could split it between my medical and personal budget, my half is medical and MaDucky’s is personal.

In any case, my point is that if the yoga classes ultimately relieve the pain and discomfort long-term then the amount of money I’ve been spending on medications and doctors’ visit will decrease annually, and I will not have to continue spending on new medications to treat the almost inevitable conditions that will arise secondary to the main condition.

Case in point: the stress became so intense at one point that my eyesight was compromised. The optometrist said that the condition of my eyes were such that I needed bifocals. $280 later, I don’t even use those glasses anymore. What a waste!

***As I’m writing this I realize that I’ve been positively negligent when it comes to tracking my expenses, just depending on knowing vaguely what my allowances are. Considering how well that’s NOT going, either I return to the daily/monthly budget sheets, or I create yet another fund for the bigger expenses like travel and miscellaneous expenses like dog and driver’s licenses.

2 Responses to “Health makes wealth?”

  1. Kira says:

    You need something for yourself – unless you’ve already promised to take your mom, you should just go by yourself. As you said, you’re getting away from the stress of life and family, and taking some family along means you’re not getting away from it!

  2. I honestly hear the “Gimmes” in my head so frequently that I almost feel like I AM getting *me stuff*. I know, my psychology makes no sense.

    Taking two classes, and her to one of them, is my compromise. I still get one class to myself, while getting her out of the house and doing something healthy.

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