Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Tracking my efforts to beat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), aka CFIDS, aka CFS

Monday, January 30, 2012

10 ways ME actually **saves** me money

Ridiculously Optimistic Bright-Side Post #1

Every once is a while, I begin to worry about the cost of all my dietary supplements.  On top of that, I remember all the doctor's office co-pays and prescription co-pays and it starts to stress me a little.

At times like that, I have to remember that life before ME was undoubtedly more expensive.  I challenge other PWME's to think about how expensive their lives were before ME.  Here are just a few of the costs of my former lifestyle that have been reduced or eliminated -- which more than make up for the additional expenses.  (I do understand that many PWME's are unable to work, and that certainly complicates finances, to put it mildly.  But for now, I want to look at the expense side of the equation only.)

1.  Liquor   Order a bottle of wine at a restaurant and sometimes it's half your bill.  Even a glass of house wine is sometimes $10 or more.  A 12 pack of any decent beer runs $20.  Not a problem for me anymore.

2.  Fancy coffee drinks.  My days of ordering $5 venti cappuccinos or $4 chai lattes are over.  My doctor said, "nix the caffeine."  And you know what?  I don't really miss it.

3.  Other beverages.  They say that restaurants make their profits from beverage sales: sodas, lemonades, teas, sparking water.  Well, not from me anymore.  I'm not supposed to have any drink that's sweetened with anything other than stevia.  So now I drink only water at restaurants.

4.  Travel costs.  I don't drive as much because fewer activities are "on the table."  My wife and I have also gotten better about asking friends to come to us.  With gas prices averaging about $4/gal in California, this saves a ton.  It also puts less wear and tear on my car.

5.  Recreational costs.  Personally, I had a bad habit of spending (some would say, frivolously) on upgrading my sports equipment.  I always seemed to be shopping for a newer and better surfboard or snowboard.  At $500 to $800 apiece, this wasn't a cheap hobby.  Not to mention the cost of ski lift tickets (around $80/day).  Don't get me wrong, I'd return to my former lifestyle in a heartbeat if I could, but at least I'm spending less money.

6.  Gym membership.  There's $40 per month ($480/yr) more in my bank account.

7.  Desserts.  Whether it's ice cream sandwiches from the freezer at home, or $12 creme brulee at restaurants, I don't eat them anymore.

8.  Entertainment.  I'm certainly not cutting entertainment out of my life, but I probably won't be going to as many public concerts or movies, especially if I'm in the middle of a crash.

9.  Other healthcare costs.  The changes I've made to my diet will most likely avoid other health complications as I grow older.  My diet before ME was truly atrocious, but I hadn't yet realized it.  I believe it would have eventually led to other health problems.

10.  Impulse purchases.  In general, I'm much less likely to be "out shopping," and so less likely to make one of those foolish impulse purchases that I'd regret later: like a rice cooker or a ridiculous looking track jacket.

I'm sure there are more, but these 10 alone are more than enough to offset the cost of supplements and co-pays.  So I'm not going to worry about it any more.  Besides, what could be a more worthy expense than something to benefit one's health?  Now I understand why my grandparents always said, "...the important thing is you have your health."


  1. Patrick, this totally amused me because I've had the very same sort of thought. In my case, I used to be a total I live in pajamas.

    By the way, I found you from Alyson's CFIDS Blog. Sorry to be welcoming you to this world, but welcome anyway. Maybe you'd like to check out my post for the newly diagnosed?


  2. Jocelyn, thanks for the welcome. I'm on my way to check out your post for the newly diagnosed riiiiight........NOW.

  3. hey patrick, great post. i like how you put a positive spin on a miserable situation!

    this is something that probably many female patients can relate to, but i probably have the most savings from ditching most of my former beauty regimen and personal trainer sessions (plus gym fees):

    hair cuts
    teeth whitening
    manis, pedis

    a lot of that stuff is too toxic for me to continue (as frequently as I used to) or it's a what's-the-point? kind of thing when you hardly leave the house.

    i also no longer worry about whether my purse matches my shoes. and speaking of shoes: heels are no longer needed.

    but unlike in your case, my health care costs have sky-rocketed despite the fact that we the best of the best insurance plans.

  4. Great post Patrick, way to stay positive! I have unfortunately sometimes gone the opposite. I have come to the habbit of buying things on line. Stuff I didn't use to buy like expensive boots with heal which just makes me laugh as I can barely walk a straigt line. Guess it's my way of rebellion against things I can no longer do. Like I even go out anymore to show things like that off! Best of luck and keep trying. Tracy Waechter

  5. Tracy,

    Yes, the temptation of internet shopping. I know it well now and its pull is getting worse., or all the savings will be lost.

  6. shoot, i commented this morning, but was on a hotel network, so it seems like it didn't go through.

    a (very) abbreviated version of my comment: great post, patrick. i like the way you put a positive spin on the misery.


  7. Patrick check out Jeannette's blog when you can. She is awsome!!

    1. Tracy, I was on it the minute you posted that. Funny. Thanks though!