Net Worth Week 15 – Dental Pain Edition

Gentle Readers,

There’s been a slight setback in my finances due to some pain issues I’m trying to take care of.  It’s been a physically painful week in my house. I had my semi-annual dental cleaning and learned the reason for some of my jaw pain – I have a new wisdom tooth that is stuck inside for the next six months at least. My chronic, undiagosed back pain also grew much worse. My physician won’t even look at the body parts I complain about so I’ve been pursuing some alternative healing methods. I have an acupuncture and massage appointment this weekend to try to help with this pain until I can find a new doctor. This will cost me roughly $100 because I’ve found places I trust that give really good deals. Hopefully my back approves. I miss being able to run. My girlfriend misses me not being in constant pain.

I initiated a balance transfer on the 15th and it went through today. My old Barclay Card missed me and offered me zero percent financing until next July. I intend to pay it off before then, and it will be a lot easier when it is not earning interest. Thank you, to YETInvesting for talking me through the process and encouraging me. Hopefully this will help my debt reduction process.

I would be delighted if you read my entry to win a trip to FinCon. I’d love to meet y’all.

I still love Earnest and credit them with my ability to conquer some of this debt.

Date 7/1/16 7/8/2016 7/15/2016 7/22/2016
Joy 1099 1099 1099  1099
Travel 323 323 323 323
Down Payment  19 19 19 19
retirement  21 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  2002 2002 2002 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1929 863 746  897
IRA  9580 9653 9894  9908
Brokerage  324 329 335  337
CC (largest)  0 0 0  -4791
CC (longest)  0 0 0  -529
Rewards Card  -5675 -5247 -4862  0
SL 1  -102482  -102258 -102374 -102489
SL 2  -45112  -45010 -45062 -45115
Earnest  -9328 -8878 -8897 -8915
-$147222 -$147006 -$146678 -$147156
  .35% change .14% change .22% change  -.32% change

Have medical issues ever set you back financially?

Author: ZJ Thorne

Lesbian on the path to Financial Freedom

  • Yay! I’m so glad the balance transfer went through. I knew it would, but still… 🙂 I’m sure it will help a lot over the next year. At the very least, you won’t feel like you keep getting punched in the face by interest as you’re trying to move forward and get it paid off. You are so sweet for the shout-out, too.

    I’m sorry to hear about your pain! That’s awful. The medical industry is so gun-shy about prescribing pain meds, too. It makes it really tough. My uncle is having the same problem. He has a serious medical issue that has required two surgeries so far, and Kaiser actually sent him a letter saying that he’s on the list as a possible substance abuser because of the pain meds he’s needed just over the past couple of months. Ridiculous. And so shaming, too. I get that pain med addiction is serious and they’re trying to combat it, but wow, if that doesn’t make you feel awful to get a letter like that.

    I hope things look up for you soon! If you don’t win the trip to FinCon, maybe you should KickStarter this thing. I’d kick in a few bucks for you to be able to come.

    • I also was super clear with my PCP that I don’t want any pain meds. I’ve done too much work with people with addiction. That shit is scary. I just want some idea of why my body hurts so damn much. I used to be a marathoner. Now I can’t run. I’m grateful for my acupuncturist, he takes my pain seriously and strangely it works. Has not gotten to the root of the problem, but it makes me feel so much better.

      That is very kind of you. I feel weird about KickStarters. I support them when there’s a tangible thing to create, but my desire to do something just does not seem like a thing I should ask for money for. I’m stubborn like that.

  • Finance Superhero

    So sorry to hear about your painful ailments, ZJ. I dealt with some severe wisdom tooth pain earlier this spring. Initially, I thought I had developed a cavity or perhaps needed a root canal on an adjacent molar. X-rays revealed that the wisdom tooth was causing problems, so one week later I had my remaining wisdom teeth and one out of place molar removed. The pain was so severe that I ended up taking Norco and Aleve on a rotating schedule. Fortunately, I had unused HSA funds that covered the remaining balance after dental and health insurance.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • My dental pain is mainly because the wisdom tooth is moving my other teeth around. The whole right side of my mouth is re-arranged, which is extra unfortunate because I have TMJ and use a nightguard that is far less effective now. I’ll need to replace the nightguard once my mouth is sorted, but the wisdom tooth is so high up (two years ago when my other three were removed they told me I did not have a fourth) that it would be more expensive and painful to attempt to remove it now. Six more months of pain and of my nightguard not working, which will be its own pain. Such an expensive mouth. And the dentist really thinks I need braces after the wisdom tooth comes out to try to relieve some of the TMJ. I should have taken out an insurance policy on my mouth.

      I’m glad that they could ease your pain without a root canal. Eek!

  • Dollar Engineer

    Damn that’s rough ZJ. Why won’t your physician help you out and take a look at what’s causing you pain? That’s gotta be annoying to say the least. But, good step getting a balance with 0% interest for a full year, that’s great.
    Anyway I hope you feel better soon!

    • It’s really common for doctors to ignore women’s pain. So common that my friend had cancer that went undiagnosed because her doctor ignored her symptoms because she is overweight.

      Clearly, I’m trying to find a new doctor, but I have little hope of finding one who will listen when I talk.

      If my acupuncture and massage this weekend don’t help enough, I’m planning on paying for a concierge medical practice available in my city. It will take money, but they actually understand queer people’s health risks without judgment and they are good about respecting patient time. I’ve heard nothing but good things.

      • Dollar Engineer

        That’s a really concerning story. Glad your city has a concierge medical practice available to you though. Really hope it does all work out for you.

        • Thanks! I’m glad that the concierge is available. I wish it was not necessary, but our healthcare system is just not that great. I’m so grateful that I have the ability to pay or defer payment, too. Access to credit can save your life sometimes.

  • Mrs. Groovy

    Sorry you’re in pain and being ignored. I like the idea of a concierge practice. Also, what about a nurse practitioner? I’m assigned to an MD at the practice I use but I usually book the NP who works with her. She’s easier to get an appointment with, spends more time with me and listens. She didn’t try to talk me out of going off my cholesterol meds, And when I mentioned the heart scan I wanted she was the one who offered up that the hospital associated with the practice was performing the scan for $99 that month.

    • I should look into whether the practice will let me book with an NP. I always find myself more heard by them. Better bed-side manner, more time.

      The acupuncture today made a huge improvement. Hopefully that’ll give space for the massage tomorrow to finish the job???

  • Your doc won’t examine you? Sounds like you need a new doctor! Glad the acupuncture is helping. I know the frustration of wanting to run, but not being able to. Remember health comes first. Hope you get better soon.

    • I told my PCP that my feet and back hurt tremendously and have for two years since I was last able to run. She glanced at my feet and told me that not everything has a diagnosis. She did not even examine my feet. Just looked at them. Didn’t even bother to look at my back. Told me to lose weight. Thankfully the podiatrist took me more seriously, but he concluded that the feet issues are stemming from the back issues which he could do nothing for, obviously.

      Unfortunately there are three doctors in my city in my network. They all work out of one facility. The other two are men and male PCPs have never been something I’ve been comfortable with.

      I’m definitely not running until my body says yes. Even if that means never. I want this body to last a lifetime.

      Thank you.

  • brokeGIRLrich

    That’s so strange your medical doctor won’t worry about your pain. I think you might need a new doctor :/ I honestly just lucked out that I didn’t flat out bankrupt myself with medical bills – I didn’t have insurance for about 5 years. It was probably the craziest gamble I ever made, but it just wasn’t an option for me because of how much it cost for a long time.

    • I’ll definitely switch companies when reenrollment happens. Her office is the only one in my network.

      Thankfully, my acupuncture and massage therapy appointments this weekend involved them listening and trying to alleviate my pain.

  • Sorry to hear about all the pain ZJ 🙁 I hope after all the expense and effort, that your problems can be fixed for you!

    We can completely relate about medical bills not helping FIRE at all. As you may know, we need to go through IVF to have a chance of a baby, and we need to tip in several thousand dollars for each attempt. Not helpful to improve your net worth etc..


    • Thanks. I’m hopeful, too. Even though it definitely is messing with my expenses for now.

      IVF is so expensive in the US. Is it similar in your neck of the woods? If I wanted to have a baby as a lesbian dating another cisgender woman, that’s the route I would have to take. Solidarity to you and your family. I’ll toss more hope into the air for you and your family to grow in the ways you’d like.

      • Thank you for the hope 🙂 It is very expensive, luckily the Australian Govt refunds half the cost but we still need to pay for the other half. Each cycle will cost us out of pocket about $5K to $7K. There are cheaper providers, but we need the specialised help.


        • Thank goodness for subsidies. I hope it works.

  • Sorry to hear about your painful week. If it makes you feel any better, I was actually the same. I had dental issues from a wisdom tooth (it rubbed on my inner cheek and gums that resulted to a painful mouth sore) and I had a bad migraine attack at the same time. While I didn’t pay for the GP visit and only paid $17 for the dental visit, I spent about $70 on Uber because I don’t have a car and I did the visits while I was at work. Ugh.

    I hope you get a diagnosis for your back pain soon. It must be limiting your activities. Are you also planning to get your wisdom tooth extracted? I hope this week is treating you well!

    • Wisdom and migraine is rough! I also don’t have a car. Thankfully, my dentist is by my current job. I just had to walk a block.

      I will get the wisdom tooth extracted. It is moving my other teeth around in really painful ways, and I have a tiny mouth to begin with so there’s no room for this interloper. The tooth is too far up to remove now. I have to wait at least six months for it to get closer to the surface. I already see a pediatric oral surgeon due to my mouth size. Don’t want the added cost and pain of tearing in deep into the roof of my mouth to get this jerk tooth out.