Dealing with lifestyle changes that often go with learning to live with RA in current $$$ conditions

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_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/27/2009 10:53 PM (GMT -7)   
OK, everyone is hearing to sob story of the finantional crisis going on right now.  We have one, my sister has a worse one, everyone seems to have one.  My husband and I have gone through our budget crunches before and done just fine.  The only diffrence is that every other time I have been able to cut costs in more areas and been able to bring in my own money.  We could always just spend less and make more.  Now, I have more and larger mouths to feed, and diffrent situations.
 
This time is diffrent.  First, this time I'm seeing Dr's regularly- and paying the co-pays for them ($40 a visit), and taking my medications ($120 a month) and my husband is seeing his doctors ($40 a visit) and taking his medications ($50 a month).  We are both Bipolar (mood disorder), I have RA and he has chronic skin "stuff" (we are not far enough into treatment to know what it is just yet- but he has it on his hands, it looks awful, and he works at the hospital, which makes it worse).  It is a huge chunck of our budget that can't be cut out without makeing some very hard choices.
 
Another thing that makes this finantional crisis diffrent is that I am no longer working. My husband has started working 48 hours a week (up from his 36 hour regular week) to make ends meet- but it is never enough.  He talks about adding annother 12 hour shift to the week while they willl let him- but I'm afraid it will kill him. I still have enough hard RA days when the vicodin is getting me thorough, and the housechores are having to wait, that I don't think I would be able to take on a job and still keep up with the house and kids.  With my husband working so much- I have to be able to look after the kids.
 
We have tried to re-finance our home loan and were denied this week.So long as my husband gets overtime we make just enough money not to qualify for food stamps.  I have insurance (thank God), but it seems we use it so often that just the co-payments are killing us.  We paid off both our cars, and now they both need work done. Do we get it fixed?  Do we try to sell one?  How- everywhere I look there are cars with sale signs in them.  My child needs a tooth pulled and I don't have the money to take her to the Dr. (will cost about $200)  My older daughter is growing out of her clothes as the seasons change- I can't take her shopping.  We have easter in a couple weeks- I don't know how I will pay for it. We have birthdays  coming up in a few months- I just don't know.
 
I don't know how to deal with all of the things going on this time.  Before, I would just go make more money.  Now, I can't.  Before, I would cut all costs that deal with me- now I am the most expensive.  At what point do I consider not showing up to the Dr's appointments?  At what point do I not fill my medications?  As for my husband- he needs to be stable or we risk our income.  We have already made that decision.  At what point do I just need to "bully through" the pain that may (i'm sure) come back?  What do I give up, and how do I risk falling back to where I was pre-treatment?
 
he strain is getting to me- My oldest daughter should be brought to a dentist to have a tooth removed.  It just won't fall out and is now causing her discomfort.
 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


Boo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2004
Total Posts : 724
   Posted 3/28/2009 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Christina, I'm so sorry for all of your financial woes.  I understand.  You are having to take a lot of meds, bless your heart.  It is a good thing you have insurance, although I know it doesn't cover everything.  I'm extremely grateful that you do know that you must not stop taking any of your medications (we have the bi-polar and severe depression in our house too). 

Hang in there, Sweetie.  We care about you and want to support you in any way we can.  We have some pretty big shoulders to cry on.

It does sound like you've been putting one foot in front of the other for quite some time now.  We take a lot of meds too but my hubby's insurance is very expensive and doesn't cover many of his meds.  I'm so glad we had it when he was hospitalized last year. 

I haven't been posting much lately but will have more time now.  So I'll be watching for you.  Boo

 


_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/28/2009 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Of course this morning things don't seem as bad as it did last night.
I know that I need to keep taking my medications regularly. I looked over my list of medications, and with the exception of the Multi-mineral Supplement, all of them seem necessary. Anything I give up is just going to cause more problems and cost more money than it saves.
We've been living on a tight budget for long enough that I don't know where else to cut costs.
We cut costs on our food budget, cutting it by over $100 a month. I can't seem to get it lower than $100 a week for a family of 5. Some weeks at $130.
I would like to start a vegetable garden, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to keep it up if my knees, feet or hands hurt too much.
I plan on having some huge yard sales this summer, but I have to wait for better weather to hold them, and with the recession I am afraid that I won't sell much.
I wonder if you have any other money making/saving ideas? A lot of what people usually recommend involve lots of typing, working with the public, or intensive labor. All things I have been avoiding as I get around with RA.
 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 3/28/2009 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Since you are home with your children is there a child around the same age that you could keep during the day or before/after school for a bit of money?
The yard sales may take in more then you think due to the recession

Boo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2004
Total Posts : 724
   Posted 3/29/2009 6:01 AM (GMT -7)   

sj is right.  The yard sales around here are going great guns because of the recession.  I think you'll do better than you think. 

As far as cutting back on our budget, I have no tips.  We just sold our biz recently and the shock hasn't set in yet.  No more eating out (it's just the two of us), no more clothes shopping (I'm a clothes horse who needs to empty two or three closets), we have been in the drycleaning/laundry business since we got married (36 years ago) and I couldn't wrap my hand around an iron today if my life depended on it.  I thought about a garden but I too would have the dickens taking care of it. 

We will need to be putting our heads together in the coming days and maybe come up with a thing or two to save $.  I know hubby will be looking for part-time work when we get the building liquidated.  Part-time to him is 8 hours instead of 16.


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23424
   Posted 3/29/2009 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't really help you with any budget tips. I just wanted to say that everyone is feeling the pinch. Is your daughters dentist willing to take payments for her extraction? Many business and medical facilities are willing to work with you when it comes to payments. This recession seems to be hitting the middle to lower class super hard and it's rough! We are considered to be upper middle class and even we are having a hard time. My hubby works many hours a week too and when needed he does outside contracting (he's a painter). What about telemarketing? I know a few businesses have openings for telemarketers that can call from their home and reimburse you for the phone calls. I did this a few times many years back. It's not a lot of money but it was something.
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_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/30/2009 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
The telemarketing idea is a good one. I will look more into that.
 
 
Christina
 
Current medications:
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)
 
 
 
 

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