My knees have been bugging me for some time. I have been dismissing it – I guess I really wanted to make sure that there was a problem before we spent the money to try to find out what is wrong. We do have health insurance, but it covers 70% of our health expenses (for the most part).
The fact that I couldn’t do something that I loved to do (drive) really bothered me. So I made the appointment for yesterday.
It turns out that my knees are not tracking properly. The movement should be smooth but it is clunky. The doctor said I could attempt to correct the problem myself by working on my inner thigh muscles. I guess they are really weak compared to my outer thigh muscles so it causes my knee to be out of whack. She also said that I can go to physical therapy where they will help me correct it.
For some time now, we have been doing so many things ourselves to try to save some money. Part of me wanted to decline the physical therapy to avoid the cost. I could read up on how to strengthen my muscles and handle it myself. If it didn’t work, I could then seek out a physical therapist. The other part of me said that maybe it is time to get that outside help. We are talking about my knees here. Without them, I can’t walk.
I told the doctor I would go to physical therapy and I start next week. They will evaluate my condition and develop a treatment program. Then I will have a better idea of how much this is going to cost. Right now I’m trying not to think about it too much.
She also prescribed medication for another condition that I have. I haven’t taken medication for it in years since I didn’t want to spend the money on it and it wasn’t bugging me too much. Not the smartest thing I have done. I did fill the prescriptions she gave me and they will cost about $100/month. That’s with my health insurance co-pay.
Just like the physical therapy, I’m trying not to think about the medication cost too much. It will be another expense that will need to be worked in the budget. BUT – that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to search on ways I can lower that cost. Of course, if I find anything I will let you know 😉
I hope you get better. We should not “frugalise” our way so much that our health is left wanting.
At least you have insurance. That’s something I don’t have. My husband is covered, but when we tried to get me on his insurance plan, they claimed the window of opportunity had already past. So we have to wait until October to do it.
Have you tried flaxseed oil and pilates to strengthen your muscles? I usually take about 2 tablespoons of the oil which is ideal for me. There is a plethora of information on the oil and its benefits. As well as the pilates.
Any way you can get samples?
I take lexapro, which the insurance doesn’t cover at all. It costs about 90 a month out of pocket. Last time I went to the pharmacy, I bit the bullet and bought enough to last me until the next time I have to see the gynecologist. My gyn is extremely generous with samples. Last time, she gave me like two months worth of lexapro.
Also, if your Rx is at Walgreens, they have some discount programs for these situations. Check it out.
Medications: Call every pharmacy in your area and compare costs. Most people don’t realize that they vary widely. I saved hundreds of dollars once by getting 3 prescriptions filled at a Costco instead of a local drugstore.
Knee: I was a physical therapist for 10 years. If you care about your finances, do the physical therapy on your own after having a few initial sessions with the therapist. What physical therapists do isn’t rocket science. Your doctor even told you that you could do it on your own. The physical therapist will simply come up with exercises targeting certain muscles (which you could do yourself online) and then sit there while you do them. They might throw in a couple of other things to make it seem fancy or like their services are needed. If you want to save money, go a few times, make a note of the exercises, and then just do them on your own at home.
I agree with Maggie about the physical therapy. Go few times to learn what needs to be done. Then do it on your own. (As long as you know you’ll have the motivation to do it without having to go to an appointment.) Most of the people I know that have done physical therapy actually get TOLD this by their therapists. “Here’s what you need to do,” (they may even give you materials) “you can do these on your own.” So maybe it won’t be as expensive as you fear. 🙂
Tricia, you are doing so well in kicking debt booty, but honestly … this is exactly the kind of thing savings accounts were made for!! So do what it takes to get better. Hopefully you’ll only have to go to the physical therapist a few times to figure out how to do the exercises on your own. Hopefully you won’t have to go into the savings account. But if you do? Don’t beat yourself up!!
You are such an inspiration to us all, but health comes first!!
My mother, who went through the Depression, always told me you can’t scrimp on food or medical help. You can economize, make the most of what you buy, food-wise, but you’ve got to have it, and it’s got to be good-for-you food or you get into poor health.
Same thing with medical help; too many little nagging things left alone because you don’t want to go to the dr become BIG incapacitating things that will cost much, much more to resolve—if you haven’t let it go so long in the name of economy that you can’t get the problem fixed.
Sucks that it costs so much, but, really, aren’t you worth it?
Sorry to hear about your knee. I have knee problems too. I was just on youtube looking at exercises. I do plan on going to a PT and as the other says, stop after the first initial sessions. As far as prescriptions, definitely check around, you can get some deals. Best of luck!
Don’t worry too much about the physical therapy. They can just teach you the exercises and only meet with you a few times.
Hi! I’m delurking to chime in…and don’t think I’m a quack, but a chiropractor may be able to help you as well. It sounds corny, but it is all about alignment. I had a pinched nerve a surgeon wanted to slice off, I opted to go to the chiro instead and it worked. I also completely agree about calling around for pharmacies, and investigating mail-order options as well. If it’s a daily, long-term med, it’s worth the time to hunt down the best deal!
Its probably a good thing you went to the doctor now before anything got worse. I had a condition about 3 years ago that I ignored and tried to self heal. I ended up needing surgery to take care of it. Thankfully my insurance picked up the tab.
What a coincidence! I was just diagnosed with exactly the same thing a few weeks ago. I too am trying physical therapy and slogging thru those BORING exercise routines. Good luck with that!
BTW, one thing the physical therapist does that I cannot do is the electrical stimulation treatments. Combined with hot compresses around my knees. Makes my knees feel great (if only temporarily)!
for your medications, if you have a mail order prescription plan option.. try that.. its usually 1/2 of what you would pay at a pharmacy. good luck with your knee problems.. they support our bodies.
Call your doctor and let her know how much your medication is costing you and ask if there is some other medication that can be tried first. Often, physicians prescribe the latest drug without even considering the cost to the patient.
Physicians really don’t have any idea how much most medications cost. Yes, sometimes, the medicine they prescribe is the only option. But, often, there are less expensive alternatives that do the same thing. If there is a less expensive alternative, that can offer a better long term savings than free samples of a newer, name brand medication (b/c samples run out).
good call, I don’t like the doctors either but you gotta do it.