Lyme disease is a Rich Man’s Disease. It cost so much money, you can’t even imagine. The cost adds up so quickly and no matter where you were at the beginning of your journey; you end up finding yourself poor and counting pennies in the end. I am not even counting the years you have gone undiagnosed and the associated cost from going from doctor to doctor to get a diagnoses. I am talking about from the moment, when a doctor finally suspect you have lyme disease and everything else after that. The endless testing that you go through to make sense of what is happening in your body such as food allergies, lyme, all the coinfections, all the secondary infections, all the viral infections (not just the usual cold viruses, but more serious ones), adrenal glands, hormones, thyroid, nerves, brain, heart, bladder, genetic, MRIs, EEGs, EMGs…Oh.My.God.The.List.Is.Just.Endless. Then you have your treatment plan. You have your antibiotics, your herbal antibiotics, antivirals, medications for parasites, medications for breaking biofilms/cysts, supplements to support your immune system and the supplements for detoxing all that toxic created from the infections you are killing. You end up taking 40 pills a day and only 2 of them are covered by your insurance and that is until your insurance gets tired of paying for those 2 long term antibiotics. Also, let’s not forget the dental cost. All the fillings that has to be replaced by a bio-dentist to remove the mercury out of your body safely. What about the cost of the physical therapist, the pain management specialist, the chiropractor, the neurologist, the vision therapist, the psychologist and things like body wraps and epsom salt tanks for detoxing. Then we have the restricted diet you have to follow. You have to eat very, very, very carefully. The cost of your groceries sky rockets. Oh I forgot the other expenses like canes, walkers, wheelchairs (that is a big one), saunas, home care, cleaning lady (otherwise the house will be unlivable), rife machine and all the tools you must have, but won’t be covered by your insurance because “Lyme” isn’t a real disease like cancer or AIDS. Getting Lyme treated is a full time job, except instead of getting paid you pour money out of your pocket.

 

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Like I said, Lyme is a Rich Man’s Disease. Even the most stable person/family finds themselves broke in the end. I want to share a few tips with you guys. I have found these are the things that helped my family stay frugal. Trust me you have to get creative to stretch your money as far out as possible. Here we go:

  • Don’t do every test your doctor recommends. Treat testing more like an a la carte menu. Of course your doctor needs information to treat you, but prioritize. Pick and choose which tests are most crucial in making decisions. Postpone the rest of them, if necessary or skip them all together, if that is an option. Understand why your doctor requires a certain test and ask your doctor to work around it. For instance instead of getting a costly MTHFR and COMT testing done for 1000s of dollars, go get 23andme testing done and take the data to your doctor to read the results for $100.

  • In conjunction with the bullet above, negotiate! Yes you heard me right. Negotiate your doctor’s fees. For ongoing treatments that aren’t covered by your insurance, negotiate a fee that you can afford. You would be surprised of the outcome. I am paying $75 less a session on my children’s vision therapies. Insurance companies do it. Why can’t you? Think about it. For a service that cost $900, an insurance company is capable of saying “if you want to stay in network and keep our business, you will provide this service for $500”. Because the doctor wants their business they write off the rest of the cost. Did you know, they can do the same for you? You are definitely a repeat business for them :D. If your doctor wants to keep you, he might want to consider reducing his/her price.

  • Instead of buying expensive gluten free flour, make one by yourself. Buy the ingredients yourself and premix it, so every time you need flour, you can have some ready.

  • Buy whole chicken and learn to cut it yourself. Buy 5 whole chicken at once for about $7 X 5 = $35 and end up with 5 backbones to make your bone marrow broth (which is so good for your immune system), 10 wings, 10 legs, 10 thighs, 10 split breasts (if you want, you could easily debone it). Plenty of chicken to feed the family for a while.

  • Instead of buying supplements at your doctors office or whole foods store; price check on Amazon. You will be surprised to find, that majority of the time the prices are literally half of the cost. For instance, the probiotics my kids use is $16 at whole foods store, while the same bottle costs only $8 on amazon. Even better if you get on subscription where they automatically send a bottle every month, it is a few bucks cheaper.

  • Buy Epsom Salt online, because Epsom salt is another thing you have to use so much as a Lymey. Well again on amazon you can buy your epsom salt, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in large quantities for very little.

  • I highly recommend getting an amazon prime account. As a person who is too ill to go from store to store to find a specific need and also to compare prices, I can easily and quickly find the things I need, price compare and as a bonus read reviews on them on Amazon.

  • Another Amazon tip is to sign up for Amazon mom. Amazon gives great deals to moms for children related items. Also, if you have a student in the family, you can use their .edu account to get a prime membership as a student. Yes you will lose out on the online movie library, but you will pay half the price on their yearly membership.

  • Start couponining. I kid you not. Sign up for the paper and also ask all your friends, who gets the paper to donate their coupons (they aren’t using it anyhow). Hoarder coupons, then combine your coupons with store coupons and deals. Many stores like Target, RiteAid, General Dollar and CVS will give gift cards for spending certain amount of dollars. For instance, CVS gives $10 gift card, if you spend $30 on P&G products right now. If you purchase products in that category and use coupons and then get your $10 and spend it again on things that counts toward another gift card, but continue to combine their store coupons with the manufacturer coupons; you will soon find yourself walking out of there with products totaling $100 with only a few dollars out of pocket.

  • Plan your meals, before going grocery shopping and line up all of your coupons. Sit down and plan out the next few days of meals and only buy what is on that list. Nothing more! Besides medical bills, a Lymey’s biggest expense is food. If you plan your meals and your coupons, you will find you can eat well on a small budget.

  • Sell. Sell. Sell. There is no shame in selling your belongings. Somethings are worth even more with some conditioning. Ask friends and family to help take pictures and post them on online communities like Facebook online yard sale groups, eBay or Craigslist. I used to donate everything I wanted to get rid of. Unfortunately I need the money now, so I sell it. It is not a lot of money, but it is something. When you are a lymey every penny counts. Some of the things you can are old furniture, old shoes, purses and backpacks that piled up over the years, clothes that are in condition that has been pushed backed to the corner of your closet, knick knacks, even Halloween costumes (that is a hidden treasure right there :D) and so on.

  • Keep track of every penny you spend on your medical expenses. You have to become an accountant, when you have a chronic illness. Did you know, you can actually claim certain foods you buy as a medical expense, if you have food allergies? Become tax savvy. Research, network and make sure to get a tax accountant. It might end up saving you more money than you might think. Please don’t go to places like HR Block or Tax Liberty. Get a real tax accountant, who is a full time professional, who will be available the entire year in case you have any questions. Not a person who has 6 weeks training on how to use a tax software. Your accountant can give you great advice on where you can save money big time.

  • If you or your spouse work and your company offers FSA, take it! When itemizing your medical expenses on your taxes, your expenses has to pass 10% of your household income before you can start deducting them. So it only makes a difference, if you reach 20% or over. When you use an FSA account, your income level doesn’t matter. It is a pretax account that is tax sheltered. Not only it reduces your income, but also you are able to claim every penny you spent on medical expenses. It is a definite win win.

  • Don’t be too shy to ask for help. You might be surprised just how many people are willing to contribute. They could help by bringing you food every now and then. Even if it is 10 people, who are willing to do this and they each stop by with food once every two weeks; that takes the stress of expanding your energy on cooking and saves you some money. They could also help clean your home here and there. This way you would not need to hire somebody to do it or do it yourself while you are struggling to get dressed.

  • Last of all and the toughest of all, start a GoFundMe account. Get help for your treatment. Raise awareness and ask people help you with your medical bills. Most of the time people are oblivious of just how much a disease like can shake a household financially. After all we all have insurance, right? LOL

Please put your pride aside and do everything you can do reduce your cost and increase your income by following above tips. Feel free to add any that you can think of in the comments. Lyme is a joke in the medical community and we need help. Until Lyme gets more coverage, gets more funding for research, an effective treatment protocol, better insurance coverage and better disability rights; we are on our own and there is no shame in doing everything possible to improve our situation. I hope these tips will help you improve your financial situation and reduce some stress in your life.

Have a Happy Lymey Day!!!

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2 Thoughts on “Lyme Life on a Dime – Learn how to be frugal to survive as a Lymey

  1. Nancy Gale on 10/06/2014 at 11:19 PM said:

    Thanks for all this info!! I don’t know what a gofundme acct is, but I will find out! I have had RSD for 11 years and wish I had someone to clean the house already! Great tips!!!

  2. Such good advice. Amazon prime for sure! 6 yrs for us. Severe neuro case.
    $1 million in total health care with $300k cash. Biggest part hospital writes offs.
    When they can’t cure ya or kick you out, they are more likely to write off. BCBS for a while. Then disability and Medicare. Home care IVs from Infuserve America. They ship all over the country ….for Lymies…include other products like glutathione pushes!!! $55k in donations from wonderful friends, family and strangers on website via paypal!!!! $70k in family loans. Credit cards… yeech! But necessary. Now we are finding healing in the cheapest of oral abx. Go figure. We’ve put 100,000 miles on our Prius instead of flying. What a journey!

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