How learning to manage my finances has helped my health outPosted: September 27, 2012
First, let me be honest. I’m a worrier by nature (read about wedding worries and baby showers issues) and will stress myself out over the oddest of things. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night because I’ve panicked about random worries (which could be something as weird as not remembering if I sent out a bill or as crucial as something like I don’t know how I’m going to eat. Thankfully the latter worries have not come back for a while!) and have suffered insomnia due to this. (The insomnia is one of the reasons I have set schedules that I try not to change a lot-I do better sleeping on schedules)
A little over a year ago, this led to some issues with my health and thankfully it was nothing major-only an ulcer. First, I was doing a workout program on top of riding a bike to work (no car at the time) and making a quarter above minimum wage at a place with no regular hours-both in shifts and in the amount of hours per week. Second, we had no real budget or plan-we paid bills to our roommate and made sure we had some food but that was pretty much it, the rest was gone. So there I am, getting up early to do a workout with poor nutrition and very little sleep and wondering why instead of feeling stronger, I’m getting weaker. But I’m also a stubborn person and persevered through it, plus the workouts helped relieve the stress of being broke. Not my brightest decision.
Due to the way my body was aching and me skipping lunches at work (I needed as much time as possible and would rather not eat if it meant getting an extra half hour. These added up as this place would start to send people home if it wasn’t busy so I needed all the hours I could get.), I started to take ibuprofen to counteract the headaches and soreness. Funny thing-I couldn’t take them with milk as my stomach would get upset. So I took them with water on an empty stomach and kept it up for a few weeks. Woops.
Sure enough, I started to have really bad stomach pains-these blinding, ripping, stabbing pains. I went to the ER and finally to a clinic (they worked with people with no medical insurance) where they finally got me on medicine and calmed down the raging stomach issue. The bad part? It took 2 and a half weeks to get this figured out so I ended up missing a lot of work-or rather, was sent home from work a lot and add the small paychecks to the medical bills and my normal bills? Ugh. That did not help my stomach issues out as the more stressed I became, the worse the pain ended up being. I did get financial assistance for those medical bills though so that’s a plus.
That was one of the reasons I wanted to be out of debt and wanted to have a budget. I didn’t want the stress of “OH MY GOD! The electricity is due…but we have no money! How could we forget!?!?!” that I’d been having. Instead, I like it much better when I get an outrageous bill and can say “hmm, I think that is a mistake and I’ll be calling but if not? It’s budgeted for.” It’s partially why I tend to overestimate things. Now that I have that budget and my plan, my ulcer has stopped flaring up and I sleep a lot better. Oh, I still worry but I can open my computer and look at the pretty budget. My insomnia, while not going away, is much better than it was previously.
What did having an ulcer due in the long-term? I can’t take anything with an NSAID in it without my stomach cramping in pain, I cannot eat as much of the spicy food that I love as I used to or have it as hot as I liked and I have to make sure that I have medicine on hand in case it flares up. Not fun at all. But it was also that nice kick to the butt to get a budget in place. While I would never wish an ulcer on someone, at least *some* good came out of it. And thankfully, I didn’t need surgery!