Healthcare isn’t the only thing you spend money on when you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness. Our author breaks down her other costs:
$100: “Loungewear” for when my abdomen hurt too much to put real clothes on
$100: Taxis to and from the hospital
$100: Added to my food budget for times when I was too sick to get out of bed and make myself something to eat
$50: iTunes for trashy shows to watch while I was sick in bed
$100: Girly things. I generally feel terrible about my appearance—being sick made me lose 15 pounds, and steroids made me return to my normal weight, plus 25 pounds—so I treat myself to the occasional manicure and pedicure and cosmetic purchase; I would have never done so before
$12/month: Supplements. I take B-12, Fish Oil, and Calcium because Crohn’s means I don’t absorb nutrients properly
$1,100: I also had to cancel a Spring Break trip to Istanbul, so I ate the airfare and my share of the hotel room (the world’s tiniest violin, I know). I’m now one of those people who buys travel insurance
$10,000 The biggest non-medical cost has been taking a leave of absence from school due to three weeks in the hospital and associated recovery time. While the school (very kindly) returned my tuition money, I couldn’t “return” the loans I’d taken out for living expenses.
The author is in law school. Her medical costs are detailed here.