Before we break that figure down, I want to preface the rest of this post: I’ve spent weeks thinking about whether or not I should (“should”) publish this post.
Part of me feels like I’m not allowed to talk about these things. Or, like. That it’s a bad look to talk about these things, by virtue of being in a position to have such things to talk about. I don’t want to come off as tone-deaf, or pretentious.
Another part of me feels a duty—and wants—to talk about these things. I know and understand that it’s a privilege to have the resources—financial and otherwise—to prioritize my health, and to package all this up to share with y’all. I know this because I’ve not always been in this position. I grew up in poverty, I’ve been on welfare, I’ve been under- and unemployed—and uninsured—for long stretches of time, I’ve been deeply in debt, I’ve been vehicle-less, I’ve been homeless.
I wish more people were more open and honest about this shit—about the enormous amount of privilege and resources, both tangible and in-, that go into (1) “being healthy” (so many ways to define that), and (2) being an athlete, even at an amateur or recreational level. So, I’m being open and honest about what goes into those things for me. You know. Be the change, etc.
In the first six months of this year, I spent $6,080.71 on treatments, services, and products directly related to my injuries and other body-based training limitations, and the issues, imbalances, and weaknesses that caused them. These expenses were not incurred or distributed evenly throughout the first six months of the year. Because I’m bad at numbers/math (I’m not that type of autistic), let’s pretend they were. Divided evenly over six months, that $6,080.71 is basically $1,000.00 a month.
A thousand dollars a month is a lot of fucking money—in general, and especially in the context of anything that isn’t, like, rent or a mortgage (although I’m not sure where you can find $1,000.00-a-month rent or mortgages these days??). It’s also only a fraction of the amount that everything enumerated below actually costs. Altogether, everything below totals $19,509.05, which: JESUS CHRIST. I’m not even THAT injured!!! And the injuries that I do have aren’t even THAT bad!!!
Here’s the tl;dr of it:
|Category||Total cost (Jan-Jun)||Percent of total cost||Covered by insurance||Out-of-pocket cost (Jan-Jun)|
|Mobility and tissue work||$2,640.96||13.5%||$0||$2,640.96|
A few notes before we dive into the numbers:
- All figures that follow are exact. No rounding or guesstimating. (Percentages are rounded in the table above.)
- This list includes things that I use regularly, things that I use only occasionally or minimally, and things that I haven’t used at all (or haven’t needed/been able to use yet).
- Many of the things listed below have been and continue to be necessary for my rehab and recovery. Some have/are not.
- When applicable, taxes and shipping are included in the figures below.
- Some figures below reflect vendor promos, some reflect a military discount.
- This list does not include money I’ve spent on other training-related things that aren’t directly related to my injuries and rehab, like training gear, my full supplement stack, food, tech, hiking gear, and tangential expenses, like gas and parking.
- This list includes only the financial investment I’ve made in my rehab and recovery during the first six months of the year. It does not reflect the other resources required to focus on getting my body healthy for training, including time, energy, executive functioning, and a regulated nervous system.
- All of my accounts are current, and I paid cash (“cash”) for everything listed below (nothing was financed).
Okay. Without further autistic ado*, a breakdown of how much my injuries, etc., cost me the first six months of the year.
Health insurance: $280.20
Until I get my orders separating me from service, my health insurance is through Tricare, the military’s health insurance program.
Tricare doesn’t cover a handful of things that some civilian health insurance programs cover, like chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, or somatic therapy (and it didn’t cover my clinical autism evaluation and diagnosis process, which cost me $5,500.00 out of pocket last fall). Tricare does cover a shit-ton of other stuff, has no limits on physical therapy (a godsend for me, a person who’s been in physical therapy two to three times a week for over a year), and the out-of-pocket costs are unbeatable. Especially in this trash-ass economy.
I know that having this level of coverage and this low of out-of-pocket costs is an immense privilege, and I’m grateful that I’ve had Tricare throughout all of this. I wouldn’t have been able to prioritize these elements of my health without it. It’s also true that prioritizing my physical health—which I’m only able to do because of the insurance I have, which is only available to me because I’m enlisted in the military—has often been at the expense of my mental and emotional health by virtue of being in the military. I’m sure some autistic folks thrive in the military. I’m not one of them.
I wish the level of coverage (or more) and out-of-pocket cost (or less) that’s (currently) available to me was available to everyone, regardless of preexisting conditions (“preexisting conditions”) and employment status. I will absolutely miss having Tricare when the time comes (RIP).
- Monthly premium: $46.70
- Deductible: $0.00
- Copay: $0.00
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $280.20
Physical therapy: $1,028.26
- 3 images (2 X-rays, 1 MRI)
- Total billed: $2,545.60
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $112.00
Shoulder and glute + hamstring physical therapy
- 21 visits
- Total billed: $5,804.00
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $406.26
Pelvic floor + core physical therapy
- 17 visits
- Total billed: $5,957.00
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $360.00
One-off physical therapy consult
- 1 visit, not covered by insurance
- Total billed: $150.00
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $150.00
Mobility and tissue work: $2,640.96
- 12 visits, not covered by insurance
- Total billed: $1,620.00
- Gratuity: $600.00
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $2,220.00
- 4 visits, not covered by insurance
- Total billed: $375.00
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $375.00
- GOWOD app, $11.99/month, 3 months: $35.97
- Stretch app, $9.99/month, 1 month: $9.99
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $45.96
Gym memberships, programming, and 1:1 coaching: $1,696.42
None of my gym memberships or programming and coaching expenses are covered by health insurance or any employer-sponsored wellness incentive programs. All costs are out-of-pocket.
- Temporary membership: $80.00
- Drop-in fees: $30.00
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $110.00
- The Fit Wiz Method, 8-week block, $79.20
- Street Parking, $54.00/3 months, 2 3-month packages, $108.00
- ATG program, one-time promo for one month of access, $20.22
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $207.42
- 10 one-hour sessions per package
- 2 10-session packages
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $1,379.00
- Turmeric and curcumin: $82.67
- Collagen: $175.13
- Fish oil: $37.12
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $294.92
- Slant Board: $139.95
- Total out-of-pocket cost: $139.95
*I hereby declare “autistic ado” shorthand for “the autistic tendency (trauma response) to over-explain every-goddamn-thing in an effort to provide clarity and prevent confusion, even though doing so usually ends up confusing, not clarifying, especially when non-autistics are involved in the communication exchange.”