Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Save on health care by getting rid of the dog or cat...

This is one of the tips in a book I am reading by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD entitled, 101 Ways to Save Money on Health Care: Tips to Help You Spend Smart and Stay Healthy. I posted on a self-published edition of the book here but had never read it and then, recently, a new forthcoming copy from Plume arrived in the mail. Apparently, the book was picked up by a publisher.

I can see why. It is quite instructive about how to save cash on health care and the advice is timely, easy to digest and actually, easy and good. For example, if you have a chronic condition like allergies, Dr. Koelker states, "Get rid of the cat and maybe you won't need medication. Seriously. Or the dog, or the bird."

We did that in my household about five years ago when we had to give up our beloved cats after myself and my daughter became violently ill from allergies. Another blogger took one of them and we sometimes get updates and pictures. Our allergist says that it was the best thing we could do and I have to admit that we do feel better without them. It sucks not having a pet but allergies suck more.

Anyway, this little book goes on to give advice on saving on prescription meds (look for coupons on the web, etc.) and gives tips on how to negotiate with your doctor and hospital to lower costs. It seems pretty good if you have straight forward problems that are not terribly complicated. I don't see how I could save much on an ICD but then again, who knows?

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25 Comments:

Blogger TMink said...

Pet allergies suck. My best friend is allergic to cats, and we have two (but one is not at all a well cat.) So he can't come over to the house without getting sick after 15 minutes.

Trey

9:55 AM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Doing the right thing even when it's the hard thing more or less defines being an adult. Note well the objections that crop up regarding it.

The book sounds like a good one. Thanks for bringing it up!

9:59 AM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Cammie Novara said...

When I navigated to this unbelievable hilarious Yes We Scam! B.S. We Can Believe In! Obama Approval Plummets opinion piece I realized that Dr. Helen's viewers totally should be able to discuss this link: http://hubpages.com/hub/Yes-We-Scam-BS-We-Can-Believe-In-Obama-Approval-Plummets

10:47 AM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Allison said...

Allergies are terrible, and they aren't always obvious.

My husband spent over a year being miserable. He slept badly. His eyes were sunken and he had huge black circles under them. He was exhausted all of the time. He was cranky, lacking any mirth or humor. For a while, we thought it might be cancer because of family history.

Turns out it was allergies--very very bad allergies. But we didn't know because he didn't sneeze, he didn't have watery eyes or a runny nose. His symptoms were snoring and feeling generally awful. Turns out he is allergic to pets (we don't have any, but many friends do), grass, various pollens, including trees, and dust mites. It was the dust mites that really got to him.

So keep that in mind if you're feeling awful: you could be allergic and not know it.

Though how this helps your wallet I'm not quite sure. So yes, we may be spending less on health care now, but we've just spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on new beds and bedding, encasements for all bedding, new blinds to replace old drapes, and still need a new couch, ripping out more carpet, etc.

10:23 PM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

Allison, getting rid of the things your husband is allergic to can save money on medications, doctor's visits, sick days from work, and decreased productivity. When your husband was suffering from his undiagnosed allergies, I doubt he was performing at his best at work. That could impact future pay raises or even his layoff prospects. Yes, you're spending a lot of money replacing things that your husband is allergic to. It sounds like money well spent to me. Being sick sucks, and not knowing why you're sick sucks even more. That kind of thing can even be corrosive to your marriage, and divorce is far from inexpensive.

9:47 AM, August 25, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Heh

...., if you have a chronic condition like allergies, Dr. Koelker states, "Get rid of the cat and maybe you won't need medication. Seriously. Or the dog, or the bird." -- Book cited by Dr. Helen

Destroy all ragweed!

Such plants should be extincted.

However, some fool would probably put it on the endangered species list and it would be protected by federal law.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Bad law is more likely to be supplemented than repealed. -- Oaks' Laws]

3:56 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Allison & Others
RE: Can't Sleep Well....

....because of stopped up nasal passages and sinuses.

I have that sort of problem every now and then. I can't sleep well if I can't breath well through my nose. My mouth dries out and I wake up gulping saliva to rehydrate it.

I use echinacea to deal with it. An eye-dropper in a small glass of water and in 15 minutes I can breath properly again....and go back to sleep.

If you don't like the pricing at Vitamin Cottage, or wherever, make it yourself.

[1] Take a whole plant in flower.
[2] Rinse off all dirt and any bugs.
[3] Chop it up in a food processer.
[4] Put the processed plant into an air-tight container.
[5] Cover with Everclear and seal.
[6] Let stand for a week.
[7] Strain the fluid of solid matter into an air-tight glass jar. [Note: I use an old peanut butter jar with a good gasket in the lid.]
[8] Dilute with distilled water.
[9] Dispense some of the fluid into a medicine bottle with eye-dropper.
[10] Use as necessary.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Sleep, which knits up the raveled sleeve of care. -- Shakespeare]]

9:17 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. This is powerful stuff.

If your body isn't used to it, do NOT use a full eye-dropper at first. Otherwise, the back of your mouth will dry out. [Note: The remedy for that is to suck on a Hall's cough drop.]

Use just a few drops, i.e., 5, 10 or 15, from the eye-dropper.

Eventually your body will 'adapt' to it and a full eye-dropper of the tincture will be necessary.

11:16 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: And THEN....

....there's homeopathy.

Try having colitis sometime. I had an attack two weeks ago. Felt like my large intestine was about to explode from all the back-up. I thought it was something else, until the quintessential symptom showed up....clear jelly while straining.

Took the Euphorbia Lathyris and fifteen minutes later things were a WHOLE lot better. But it took a couple of days to get everything back to 'normal'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[God made the Earth and everything therein for Man. We just need to figure out how to use it all....properly.]

P.S. Beats the heck out of spending $100+ for a doctor's visit and any medications he mis-prescribes.

11:20 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Anne B. said...

We have a big, fluffy Maine Coon cat, and my husband can't take it anymore, despite weekly baths of Allerpet and keeping the cat out of the bedroom. Fortunately one of my daughters can take the cat, and the handover is in two weeks.

One problem: this is an old house, and when we don't have a resident cat, the mice come creeping back. I told my husband that HE is going to set the traps - and empty them.

11:51 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Anne B. said...

Clarification of my last post: the cat gets the Allerpet baths, not my husband.

11:52 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Richard said...

We have a few allergies but I don't think the dog aggravates them. The dog absolutely insists on a walk every day and I know that helps me.

12:09 PM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

i like my cat, and he keeps the allergic people from visiting.

1:02 PM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: dr.alistair
RE: Heh

i like my cat, and he keeps the allergic people from visiting. -- dr.alistair

I'm reminded of a time on 4ID(M) general staff. There was one fellow working in his own office for the G4. He smoked a VERY STRONG latakia tobacco in his pipe. [Note: This was before political correctness took over the US Army and gave us mass murderers as psychologists.]

I asked him about the tobacco, being a pipe smoker myself. He said it was to keep the riff-raff, i.e., those without a REAL purpose, out of his office so he could get real work done.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations - wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco. -- Edmund Burke]

3:27 PM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

actually, i see clients in my home and never have they complained.

i have booked around 500 hours at home since moving here in december of last year.

so, i guess those who come here have a real purpose!

3:30 PM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

One problem: this is an old house, and when we don't have a resident cat, the mice come creeping back. I told my husband that HE is going to set the traps - and empty them.

If your husband is going to set mouse traps, tell him to use peanut butter as the bait. That's the most effective thing I've ever found for attracting mice to traps. When I was stationed in small-town Nebraska many years ago, my rental home was invaded by many field mice each year after the nearby crops were harvested. During summer, the field mouse population explodes. After the harvest, they move into homes in search of food. I experimented with many types of bait and found nothing that worked better than peanut butter.

9:47 AM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger Anne B. said...

Thanks for the tip, Larry.

Will any old peanut butter do, or does one brand work better than the others? :-)

12:44 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

Helen,
You have a bad back AND allergies? That's bad luck. I was introduced to 'Ludmilla the white witch' as I call her in 96. She completely cured my ex of allergies when we had been going to western medical practitioners for 3 years for her. She developed severe asthma and allergies during her 4th pregnancy and we were told this would never be cured. We also put in an air filtration system in the house to clean the air and kill the dust-mites. Sydney is dust-mite capital of the world.

I will try and find the name of the machine she uses and post it here. Practitioners who use it all practice similar medicine. I had been ill for 5 years, slowly deteriorating until I was severely ill in 96. She diagnosed me inside 30 minutes where western doctors were 'mytified'. Yeah, sure. I had only 10% acid levels in my stomach and could not digest my food worth a damn, so everything else was 'out-of-wack' too. Even today, every time I am in Sydney I see her to 'balance me up'. I barely ever see a western doctor any more. The idea of paying these people money is crazy. And yes, my brother is one. LOL!

1:09 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

Anne, yep, Larry is right. This is what we use to in my home town. I live in wheat growing country and when there is a 'bumper' crop we get mice freaking everywhere. I don't know who came up with peanut butter because when I was a kid we used cheese. But now 'everyone knows' to use peanut butter where I come from.

1:12 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

Just on allergies.
"Allergies are terrible, and they aren't always obvious."
My friend Ludmilla tells me that most allergies are a result of chemical imbalance and subsequent immune system imbalance, too much or too little, in the body. I'll see if I can get her to put a post here on allergies. Having cured my ex of all her allergies I was impressed.

1:16 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger LordSomber said...

I grew up with cats but developed an allergy for them by the time I was 18 (strangely enough, after a 3 week trip away from home). Ten or so years later the allergy was gone.

Some allergies come and go.

3:42 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

Thanks for the tip, Larry.

Will any old peanut butter do, or does one brand work better than the others? :-)


I use the cheap stuff and it works fine. Now, I hope your husband isn't allergic to peanuts! Peanut allergies can be deadly.

4:34 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Larry J, et al.
RE: Mouse Baiting

I use the cheap stuff and it works fine. Now, I hope your husband isn't allergic to peanuts! Peanut allergies can be deadly. -- Larry J

Seems to me that most oily nuts would make a decent nut-butter bait for mice. Grind them up in your food processor with some standard veggie-based oil as a liquifying assistatn and add a little sugar and salt as added attractants.

I used to use Pay Day candy bar nugget for our mouse infestation back in Englewood, CO. Worked like a charm.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Is Disney World the only people trap operated by a mouse?]

6:32 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger AmericanWoman said...

That advice could be counter productive. Pets an lower your blood pressure and the stats show that pet owners live longer and are happier.

9:10 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: AmericanWoman
RE: It's the Same Old Think....

That advice could be counter productive. Pets an lower your blood pressure and the stats show that pet owners live longer and are happier. -- AmericanWoman

....of advantages and disadvantages to every situation.

However, I'm inclined to think that someone suffering horribly from an allergy to old cat hair is not going to be (1) happier and (2) live longer....in misery.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
["Plan 'A' is to ask the ogre to change into a mouse. I eat the evidence, no muss, no fuss, no body," said Puss-in-Boots as he screwed the silencer onto his HK Mk 23. "Plan 'B' gets messy."]

10:15 PM, August 27, 2010  

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