Who is Frugal Nurse?
Well, I’m a nurse and have been in the healthcare system for (gulp!) over 30 years. I’m also a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend and an active member of my community.
I enjoy taking care of myself and my family. I value good health and to the best of my ability have always tried to follow my healthcare providers’ recommendations for diet, exercise, routine exams, screening tests and vaccinations.
But two things opened my eyes to the failings of our healthcare system.
First, and most frightening, in 2010 my husband was the victim of too much healthcare, and it almost killed him. He was told he had thyroid cancer and needed to have his thyroid completely removed. During this surgery, he suffered from a medical error and ended up staying longer in the hospital than he should have (and we had the privilege of paying more because of it).
Then he was told he needed radioactive iodine treatment (I-131). Another series of medical errors ended with an ambulance ride to the emergency department and two days in the ICU. He almost died. Again, we had to pay for it, or at least our insurance company did.
He’s fine now, thank goodness, but he has to take thyroid medication every day for the rest of his life. Medication that is rapidly increasing in price.
We now know he was not only overdiagnosed (his particular tumor is no longer classified as a cancer) but overtreated. We have talked to several ENTs (ear, nose and throat doctors) who were surprised that he had such aggressive treatment for such a non-aggressive tumor.
Why did we not seek a second opinion? Why did we not do more research on our own?
Second, the upheaval of the health insurance market has meant our premiums have more than doubled in the last five years. Our deductible has doubled as well.
Even worse, we’ve been forced to change insurance plans every year for the last five years, which is just lousy healthcare. We no sooner find a primary care doctor than we have to change—again. We don’t get to know them and trust them, and they don’t get to know us and understand our healthcare goals.
Somewhere in all this I became the Frugal Nurse.
I’m determined not only to help my family and close friends navigate our broken healthcare system, but to offer the information, tips and resources I find to others.
My motto is simple: Be informed. Stay healthy. Save money.
An extraordinary amount of money is being spent on healthcare in this country, and I believe it will take an extraordinary effort on everyone’s part to make the system work for an ordinary family with ordinary resources, like yours, like mine.
Do you have a healthcare horror story to share? Or tips for working the system? Or ways to save money? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send me an email via my Contact page. 😊