One Pain, High Cost

I have spoken before about the social cost of pain – how doctors as well as friends and family do not understand chronic pain.  Now let’s talk about finances.  Dollars and cents.  But let’s face it, the dollars are more important than the cents.  I think that most people know that having a chronic disease increases healthcare costs.  Fewer people may realize that migraine can be considered a chronic disease.  It has been reported that overall costs of having migraines range from $581 to $7089 per year.  I believe it!  I had never really sat down and thought about how much money I have spent on headache and migraine care.  Granted, some years have been better than others.  However, over the years, I have had countless visits to doctors, specialists, chiropractors, acupuncture and massage, as well as medications, supplements and essential oils.

cost, pain, migraine, headache, money, botox

A Year in My Life

In the roughly 13 months before I did the LEAP/ MRT program, I spent $3660.62.  That was my out-of-pocket cost.  The actual billed amount was $10,359.22.  So, what does a breakdown of my costs look like?

Medications 692.93
Primary Care Visits 322.61
Specialist Visits 767.58
ER Visit 570.46
Chiropractic 385.00
Procedures 922.04
Total $3660.62

Honestly, almost every category could have cost me more.  Thanks to my procedures (MRI and EEG), and my daughters ear infections, I hit our $3000 family deductible in the first month of our plan year.  Pretty much everything except the first neuro visit and those procedures were after my deductible, so I was paying 10%.  (Remember that billed amount >$10k?)

It Could Have Cost Even More

The last visit I went to before doing the LEAP/ MRT program was a Botox consult.  When the doctor told me he was going to stick me 31 times, I said no way.  I know a lot of people like Botox, and it “works” for them.  But here’s the catch: it doesn’t fix anything.  Botox blocks the pain signals, but it does not actually fix the cause.  You have to get the (31) injections every three months (to continue blocking the pain receptors), and it can take up to 2 weeks after the injections to feel better.  Finally, it can take 6-9 months (2 to 3 treatments) before it actually starts “helping.”

I never found out my actual cost of the procedure, because all of that added up to “not good enough” for me.  If you do a Google search, you can find out that a vial of Botox costs about $525.  However, that greatly underestimates the cost to you.  It takes more than one vial to complete all of the injections, and that doesn’t include the amount the doctor charges.  I have seen estimates ranging from $1500-2300.  Remember this is per treatment, and you need 4 treatments per year.  Forever.  I found another report of places charging $6000 per treatment.

cost, pain, botox, migraine

I was so glad that I had already found LEAP/ MRT.  When I talked about it with my husband, we both decided that it was better for me to do the blood test and change what I eat.  Honestly, even if it hadn’t worked, it still cost less than one Botox treatment.

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