About me Early Retirement Journey

How the Hysterectomy I Ordered Online Helped Save $70,000 for Early Retirement

I am day 5 post op and the blog post of just how I ordered a hysterectomy online just won’t leave me. After some recent GI achievements, I feel a bit rejuvenated. That combined with the fact that I can finally sit up for more than a few minutes without nausea makes this is a great moment in a week of general feelings of malaise.

How Did I Order a Hysterectomy Online? 
Google of course. I was fed up with the tumultuous history I had with my uterus so I went to the internet. I had heard over the course of my life second hand stories of people going to this country or the other for various operations (implants, some new diet fad mostly from fictional tv shows, stomach stapling) and prescription medicine.  Due to some great search engine optimization, a surgery center in Maryland popped up first. I submitted an online query form one Saturday or Sunday. By Monday, they called me and scheduled a phone consultation with a surgeon the following week. After the brief consultation, the surgery scheduler called and scheduled me for the next available Monday. Kismet or not, it was the day after my birthday and I already had scheduled the week off from work for some relaxation. What’s more relaxing than the thought of a pain-free, menstrual free existence?

How Did I Get To This Place?
Over the last 20 years, I have inquired of one doctor or the other about options to control my heavy menses and pain. I had tried 2 oral contraceptives, an IUD with ridiculous adverse events, and various forms of hygiene products with varying success. My current OB/GYN  suggested a trial of tranexamic acid which consisted of 15 pills over 5 days every month FOREVER and would only decrease blood loss. To me that was a heavy pill burden to only solve part of the problem. After which, the next step would be endometrial ablation. Hard pass.

How Does this Help Save for Early Retirement?
In my teens and 20s, I was mostly in school, so staining things, staying behind and missing a social event or a class was annoying but not costly. Now that I’m working, my time is valuated.  More importantly unused PTO (paid time off) can be sold back to the company at your current rate. At my current rate, with an average of 3 missed days every 3 months due to symptoms, or about one day a month, that’s 12 days a year. $45/hr x 8 hrs/mon x 12 mon/yr = $4320/ yr that’s costing me.  Average age of menopause for women in my family = 50. $4320 x 16 years to go  =  $69,120 at my current salary with no accounting for inflation, raises, or compound interest.

I haven’t gotten my bill yet, but on the face of it, the projected savings is my annual budget for 2 years now living in formaldehyde. Thank you God. Thank you science. Thank you health insurance.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    [[originally published Apr 7, 2018]
    Brian @ The Graying Saver

    Apr 7, 2018www.thegrayingsaver.com
    Ughhhhhh! I’ve heard that hysterectomies come with some of the most painful recoveries. I think I’d rather have joint replacement than a hysterectomy, which is good since I didn’t come with a uterus. Hope you’re hanging in there.

    A friend at work had a hysterectomy and feared that she had become addicted to morphine as a result. She just kept pressing the button to release more until the nurse finally told her, “honey, you’re only supposed to press the button when it really hurts.” My friend was like, just keep the damn bag filled!

    My wife had an ectopic pregnancy and emergency surgery to correct. We were never able to conceive after that and she finally decided to go ahead with a uterine ablation, which has worked out fairly well for her.

    I hope we can get our healthcare system sorted out sooner rather than later. Why does everyone else seem to have this figured out but us?
    Take care!

  2. I love the equation! You monetized your well-being, which is in alignment with reality.
    I constantly emphasize to anyone that will listen that health is the greatest asset. I have a 58-year-old friend that thinks she will work until age 70. Her health problems are causing her to walk with a limp now and she travels frequently. I don’t know how she expects to continue working for another 12 years. I have a feeling her plan will be cut short and she will have to make some decisions.

    When I was in my 20s, I dragged myself around and was in a fog almost every morning. I started exercising and it changed my life. My daily priorities are 1) work, 2) exercising, 3) everything else. Combined with a good diet, I am unstoppable.

    I admire your ability to take your health into your own hands.

    1. Thanks so much, Dora! I appreciate that. It’s so hard to know if the decisions you make for yourself really make a difference. A 58-year-old that wants to work until age 70?! Blashpemous!! 🙂

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