Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Health, Fitness, Insurance, ...
7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I have never claimed to be a Stoic, and I am not a huge fan of affluent ancients who pride themselves on their great restraint in terms of “not killing all enemies I could have killed” or “not lying with all of the concubines of my grandfather.” However, I recognize that the philosophy can be generally useful in the realm of frugality.

So, I have a question/challenge for those of you who to strive towards Stoic style frugality. If you were suddenly stricken with a non-deadly (your expected lifespan would not change)but otherwise horrific auto-immune disease that caused you to shit blood and mucus approximately 8 times/day from a painfully inflamed and ulcerated colon, and the best known means of finding remission from these symptoms, which would obviously be the #1 with a bullet limiting factor on all your other activities, is a medication which costs $700/month, what would you do?

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 1074
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Lemur »

Be born in a country where this is not a concern...

On a serious note - probably just do a ton of book research and adjust my diet to reduce symptoms. But failing that, I would probably cave in eventually - and then continue to experiment getting off the medication / adjusting diet, etc.

I had something of a similar situation when I re-herniated an already previously herniated disc that had surgery on. I was basically bed ridden and could not even roll over without excruciating pain. Many nights woke up in my sleep to basically be in agony. This lasted 6 weeks before I finally caved and went to a doctor after having been trying all sorts of physical therapy exercises, fasting, eating foods that reduced inflammation supposedly, etc.

I think willpower will crash eventually. May consider finding some tips by Nietzsche?

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I already attempted all possible dietary variations previous to definitive diagnosis. I went to some trouble to procure the services of highly rated gastroenterologist and get expenses covered outside of my cheap ass insurance network. My gastroenterologist point blank informed me diet does not cause or directly influence the specific form of the disease I have as verified by colonoscopy and biopsy. Obviously, drinking a hot pepper kale smoothie and a milkshake with a pot of coffee chaser would not help matters, but eating nothing but rice, chicken and bananas does not help much either, and eating nothing at all just changes the form of the pain and discomfort into the colonic equivalent of unremitting dry heaves. (Likely, some of you are wishing I would/could go back to TMI in the realm of sexuality, but as I have recently learned from advocacy groups, it is important to raise public awareness and acceptance of gastrointestinal diseases which are often closeted due to shame.)

Anyways, I did throw down the first $700 for the meds which will hopefully break me out of this cycle along with the month of much cheaper prednisone that was also prescribed. Unfortunately, pretty much every form of pain killer besides Tylenol does have the potential to either worsen symptoms or contribute to relatively unlikely worst case outcome known as toxic mega-colon, where your guts swell up into a dysfunctional balloon of inflammation which might burst, and you end up dead or having to handcraft decorative covers for your external poop pouch. So, even last ditch desperation possibility of attempting to purchase opiates on the black market is not an option for this chronic form of pain.

My next tactic will be directed at attempt to see if I can hack together mid-year change of insurance plan and/or get covid related higher level coverage. My primary believes it must have been triggered by Covid even though I swab tested negative, and he indicated this on most recent paperwork. Obviously, yearly medical vacation might be less expensive than the drug in the U.S. I do wonder how I could determine rational pricing in terms that could be directly related to energy burn. For better or worse, an economic decision like this does somewhat raise back up the somewhat brushed under the rug objective reality that is actuarial calculation of your own self as productive asset. IOW, the reality that most of us are retiring our most productive, most invested in asset prematurely from 5000 ft up perspective.

User avatar
Dream of Freedom
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: Nebraska, US

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Dream of Freedom »

I'm neither a stoic nor a doctor, but I'd go carnivore for a month and see if that helped. Despite the vegan claim that meat rots in the colon the truth is that the majority of meat is absorbed before it reaches the colon. So you could give the colon a break. Plus many people with autoimmune disorders report finding relief with it. It might work it might not. It's reversible, and if it were me that is what I would try first.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Dream of Freedom:

My anecdotal personal experience is that high fat meat based meals are not helpful, may lead to extreme emergency bathroom run, and the only actual medical research report I could dig up on the topic suggests that any food that produces dietary sulphur, such as red meat, may be harmful. What I seem to tolerate best once already inflamed is frequent small meals of very bland food like Rice Krispies with almond milk. Preponderance of evidence suggests that the specific form of lower colon inflammation I experience is not triggered by diet.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 5291
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Ego »

Federal Poverty Level is $12,880
Michigan Medicaid eligibility is 133% FPL

Drugs covered under Michigan's Medicaid plans (PDF) https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdhh ... 6275_7.pdf

Zero co-Pay and zero cost (afaik)

ETA: I would start with a food, poop and mood log to see if I could figure out correlations. Also turmeric.

User avatar
Jean
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Jean »

700$ per month is still a manageable amount of money to get, so i'de try it for a while. Either trough a job, or insurance compliance.
I after a few month, the effort required to avoid a life of lower digestive system pain are too much of a toll, i'de consider the possibility of a happy long life definitively lost, and i start activities for wich, fear of losing this possibility of a happy long life was the main deterent.

So that might be start basejumping, join a mercenary group, try heroïn, etc...

hope it helps

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Ego:

Yeah, I’m going to attempt mid-year switch to better Federal plan or Medicaid. My monthly current income would definitely qualify, but I had a bigger chunk of income earlier in the year, so I’ll have to see what I can finagle.

I’ve had this problem, more or less active, since April of last year, and never at all prior. In fact, I somewhat prided myself on cast-iron system with extreme regularity. Right at the height of Covid in my region, I suddenly had extreme bloody dysentery like symptoms, didn’t go to hospital, and was later diagnosed with likely extremely infected anal fissure and internal hemorrhoids. Then I spent a year wondering why all the other many people who likely have internal hemorrhoids weren’t constantly running to the bathroom or cramped up in pain with drum tight extended belly. So, I have been considering dietary possibilities, stress, exercise, all the usual suspects. That’s not what this is. It seems like dietary factors might be involved for obvious reasons, but It starts in your rectum and moves up your colon. My stomach is still no problem, and all the pictures of my upper colon look healthy. The bad reactions to foods or other eating patterns when I am symptomatic are mostly mechanical. Like a very heavy, scratchy wool blanket doesn’t cause you to have poison ivy, chicken pox, or chemical burns, but you don’t want one on you when you do. All the steroids they pumped into me last November when I was hospitalized for asthma and covid-like lung x-rays probably put it into remission, but once your genetic tendency meets the right environmental factor, you then have it for life. Most people get it between the ages of 15 and 30. I’m an unlucky late bloomer.

@Jean:

Hear you. I did ride on the back of motorcycle with “ex” who has paralyzed arm from previous motorcycle accident*, and had one-off sex with two other guys**, went to expensive salon for pampering, and bought myself a new off the rack Winnie the Pooh t-shirt to wear to my gastro appointments. I also ate a whole box of Captain Crunch when I grew weary of the Rice Krispies.

*I almost posted picture of the hack that allows him to operate motorcycle one-handed. The mechanic melted a metal kitchen ladle into a hand control mechanism.

**Which is extra risky behavior if you consider the moment of terror if/when a muscular stranger you aren’t entirely likely to trust to obey your clear instruction to not even get near your ass suddenly flips you over. Kind of like bungee jumping towards field littered with glass shards.

white belt
Posts: 766
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by white belt »

Do you use a bidet? I’m not sure if it would help at all with the colitis but I do know it might help with hemorrhoids. It will also reduce irritation from toilet paper if you are having to go multiple times a day. I’m a huge fan of the Luxe Bidet toilet seat attachment but there are many low tech DIY options as well.

Qazwer
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 6:51 pm

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Qazwer »

I think systems but I do not think ERE.
I would look into jobs with good insurance. With a teaching degree (I think you have - I remember you wrote that you have taught), you can find a location with a job with good insurance. American healthcare sucks in a lot of ways. But some things you can control and change, some things you can’t. Build a system including the reality of where you are and how life has changed.
Man plans … etc.
Sorry you are suffering through this. Modern medicine is amazing but our healthcare system is not. You will likely have other ongoing costs beside just medicines.
You can sometimes contact the manufacturer. They sometimes have programs you can apply for to decrease cost. But that would not cover any complications that might occur with potential resultant hospitalizations and follow-ups. Also there are potential requirements for other testing which might be needed over time. Prednisone (steroids in general) was a wonder drug when it first came out in the 1950’s. It still is first line treatment for a lot of things. But it is not without side effects. Those can be worth it. But then if these risks can be avoided by a different approach, that could have value to you.
My overall suggestion is to start over your map of what you want and how to get it. You might wind up deciding on a stoic approach, but you might not. I am sorry you have to make those trade offs given other values your writings clearly indicate.

Campitor
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Campitor »

@7WB

Stoicism is about accepting that some things are outside of our control and we must make peace with that. However that doesn't mean being resigned to suffering but rather looking for the constructive means to end the suffering, if it's possible, while not letting the misery consume you.

In regards to your illness I sympathize with you. What I would recommend, to be 100% sure your diet isn't the issue, is to do a limited fast and see if that alleviates your symptoms (the rectal bleeding and discharge). If your symptoms start to improve, start adding back foods, 1 item at a time, and see if anything is triggered.

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor - always consult a physician when undergoing any long term fasting.

If fasting is 100% out of the question, then do the mono-diet thing. Eat 1 item for a limited time and see how your symptoms adjust - if they improve, then make note of it and add that food item to your "approved" list. Then switch to the next item and rinse and repeat until you have a big enough list of food items to satisfy your culinary tastes.

Then try eating 2 or 3 of those items together to see if certain food combinations cause issues. Rinse and repeat until you come to a repeatable menu you're happy with.

In regards to eating rice, be careful of the source. Some rice grown in the US is high in arsenic. Arsenic poisoning symptoms include the problems you're experiencing.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@white belt:

I use a small watering can with long narrow spout. I also carry sensitive skin baby wipes.

@Qazwer:

I agree with your general analysis. I am going to have to re-evaluate my entire current web of goals.

The problem with full-time teaching as solution is that it is about the worst job for easy access to bathroom and a first year job is going to realistically be more like 60 hours/week. Also, because I am only provisionally certified, it is less likely that I will be able to obtain best case scenario which would be upper level high school, near my social support system, public or decent private school, reasonably well-behaved student population. Future me does not want to be pooping her pants in the midst of a Lord of the Flies type middle school situation. I’d rather go with Jean’s suggestions.

@Campitor:

From “A Patient Expert Walks You Through Everything You Need to Learn and Do The First Year Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis” by Jill Sklar
Diet has been looked into time and again. While some foods and beverages definitely can stimulate the gastrointestinal tract to cause more daily bowel movements, there has been no consistently prescribed diet to counteract the effects of the diseases, not to mention a preventative one.
I asked my gastroenterologist point blank about dietary restrictions or suggestions and he said “Not with this form of inflammation.” I don’t have irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or food sensitivities. I have ulcerative colitis which is an auto-immune disease which can also effect your joints, eyes, and skin. Even if I eat nothing, the ulcers on my lower colon continue to produce and expel mucus and crusty stuff. If you have an enemy, buy a voodoo doll and write UC on its butt.

Western Red Cedar
Posts: 409
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Western Red Cedar »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:24 pm
If you have an enemy, buy a voodoo doll and write UC on its butt.
Well - at least you haven't lost your sense of humor. That seems a bit stoic of you ;)

Not much else to add, but inflammation can stem from a lot of sources. I'm assuming you've tried almost everything at this point, but trying to tackle inflammation from a variety of angles might help.

Extended stays in nature or natural environments reduce cortisol, blood pressure, and has other positive health effects.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Ulcerative colitis happens when your immune system makes a mistake. Normally, it attacks invaders in your body, like the common cold. But when you have UC, your immune system thinks food, good gut bacteria, and the cells that line your colon are the intruders. White blood cells that usually protect you attack the lining of your colon instead. They cause the inflammation and ulcers.
I very much enjoy relaxing in natural settings, but won’t change fact that my genetic tendency to exhibit this incurable disease has now been triggered. My sense of humor extends to chuckle at recognition of fact that the population of this forum is practically addicted to concept of agency. Literal shit that can’t be controlled!?!? Not in our universe 7WB5!!! :lol:

Toska2
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:51 pm

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Toska2 »

Poop bag so I don't have to run to the bathroom 8 times a day.

Otherwise not much, I figured my own life has a 50 year lifespan so my future end is imminent. However, remodeling isn't on my agenda.

ducknald_don
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:31 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by ducknald_don »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:18 pm
My sense of humor extends to chuckle at recognition of fact that the population of this forum is practically addicted to concept of agency. Literal shit that can’t be controlled!?!? Not in our universe 7WB5!!! :lol:
I love this community but it's far from rational, especially when something is even slightly political. You might get some more useful feedback if you look for a group on Reddit specific to your condition.

Qazwer
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 6:51 pm

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Qazwer »

I think you are correct. It is a conflict between values of autonomy (this forum) and safety. The calculus has now changed with similar weighting of values but with different level of life impact which makes safety more important than previously for you. Sorry - life changes like that suck. But it is the old engineering paradigm of start with where you are not where you want to be.
Other ways to get insurance include various underemployment jobs - you could find a job that might not need your skill set. Have to check on the quality of that insurance if that is why you get the job. That include Starbucks, federal government, various hospital systems etc

Campitor
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by Campitor »

https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net/ty ... statistics
Inflammatory bowel disease affects people of all racial and ethnic groups. It is found more often in North America and western Europe than in other parts of the world. It is more common in Caucasians and people of eastern and central European (Ashkenazi) Jewish descent than other demographic groups. It is less common in African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans. However, racial and ethnic gaps are closing...
...Inflammatory bowel disease is more common in general in industrialized countries than in developing countries, and in northern parts of these countries than the southern regions. It is also more common in cities than in rural communities, and in people with white-collar jobs. Rates of the disease are increasing worldwide. The countries with the highest rates of UC are the U.S., Denmark and Iceland.1-7

These facts lead researchers to believe that a western lifestyle plays a role in ulcerative colitis, such as diet, smoking, sunlight exposure, pollution and industrial chemicals.
I've done some deep dives into autoimmune diseases. Most of the data I've come across strongly indicates that stress, diet, geographic zone, and lifestyle are common markers for increased or decreased incidents of autoimmunity. Being further north and living in an industrial zone (US and Europe, etc.) coincide with increased autoimmunity.

Living in the northern hemisphere results in reduced amounts of sun exposure which leads to less vitamin D production which is fat soluble.*

Living in an industrialized zone comes with increased stress, access to industrialized foods, and decreased physical activity. Stress is strongly correlated with autoimmune disease and poor health (increase cortisol impacts stomach lining).**

And vitamin D is fat soluble - being overweight and eating fatty foods will suck the vitamin D out of circulation and into fat cells.***

You can't discount diet, geography, or lifestyle as contributing factors or the cause of autoimmunity. Many autoimmune disorders have been "cured" by changes in diet, lifestyle, and geography. There is very strong research that indicates we may be able to control or minimize the severity of our autoimmunity.

* https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Vitam ... fessional/
Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including reduction of inflammation as well as modulation of such processes as cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and glucose metabolism [1-3]. Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D. Many tissues have vitamin D receptors, and some convert 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D.

** https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body
Glucocorticoids, including cortisol, are important for regulating the immune system and reducing inflammation. While this is valuable during stressful or threatening situations where injury might result in increased immune system activation, chronic stress can result in impaired communication between the immune system and the HPA axis...
...stress is associated with changes in gut bacteria which in turn can influence mood. Thus, the gut’s nerves and bacteria strongly influence the brain and vice versa. Early life stress can change the development of the nervous system as well as how the body reacts to stress. These changes can increase the risk for later gut diseases or dysfunctioning.


*** https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbe ... in-d-level
Fat tissue sops up vitamin D, so it's been proposed that it might be a vitamin D rainy-day fund: a source of the vitamin when intake is low or production is reduced. But studies have also shown that being obese is correlated with low vitamin D levels and that being overweight may affect the bioavailability of vitamin D.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Good news! Financial bleed/outflow of $700+/month problem solved. Qualified for state medicaid plan with no asset clawback based on current income (nod to Ego.) If/when my self-employment/investment/misc. income increases, I can switch right away to best coverage available through federal marketplace.

@Toska2:

Life doesn't end at 50, although it does change. Health goes down, but giving a crap about concerns about stuff like what other people think goes way down.

@ducknald_don:

Thanks for the Reddit suggestion. UC/Crohn's disease are not conditions related to age and decrepitude, so I found a lot of extremely rude/uplifting posts by adolescents who also suffer from these conditions; How do you know that you have UC? You poop in public more than your dog., gruesome photos of blood filled toilets, etc.

@Qazwer:

Yeah, if I was a specific variety of fruiting tree at my permaculture project, I might just consign myself to the hot compost heap, but clearly I do not have the choice of removing my own genetic tendencies, immune system experience/memory, and/or intestines from my lifestyle systems design until/unless I do end up with colostomy/j-pouch due to progression of disease. My only good choice is to do whatever has already been scientifically confirmed to delay progression of disease. Even the $700/month drug I am on now might not be enough. There are other newer, even more expensive drugs, that may be even more effective. The advocacy groups seem to be very big on right to demand most effective measures.

@Campitor:

Based on my reading thus far, there has only been one medically documented case where somebody was maybe "cured", healthy intestinal mucosa completely healed, from this disease. And, that was with a good deal of most modern medical intervention. I am not inclined to play a game of chicken or engage in wishful thinking when it comes to saving a fairly vital organ system. Recent research has also linked many auto-immune diseases to possession of Neanderthal DNA*, which correlates with being Caucasion Northern Industrial Dweller as well as it correlates with standard American diet, white collar work, etc. for obvious historical happenstance reasons. UC/Crohn's have been well understood and very well studied since the 1920s and none of these dietary/stress theories have stood up to research. Strange, but true, eating crap can definitely give you heart disease and problems with other distant organs, but it is not linked to these specific near to the crappy food intake bowel diseases. Some weird things that can trigger the disease are breast-feeding and quitting smoking. In fact, my best bet for surviving zombie apocalypse with this problem would be raiding drug stores for nicotine patches.

* Coincidentally, my sister recently had detailed analysis done for free through the U of M as gift for participating in a medical study, and she was 83% Northwest Europe, 9%Finland, 3% Eastern Europe, 3% Southern Europe, 2% Southeast Asia, 1% Oceania. Unfortunately, the Denisovan extra rooted tooth structure I apparently inherited from my Asian/Aboriginal Australian great-great-great-great-grandmother who was likely picked up in a raid by one of my many Viking ancestors, is not indicative of enough hybrid strength to protect me from any of the auto-immune diseases correlated with my extremely pale skin.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7431
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Ultimate Stoic Frugality Challenge

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Science fiction legend
O’Bannon revealed on multiple occasions, that his experiences with Crohn’s disease inspired the chest bursting alien creature, that incubated inside victim’s stomach, and then violently ripped through the internal organs, and came out of victim’s chest. He was reported to describe: “The digestion process felt like something bubbling inside of me struggling to get out.”
He later died of the disease at age 63.

Post Reply