Are you looking for some fresh ideas about how to take care of yourself in our toxic world? Here is the true story of how my family and I have lived a healthy life, and incidentally without health insurance, for more than thirty years.
I quit my job as a director of mental health services when I became convinced that there was a better way to help people get their minds back and was determined to find it. Fran and I had two young children, and she was a stay-at-home Mom. We sold our home and decided to use the equity to build another one with our own hands. We calculated that if we were relatively frugal, we could build the house and live well for about three years. What didn’t fit into our budget were the huge, monthly Cobra health insurance payments.
We looked at our options and decided that our situation was the perfect opportunity to learn how to take full responsibility for our own and our children’s health. No excuses, no safety nets. So, gradually we developed a health strategy for staying healthy that has kept us disease and injury-free for the last thirty-three years. That is surely statistically significant in anyone’s book, I’d say.
I think it’s really very funny and immensely instructive that the last time I was seriously ill and hospitalized was when I still had health insurance. In the last thirty-three years, though, only once have I been sick enough to need a short course of antibiotics; but, Fran and the children never were. Can you imagine the money we’ve saved? In fact, I actually didn’t go back to full-time work again for eight years, and during that time we finished our twenty-five-hundred-square-foot passive solar home, bought two new cars, and took a magical vacation to Disneyland on the auto train. At today’s rates, I estimate that over the last thirty-three years we’ve saved the equivalent of about $400,000.
Far more important than the money, though, is how much pain and suffering we have saved ourselves. Did we have some illness, did we have some injury? Yes, of course, but we paid for them out-of-pocket, because they were rare and relatively minor. We are now in our late 60’s, take no medication and just don’t get sick enough to need professional medical care. The main thrust of this article is that anyone with an open mind and the motivation to take responsibility for their own health can do what we did.
Keep in mind that we always strive to balance mind, body, and spirit, because we are a blend of all of those. We definitely also strive to enjoy life, but realize that we are all gambling with our lives in this toxic world. The difference is that we see ourselves as professional gamblers, because we play the odds. Fran and I love our pizza and ice cream and enjoy going out to eat once in a while; but, very rarely, maybe twice a year, do we eat fast foods. We are not purists but know how to balance what we eat. We like the advice, “Moderation in all things, especially in moderation.”
Check out Part II for the ten tactics in our health strategy that continue to keep us healthy and insurance-free.
Stephen Scalese was a psychotherapist for more than thirty years, until he discovered a better way. He has spent four decades studying and healing the mind, including his own. He has uncovered the wonderful way the mind really works, and solved a key mind puzzle by discovering how its misuse is literally killing us.
In his book, The Whisper In Your Heart, Stephen tells how, as her therapist, he helped Nancy to heal herself of terminal cancer by finding within her mind a special intelligence that guided them on a five-year healing adventure that not only saved her life but healed his as well.