Happy New Year & Don’t Put Your Health at Risk to Avoid/Payoff Debt

How many of you have listed paying off a credit card as one of your New Year’s Resolutions?  It is great to get your personal financial house in order but don’t put your health at risk. If you don’t heed this advice, you may have a larger financial expense.

Let me explain. I had noticed a friend at work had been absent for sometime.  I made a passing reference to a co -worker who also made the same observation. Our boss presumed this worker was burning up a lot of use or lose leave.

Last week I noticed this friend’s car was back in the garage. I guess my boss was right. I called this friend later that day. I remarked how I hadn’t seen her in a while. She replied,  “I didn’t tell you? I had to have surgery. ” I assured she didn’t tell me.

It turns out this friend had to have surgery to remove her wisdom teeth that had been infected. There were some serious issues with the nerves and her jaw. The doctor had to transplant bone from another part of her body to strengthen and stabilize the jaw.

As I listened to this friend’s unfortunate experience,  I began thinking,  how could it get to this point? How did her dentist miss this?

I mentioned to my friend how I had my four wisdom teeth removed years ago (surgery occurred a few weeks before I joined the military) . I gently inquired about her dentist. My friend mentioned how she elected not to see a dentist for 1.5 years to ensure she graduated college without any debt. My friend also mentioned her dentist had told her that she (my friend) would need to have her wisdom teeth removed (this was before my friend stopped seeing the dentist for 1.5 years) . My friend told me her dentist didn’t indicate the matter was serious.

Not all of the details are clear to me but this unfortunate situation probably occurred because #1 my friend may not have realized the seriousness of the matter,  #2 the wisdom teeth were not that critical when the dentist first brought the matter to my friend’s attention and #3 my friend elected to forgo seeing a dentist for 1.5 years.

I kindly advised my friend: please do not put your health at risk. I told her I did not fund my retirement for 2 years to pay off my rental property (my condo)  but I saw my dentist twice a year and saw my ob gyn once a year.

I can’t imagine seeing the dentist costs that much money. And my friend eats out all the time. She loves to eat, she loves food & talks about food. Now she can’t eat solid food for at least four weeks.

This situation could have been avoided. And I expect my friend may have a few medical expenses to pay because of the surgery (and I bet those medical expenses exceed the costs of the dental appointments my friend elected to forgo) .

So yes be “gazelle” intense in paying off your debt and / or saving money. But don’t put your health at risk!

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