This is a comment that was left on my blog the other month. I’ve been saving it trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a post down the road, but for whatever reason it keeps popping up in my head and figured I’d just let it out here and see what happens. It’s not the happiest of posts, but it does get you to appreciate life more, and question how you’d handle something as serious & crazy as this yourself.
Would you have done things differently? Can you relate to what he’s going through?
Here’s Joe’s story:
It makes me sick to even think about this, but here goes.
About 3 years ago I had just finished paying off all of my credits. I was down to one car payment; and that vehicle was close to being paid off. At that point I would have only had the mortgage remaining and a student loan. I was maxing my 401k for the first time ever; I was on track.
This lasted for about 6 months until I started feeling sick. Thirsty all the time; waking up 5+ times in the night to urinate; double vision. I went to the doctor and they ran some labs; that was when I found out I have metabolic syndrome; Type 2 diabetes combined with a whole host of other problems, bad thyroid, bad cholesterol, bad triglycerides. At the time my triglycerides were at 900; the doctor told me my blood was basically turning to sludge and that I was going to be dead in short course if I wasn’t on proper meds and made sure to take them everyday.
I was in some serious depression; I didn’t know how this happened to a guy that’s in his late 20s, goes to the gym 4 or 5 times a week, and only weighs 150. Really bad genes is how.
At this point I felt all of the saving and spend thrifting was for nothing and that I was going to die without enjoying life and doing any of the things I wanted to do. Basically in a panic I started to spend like never in my life. I cashed out the 401k (wasn’t going to need it since I figured I’d be dead inside 10 years) remodeled the house, bought a new truck, a new SUV for the wife, a motorcycle, an ATV, new cell phones with big data plans, NetFlix, a Playstation 3, blu-ray discs; I don’t even remember what else. What I do know is at the end of it my 401k was gone and I had accumulated an additional $85K in debt; my A+ credit rating was now in the tank.
Now my disease is being managed and it looks like I’ll be living a long time with this regret over my head. I have begun paying it back; at this point I still have $63k remaining to payoff; I can’t afford to contribute more than a very minimum to 401k with all of the payments I have now. I’ve tried to sell the motorcycle and the ATV, but no one is buying recreational vehicles in this economy. If I could take it back and kept my head on I would have so much less stress. I don’t know how I let myself get here.
Man… crazy, huh? One minute things are great, and the next you’re told you’re dying. Insane. I can’t even fathom how I’d have handled this myself… to be honest, I might have done the same thing! Who knows. At the end of the day though, LIFE has to come before all other troubles – career, homes, money, etc. It’s horrible to end up w/ all this debt and stress and what not, but I gotta believe it feels much better to be alive :)
So if you’re reading this Joe, You can do it!!! :) You’ve rocked it once, and you can rock it again. I have total faith you can overcome this just like you overcome/managed this sickness!
To my readers: What do you think about all this? Any advice for him?
PS: You can read more about Joe’s story on his blog: http://sweeturine.blogspot.com/ (diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes) in latin translates fairly literally to honey-sweet urine) where he also has a PayPal button which goes 100% to the American Diabetes Association.