horse finances · lasik · surgery · Uncategorized

The Best Money I’ve Ever Spent

I had Lasik surgery about 10 days ago. I’m going to do a whole wrap-up post about it next week, after I’ve gotten a few rides in and can report reliably on that part (because when you google “Lasik + horseback riding” there basically crickets? which was not helpful for my brain?).

Lasik is not generally covered by insurance, which means that I paid for the surgery out of pocket. Or, more accurately, I arranged for financing through Care Credit, and will be paying for it for another ~18 months or so. I planned carefully, did my research, evaluated my budget, and felt comfortable taking on that amount of debt for that amount of time.

A lot of people have asked about the money part. Honestly, it’s pretty much in line with any other surgery. I didn’t find it agonizingly expensive, not for the return on investment. But the reactions veer between “that’s so expensive, I can’t believe anyone would spend that!” and “isn’t it the best money you’ve ever spent?”

I’ve thought a lot about that in the last few days, for some reason. Yeah, I’m happy with the money I spent! Seeing clearly for the first time in my life is pretty great!

But is it the best money I’ve ever spent? For some reason, that question – which was surely intended to be rhetorical! – has stuck in my brain.

No, it’s not the best money I’ve ever spent.

I have an easy answer for the best money I’ve ever spent: Tristan’s coffin bone surgery.


almost exactly six (!) years post-surgery

If you tally up the actual procedure + hospital stay, it cost almost exactly the same as my Lasik surgery. If you include everything related to that injury it was 50% more, over the course of about nine months.

It was life-saving surgery. Not at the time – he wasn’t going to keel over – but surely it was a matter of time before the infection in the bone went septic and then systemic. Certainly he would never have been sound again if it had chewed away more of the coffin bone.

So, yeah. Easy call. Keeping him alive, sound, and happy was an easy call, financially. It certainly helped that I had an emergency fund that covered the surgery + vet bills, and steady employment that assured me of replenishing the emergency fund, but even if I’d had neither of those things, it still would have been an easy call.

But the average person who asks me that question does not want to hear about my horse, much less his surgery, so I usually just smile and say “it’s pretty great!”

8 thoughts on “The Best Money I’ve Ever Spent

  1. Check with your lasik Dr – I was told to stay out of barn and away from grooming/ cleaning stalls etc for 30 days. My surgery was more involved though, I had PRK version of lasik.


    1. Yup, I’ve been checking in with them pretty obsessively. My surgeon grew up with horses, so she understands what I’m talking about. PRK, as I understand it, is a much longer initial recovery time. I visited the barn 3-4 times in my first week after surgery and cleared my one-week checkup with flying colors. I’ve been far more cautious than they even recommended, honestly.


      1. HAHA, sigh, I want both LASIK and insulation. My husband just got LASIK and is in heaven. Paid for out of his HSA money that we couldn’t use for anything else anyway so that’s fine. Someday…

        Enjoy!!! He got his a few months ago and could not be happier.


      2. HSA would’ve been the smart way to do it, but our insurance is in my husband’s name and it would have been WAY WAY WAY too complicated to ask him to figure that out.

        The insulation is also pretty great! I mean we still spend a small fortune on heat, but the insulation does help.


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