Health Investment

I track how much I spend on repairing my health (and upgrading it) on this page via the updated “health investment” chart and commentary below.

This chart covers from when I first started getting sick with a mysterious illness in Bangkok, May 2012 through to present day (where I’m nearing 90% recovery from where I bottomed out).

Cumulative Investment in Health (USD $)


Status Update October 2014: Just in the last month I have made a couple of breakthroughs thanks to the accumulation of knowledge and data which as most probably permanently undone the biggest lifestyle restriction I’ve had (new blog post coming soon). While $40,000 may sound like a lot of money to many, compared to having energy, functionality, clarity of mind every day – and being able to live a life to the full – it doesn’t even scratch the surface for what its worth – “priceless”.

More details on the categories:

  • Knowledge: “Knowledge is power” has taken on a whole new meaning with my journey to repair and optimize by body. The direction of what I do has changed fundamentally many times based on new and more accurate information.
    1. Lab Tests: Most of the investment ends up here because it tends to be the clearest data. I try to keep monthly standard blood work costs down by using cost effective labs. However for specialized labs there are sometimes only a few labs in the world doing them, so costs can be up to $1000 per test.
    2. Consultations/ Study: Finding experts in the form of specialist doctors, researchers and people who have solved their chronic illness issues or upgraded themselves has been key to progress. You pay for consultations with doctors, you can hire people for phone consultations or advisory and pay the by the hour. I also spend a fair amount on courses like DVD programs or books from the respective experts. Some of these are physician courses or academic courses.
    3. Tracking Devices: Collecting more data on things that may glean insight or track recovery progress is also invaluable. A lot of the expense is in biometric tracking devices or applications.
  • Treatment: Treatments received or paid for upfront.
    1. Supplements/ drugs: This has been primarily supplements with a good amount of experimentation to see what works for me and what doesn’t. By mid 2013 I had rounded it down to 1 drug (CSM) and around 15 supplements used on an ongoing basis.
    2. Devices: This is a minor expense which comes down to at home devices that can be used for treatment. I’ve found few of these to date.
  • Other: Where I put the related indirect costs.
    1. Travel: Flights, hotels and other travel costs associated with trips for consultations, treatment or lab tests.
    2. Shipping: Sending and receiving devices, lab tests and supplements and drugs. Most of this is in relation to the U.S. and since I’m not there, there is a lot of shipping involved.

This doesn’t of course include the biggest cost of all: the 1000s of hours I’ve diverted from my normal life and work activities to studying and researching health. At some points on this journey it has accounted for 80% of my time.

  • Matt Dippl

    Hi Damian,

    I can really relate – I have a similar story to yours. I am a digital nomad in the start-up movement in Europe traveling between Amsterdam, London and Berlin. Diagnostics is by far the most expensive and difficult to access…

    And I will not even getting into the politics of getting access when in need of very specific labs that you KNOW you need but they disagree. This can really leave you gutted…

    I recently did a trip to California in the US to get some genetic tests done that I needed so I could further assess my methylation capacities. The US is way ahead with testing and structures that facilitate this.

    Personally I had to hack my own health as well. In July 2012 I got diagnosed with “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis”. Today I am symptom free and enjoy good health and am on a similar mission to yours.

    Functional medicine was the technology that I used to get well. Would love to connect some time…

    Best wishes,

    • damien blenkinsopp

      Hey Matt,
      Great to connect with a like mind. I’ve also found the U.S. to be an essential stop for a lot of testing due to availability.

      Run into a lot of issues getting tests there as well as breakthroughs. Will write up a post on it when I’ve ironed out a few more of the issues.

      Congrats on resolution of your hashimoto’s. Big win!

      • Matt Dippl

        Hey Damien,

        Great to hear from you. I got some excellent contacts in San Diego if you need any testing done.

        They are experts on blood chemistry analysis from a functional medicine point of view and are even cheaper then wellnessFX which is awesome.

        Happy to hook you up.


        • damien blenkinsopp

          Always interested in connecting with new experts in this space. Totally. Please do hook me up – you can connect with me on Facebook.