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On Digging Myself out of the Hole and Grasping at Wells Fargo Propel Along the Way

Few weeks ago I’ve mentioned that I was scheduled to have a root canal. Honestly, I was mostly bummed about the money part, considering the fact that we don’t have a dental insurance. Just to give you an idea on how thrifty my mom is: when she found out about the  $1,800 cost, she told me I should just wait and do a root canal during my visit to Belarus in May.

Apparently, she knows a gal who can do it for few hundred dollars all-in. You know what the crazy part is? For a minute I was actually considering doing it. Ha! But then I came to my senses and realized that no, I don’t want to attempt a root canal procedure during my trip to Europe. Not even if it means saving $1,600.

And it’s a good thing, too. I ended up developing a major infection and seriously thought I was going to die. Keep in mind, I’m a bit of a drama queen, so take the previous statement with a grain of salt. But the fact is, my face starting swelling on one side, like it was trying to clone itself.

My husband took a picture of me just so we would have a record, but I’m not going to show it here. If you need to give your kids a good scare, reach out, and I’ll email it to you. If my reader Ramsey saw it, he would not be comparing me to Kristen Stewart, that’s for sure. Well, unless Kristen Stewart was beaten up and left for dead on the side of the road.

Antibiotics were not working. It got so bad, I had to have an emergency surgery inside of my mouth to help get rid of the infection (another bill). Oh my! I have been in a haze ever since, filled with Vicodin and other meds. Hopefully, last week’s posts were not too crazy. Shout out to Nancy who has been an enormous help, as always! As Murphy’s law would have it, my son got a stomach bug and was throwing up for few days. So, even though I was in excruciating pain, I had to clean up vomit few times  in the middle of the night.

I am getting better (some pain and numbness, but nothing horrible), but still debating on whether we should go to Jamaica next week. Right now, I can cancel everything without penalty and just stay in Florida. But how can I do this to my kids who are eagerly anticipating the trip?  At the moment, it’s mostly a healing process, but I would hate to be stuck in a country  with poor medical care in case things go south. Just my luck, y’all.

Naively, I thought I would be all better just few days after the surgery. So, I’ve mentioned to the doctor that I was concerned about swelling and pain. His response: “Well, we made a cut inside of your mouth and then stitched it back up. It would be miraculous if  you  felt back to normal in just TWO days.” Fair enough.

Even pain can’t keep me away from 40,000 points

Ironically, the fact that I was in this situation, helped me apply for Wells Fargo Propel World. I’ve mentioned this card in my  round-up and said that it won’t be available much longer. It looks like the link for Merrill+ Visa Signature finally died, so I would focus on Propel offer if you are over 5/24. You may want to read post The quirks of redeeming my bonus from Wells Fargo Propel , though it is few years old at this point. The offer does not pay us commission.

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points with $3,000 in net purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X points on Airlines2X on Hotels, and 1X on other net purchases.
  • Get up to $100 in reimbursements each year for qualifying incidental airline charges like airline lounges, baggage fees, and more.
  • Get complimentary room upgrades and more through the Luxury Hotel Program.
  • First annual fee is waived.

From terms: “If you have opened a Wells Fargo credit card account within 16 months of this application you will not be eligible for the above introductory APR(s) and fees or any bonus rewards offers described below even if that account has been closed and has a zero balance.” I’m not certain if they mean just this specific product or any Wells Fargo card, so that’s something else to consider.

So, if you currently have a WF account, you can just call  1-800-932-6736 and apply over the phone. Otherwise, you’ll have to go to local branch. You can try applying for current offer on Wells Fargo checking account that comes with $250 bonus, but keep in mind, the language  does indicate that you need to be targeted. YMMV

We don’t have a Wells Fargo branch in our town, but there is one where I had to have my surgery. Bingo! So, I figured why not kill two birds with one stone. And I can surely use the $400 cash bonus for the upcoming avalanche of medical bills from this whole tooth fiasco.  I called Wells Fargo branch first to make sure I can even apply for this card, and here is my conversation with the banker:

Me: I was wondering if I can apply for Wews Fago Popel Wowd ( I could barely talk)

Banker: Wells Fargo Propel World?

Me: That’s the one I want  (badly).

Banker: Yes, I see it right here.

I made an appointment 45 minutes before I was scheduled to see the doctor. My father-in-law drove me there and we had to take my 6-year-old son as well. So, we pull into the parking lot, and my kid starts saying that he has to poop. Right now. It will have to be done inside Wells Fargo bank, my friend. I felt kind of bad. Here I was, going to get my sign-up bonus with no plans to renew the card. And on top of it, my son will be leaving a “deposit” of a different kind. The height of obnoxiousness!

We asked where the bathroom was and the receptionist said that another lady has the key and that she should be back any minute. OK, I go to the cubicle to apply for the card. The banker asks me standard questions on income etc. She says that most of the information is already in the system because I had Wells Fargo credit card in the past. I nod and think to myself: “Yup, indeed,  it was Wells Fargo Propel World.” In the meantime, I keep looking back to make sure that my son gets to go to the bathroom. Nope!

Five minutes later, they are still standing in the lobby. What the what?  Suddenly, my son starts heading for the door. I know exactly what he is thinking. He wants to find a place outside where he can poop. My FIL gets ahold of him before it’s too late, and my application is  finished in the meantime. The banker tells me that it will take a few days to get a response. I thank her and get the heck out of there so we can find an unlocked bathroom.

Unfortunately, there is nothing nearby. The doctor’s office is only five minutes away, so I told my son to just hold it a little longer. We pull in and he runs inside and asks the receptionist for the bathroom. Success!

A reminder of what really matters

This whole thing has been such an ordeal, but it made me realize a few things. Good health is not to be taken for granted, period. I knew it before, of course. But being in horrible pain for days, with no end in sight, really stinks. I couldn’t enjoy anything: food, movies or my family. This is what it’s like to live with chronic illness, and if that describes any of my readers, my heart goes out to you.

I most certainly wouldn’t enjoy travel in that kind of a physical state. That’s why I don’t believe in putting off trips till things are just right. First of all, they never will be. Second, we don’t know what the future holds. Our life can change in an instant, in a blink of an eye. Obviously, I’m not saying you should go into debt in order to travel. But I want to encourage you to make saving for trips a fixed part of your yearly budget.

I also thought about my family and my two young kids. When your face is swollen up and the infection inches closer and closer to your brain, well, you start thinking dark thoughts. I know I did.

Enjoying a ride to Hyatt in daddy’s brand new Ford Mustang

I have to say, my husband has been amazing throughout this whole thing. He took time off work so he could help out  and treated me like a princess.

I know I take him for granted sometimes, but he really is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Ironically, he feels like I settled for him. Right. Might have something to do with the fact that in early years of our marriage I would joke that I’m just here for the Green Card.

I told my husband that this new song from Coldplay reminds me of him:

“I’m not looking for somebody with some superhuman gifts,

Some superhero, some fairly tale bliss,

Just something I can turn to, somebody I can kiss

I want something just like this…”

Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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12 thoughts on “On Digging Myself out of the Hole and Grasping at Wells Fargo Propel Along the Way

  1. Wow, I completely agree with the bottom line and sympathize with your pain (physical mostly, although the 1800$ hurt too)..

    I have made arrangement for a trip to Iceland this summer with my sister for her 60th birthday (AAdvtantage miles etc), thinking (somewhat darkly I know) that I am not sure how long both of us will be able to handle such a trip, so better do it now then regret it later.

    As for the teeth, well I do not know the quality of Belarus dental care, but doing such a thing in that part of eastern Europe on a trip is the kind of crazy risk taking you do before you have kids, not after… I am so happy you bit the bullet and had the root canal in the US. We the readers would like to enjoy your writing for many years to come.

    • @Uri I think it’s so wonderful that you are doing a trip with your sister this summer! I’m sure you both will have fun. My husband is very close to his sister as well, and I would be totally cool with him doing something similar. Hope you both stay in good health for many years to come!
      But yeah, life can be unpredictable. I didn’t want this post to come across as dark or depressing, but more of a reminder of how we shouldn’t take anything for granted. And no, I wasn’t seriously considering doing root canal in Belarus. I’m cheap, but not that cheap! 🙂
      As far as keeping this blog going for years to come, it’s an exciting yet terrifying thought. Blogging is incredibly exhausting. There is a reason why 95% of people give up within a year. But it is very rewarding too, the most fun I’ve had when it comes to work! And having Nancy has been a real blessing. I guess we’ll just keep going till it’s no longer fun. Readers like you are the reason I’ve stuck with it so far. So thank you!

  2. Dear Leana,

    Shit happens, and your health and family are the most important things you have. I’m very glad you’re okay. I would totally consider having surgery in another country for a fraction of the US price (like lasik surgery in Turkey or China or something, if I wanted the procedure), but only at a facility of well known quality, and never if it meant waiting months to address an urgent problem. Tooth infections are no joke. An acquaintance of mine ignored his for too long, and while his face didn’t swell up, some bad bacteria got into the rest of his bloodstream and he started losing his hair in patches. He finally got the procedure, but his hair still won’t grow on many parts of his head. He’s a dancer for a living and finally had to beg the company to let him shave his head. But he’s lucky not to have had even worse negative effects.

    How long do you have to decide about cancelling the trip to Jamaica without penalty? What does your doctor advise about travel? I agree that you don’t want to take an undue risk being stuck in a country with poor medical care, especially considering you already had a complication. But it’s also just a matter of time until you are healed. Is you backing out at the last minute and your husband and kids taking the trip without you an option? I know it’s soooo far from ideal, but maybe it’s the least of all evils (at least the rest of the family won’t miss out, and you’d hate to cancel preemptively and realize you would have been okay after all)–and you can just continue to recover and be optimistic about your participation until shortly before it’s time to depart?

    • @Debra Thank you for your kind words! You are totally right, tooth problems are no joke. My goodness, this thing sure spiraled out of control quickly. And I have two follow-up visits to finish the procedure (in April), so who knows what awaits me in the future.

      The doctor said I can go to Jamaica as long as everything is looking OK (no fever, major pain etc.) I have till Tuesday to cancel without penalty. The problem is, the airfare taxes on Southwest will be deposited in a travel fund, and will expire in October. So, it’s not ideal. Plus, the kids really want to go. We are not leaving till next Friday, so I guess I’ll just see how things are going. If there is a major issue, I won’t risk it. But for now, the trip is on. Fingers crossed, it’s a relatively smooth sailing from here. I looked it up, and there are some dental surgeons in Montego Bay who operate in modern clinics, probably catering to western tourists. So, if an unexpected problem develops, I can just do that, I guess. My husband won’t go alone with kids, that I know for a fact.

  3. Leana, I’m glad you’re on the mend. I love your blog and am so happy I found it. I agree hundred percent with your sentiments. I hope you get to go to Jamaica. I’m glad you glad the world propel. I’m probably going to grab the Barclay arrival plus next month so I can erase $500 of my Disney cruise. Taking a break after grabbing 2 Amtrak cards, prg, platinum, green, CSR, Fairmont and spg in 12 months. But I’m looking forward to all the wonderful travel we have coming up including NYC, Washington, Montreal, and Walt Disney World. Miles and points made it happen.

    • @Natasha Thanks! I’m glad you found this blog, too. I appreciate your support. I hope we get to go to Jamaica. Right now it looks promising, but no guarantees.. It’s funny, I had second thoughts about this resort when I booked it, and now I really hope we make it.
      Arrival Plus is an excellent offer, and one I have no problem recommending. Aside from minimum $100 redemption threshold, it’s a great deal. Simple bonus with no searching for mileage availability. Can’t beat that if you are a normal family!

    • @Russ Thank you so much! I think some readers just want to escape from reality when it comes to miles and points blogs. So I have to be careful not to come across as too much of a downer. But it is what it is, my life is an open book that way. My husband doesn’t like it when I mention him in posts, so I have to get his permission. This isn’t his rodeo, so I need to keep that in mind.
      My face is starting to resemble Kristen Stewart more and more each day! 🙂

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