The pain and isolation of a chronic illness can be debilitating. Here are some tips for managing chronic medical conditions.
First, find a doctor who understands your condition and partners in your care. Your primary care physician (PCP) should be able to refer you to appropriate providers, but if your PCP seems unhelpful, it may be time to search for a new one. Next, invest in your care. This may mean dropping those 10 pounds, which can reduce your blood pressure and your glucose level. See if your healthcare insurer offers discounts or free memberships to local gyms, such as the Silver Sneakers program for seniors.
Never skimp on medications. To manage high prescription costs, call the manufacturer for discounts or ask your doctor about free samples. Depression accompanies chronic pain for over a third of those with frequent illnesses, according to Harvard Health. The Affordable Care Act guarantees access to mental health services, as does Medicaid. Contact your health insurer to review coverages and find treatment. Therapy does not have to be long-term to provide relief. Even a few visits with a therapist can help you create a plan to better cope with your chronic condition.
Finally, support groups for almost any kind of condition flourish in today’s online world. Facing an organ transplant? There’s a group for that. Feeling the effects of your diabetes? Start with the American Diabetes Association or Google “diabetes support groups.” Whether in person or online, support groups can help you find common ground with those who share your condition and provide helpful tips to help you better manage your disease. You don’t need to suffer with a chronic condition alone.
If you have any questions about what sources of support may be covered by your health insurance, call or email us. We are always here to help.