It is no secret that the cost of medical care and medications has risen rapidly in recent years. This may be particularly challenging for persons with chronic illness who require more frequent visits to doctors’ offices and testing facilities and more costly treatments and prescriptions.
Chronic illness can affect anyone, regardless of age and gender, at any time. The chronic diseases that affect patients most often include diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, depression or anxiety, asthma or allergies, arthritis, and cancer.
Patients with chronic illness may be unable to work outside the home full-time and may need assistance paying for medical care. However one chooses to handle the chronic disease, the most crucial step is to learn how to cope with it to lead a productive and fulfilling life.
Below are some tips to help you out.
Make Health Investments in Yourself
Find ways to make your health a priority. Invest in yourself by getting enough rest, eating well, and being physically active. Many chronic illnesses can be managed with lifestyle changes—and no pills or medical interventions are required! Even little things like reducing stress and improving your diet will translate into improved health and well-being.
Make Your Doctor Your Partner in Care
Whether you see a family practitioner or an internist for routine check-ups, learn as much as possible from each appointment. Take notes and ask questions, so you fully understand treatment options, recommendations, and side effects for all medications.
Then work together to find the best approach for managing your chronic illness. For instance, if you are experiencing uveitis (a form of eye inflammation), they can suggest the best chronic uveitis treatments and how to manage it correctly.
Seek the Support of Your Family and Friends
It can be beneficial to reach out to others for help. For example, talk to relatives, close friends, or people in a chronic disease support group about what you’re going through. They may be able to offer advice about coping with the challenges of living with a chronic illness. Or, if you prefer, you may seek help from a professional counselor or local support services.
Join a Support Group of People with a Similar Chronic Illness
Even if you feel alone, there are probably others who share your condition. Talking to other patients who have experienced similar issues may help you work through difficult situations and provide tips for managing the disease. Some groups will even offer assistance with expenses like medical bills or prescription medications.
Beware of Depression and Seek Therapeutic Help
Some chronic illnesses can make you feel sad or depressed. If you are having trouble thinking about anything except your disease, feeling hopeless, unable to sleep, or eating too much or too little, then seek the help of a professional counselor. They can help identify the symptoms of depression, strategies for coping, and appropriate treatment options.
Everyone faces challenges in their lives. Sometimes the best way to overcome them is through acceptance, forward-thinking, and taking positive action. No matter how you choose to handle your chronic illness, it would help if you made your health a top priority.