Guest contribution by Derek Goodman
If you’re newly diagnosed with a chronic condition, you may be frightened and concerned about how to navigate this new path in life. Chronic conditions require ongoing attention and maintenance, but when properly managed, you can often live a full and enjoyable life. There are considerations to keep in mind, particularly with regard to your care and your environment. Today, we offer some suggestions about things to keep in mind.
Get the Diagnosis
Many people who are diagnosed with a chronic condition have been suffering for some time, and you may have seen numerous doctors for many tests before physicians were finally able to pinpoint the specific cause of your distress. Now that you have a diagnosis, you have a better idea of what to expect moving forward. Research everything you can about the condition including symptoms, complications, treatment options, and long-term prospects.
Make a list of questions for your doctor, and consider having somebody attend doctor’s appointments with you to take notes while you ask questions. You’ll need to be your own advocate, so make sure your care provider is someone who takes the time to listen to you and fully answer your questions each and every visit.
Find the Right Health Insurance Coverage
It’s important to find an insurance plan that won’t place too many restrictions on your care or require you to jump through hoops in order to receive treatment. Given these competing demands, it’s important to do your research and carefully consider all of your options before making a final decision on health insurance.
Book a consultation with me to learn more about how you can find high-quality health insurance.
Keep Medical Records Organized
Digitizing and organizing medical records can improve the accuracy and accessibility of important health information and support better communication between patients and their healthcare providers, ultimately leading to better health outcomes and quality of care.
Converting medical records to PDFs can facilitate secure electronic sharing, minimize physical storage needs, and preserve the integrity of the original document for improved accuracy and accessibility. In order to use a PDF file converter, simply drag and drop other files types into the converter.
Look at Stress-Relief Options
According to Healthline, managing a chronic illness can be stressful, both for you and for your family. Have open and honest discussions and consider how your everyday life will look, from family and work obligations to managing your health.
Self-care will be critical. Stress can exacerbate a chronic condition and it’s vital that you prioritize and care for yourself. Reach out for help as needed, and consider options like meditation, relaxation breathing techniques, and even journaling.
Ask for Assistance
Once you have a better idea of the expectations around your chronic condition, you may consider speaking to your employer to ensure you are either able to continue with your position as normal, or make alternative work arrangements, provided you are able to work and still care for yourself. It may be best to use caution when disclosing your situation at work and approaching human resources for a confidential discussion first.
If you have the resources or can connect to a service provider who works on a sliding scale, consider assistance with things that may be difficult to manage on the homefront.
For example, if you have severe arthritis, it may be worthwhile to hire someone to do yard work and clean your house. If you have mobility issues, having a dog walker or someone who can shop for or deliver groceries are all worthwhile investments.
Consider Your Environment
You may need to modify your environment around your home, whether that means making some adjustments to the layout to ensure you’re able to access all areas of your house, adding handrails, or other measures that your physician recommends.
For some people, moving is the best option. Perhaps you want a single story instead of a two-story, or you’re looking for a cooler or warmer environment, particularly if you have an autoimmune issue or something like fibromyalgia that can lead to weariness and achiness.
Coming to terms with a chronic illness diagnosis can be a bit of a shock, but you will adjust.
By limiting stress, finding the right health insurance, asking for help, keeping your medical records organized, and modifying your environment, you can get a better handle on your situation. Consider also joining support groups and other communities in which you can learn tips and resources for managing things to the best of your ability.
Do you have questions about your medical history and how health insurance can help you? Schedule a 15-minute consultation today.