Managing a Chronic Condition
Last updated: April 2022
One aspect of a chronic health condition that never seems to be considered is the work involved in managing the condition. The symptoms are not the only issue that an individual is forced to face.
A chronic condition is not like a broken bone that the healing has an ending in sight.
Depending on the condition or the conditions, managing the health conditions can simulate a part-time or full-time job. Elements involved in managing chronic health conditions include research, medication management, and creating a personal care team.
Researching your condition
Any health issue that you develop, especially a chronic condition, should be researched. It is important to be informed about your condition.
While it can be a shock to receive a new diagnosis at the doctor’s office, it is important to get as much information from your doctor as possible.
Over the years, I have learned not to rely completely on what the doctor says about my condition. Sometimes a second doctor's opinion is beneficial.
I have found valuable information in support groups. I have been able to find a great specialist from support group referrals.
Individuals with the same condition can also help with tips for the symptoms that may arise. While everybody responds differently to medications, the individuals in the support groups can help educate you on the different medications and treatment options.
Managing your medications
An extremely important aspect of managing a chronic health condition is dealing with medications. Managing medications can become complicated when you have several prescriptions.
A helpful tool for daily medications is the Sunday through Saturday pill organizer. This helps to be sure you have taken one of each medication.
Additionally, you do not have to open each bottle.
Services available through your pharmacy
One of the things that I have found to be most helpful is having a pharmacy that offers services other than simply filling prescriptions. Automatic prescription refills can be extremely helpful, especially when you have several prescriptions.
This helps to be sure that you do not accidentally run out of medication. Some local pharmacies also offer home delivery.
This can be helpful for those times that you do not feel well enough to go out. While there are internet home delivery pharmacies, using a local pharmacy still allows you to pick up an unplanned prescription or your regular prescriptions when you are out.
Putting together a care team
A care team can be helpful in many ways. One of the ways a care team can be helpful is by helping with doctor appointments.
It can be overwhelming to try to remember all the symptoms you needed to discuss with the doctor. Additionally, having another person there can make sure the information provided by the doctor does not get forgotten.
Aside from appointments, those in your care team can help when you are feeling bad. These things could include arranging doctor appointments, obtaining and organizing your prescriptions, or providing meals for you.
Keeping communication open
Sometimes just having the emotional support of another person can be helpful. A text message or a short call can remind you that you are not alone, despite the effects of social isolation.
They can also help remind you to take medications or do treatments.
Unfortunately, many individuals do not notice the true effort that goes into managing a chronic condition. It takes effort and commitment to maintain your condition(s).
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