We have been told for months and months now that social distancing is one of the best ways we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean stop going to the doctor for your regular appointments.
When the medical world doesn’t, or can’t, intervene for people with chronic diseases or conditions, these diseases progress and patients get into trouble. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease impact 60 percent of American’s, with 40 percent of American’s living with more than one chronic disease.
Physical distancing from your doctor can jeopardize your daily health, or those that you care for. For those who don’t feel comfortable going to the office physically, you can find telehealth options. Call your doctor and ask if they have this service available.
If you or someone you care for is living with a chronic condition, there are some good ways to manage those during a pandemic like this. Here are some tips:
Make a list of your medications – When you meet with your doctor, be sure to bring an up-to-date list of medications with you. That way the two of you can be sure you are both on the same page as it relates to the number of medications and dosage. This provides a clear roadmap for your medication routine.
Stay on track with your medications – There are easy ways to remind yourself to take your medications daily. You can do something as simple as leaving yourself a sticky note reminder, or setting alarms on your phone. You may also be able to talk with your pharmacy about sending you text message reminders. If your schedule varies from day to day, this service may be especially helpful.
Stay on top of medication refills – Refill medication rules have changed for the better in light of COVID-19. If you need to refill your medications, be sure to do it ahead of schedule so you don’t lapse. Your pharmacy can tell you if your medication is available ahead of time and can walk you through ways you can receive your medications by way of pick up, mail order or delivery. Ordering a 90-day supply of drugs instead of a 30-day supply may be another way to stay on track. If you run out of refills and don’t feel comfortable going to your healthcare provider’s office in person, you can possibly schedule a telemedicine appointment instead.
If you are struggling, ask for help – If you’re struggling to manage your medications, don’t isolate yourself. Remember, your health is a team approach. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your family, friends, or even your doctor. You would be surprised how many people want to help you.