The truth is, we all live with uncertainty, but for people who have experienced cancer, the awareness is heightened. For some, the relief that comes from being declared “cancer-free” is short-lived and quickly replaced by a fear of recurrence. Among survivors, the fear of cancer recurrence can be so distressing it has a powerful, negative influence on the quality of life; affecting mood, relationships, and decisions for the future. This fear can become a daily catastrophizing worry that dominates thoughts.
Have you thought about getting 23andMe genetic testing done? I recently did a 23andMe test and had a lot of fun with the results. However, I was surprised by the amount of information that a genetics test includes on health risks and carrier status (I’ll define this below). It sure has evolved from just a fun way to find out about your ancestry. Going through this process has made me curious: How do you feel about knowing your risks? If your DNA genetic testing showed a higher risk for certain health conditions would you change your life including altering your plans to have children if you were a carrier? Would your results potentially take away some of your life enjoyment?
How many of you have had the experience of going to the doctor, having tons of medical questions about what is going on with your body, and then leaving the doctor appointment without asking any of them? Or leaving feeling more confused than when you went in? I know I have!… and I’m a physician myself! As a physician, let me give you advice on what you can do to more effectively ask a medical question. When you have questions to ask your doctor your goal is to ask in a way that gets your medical questions answered.
Let me clear up a couple of myths regarding asking your doctor questions. Some people are too afraid and feel intimidated to ask a doctor a question. The truth is that we want you to ask questions! At least I do…But seriously, I think most doctors do too. Let’s talk about why you need to ask your doctor questions. The next blog will give you 4 tips to be more effective at getting your questions answered during the doctors appointment. You need to ask doctors questions so you can understand and take charge of your health!
Ask my patients and they will certainly verify that I can’t stand it when they are overcharged for medication. I spend a good amount of time spreading the word about how to save money on prescriptions and wrote a post last year detailing 4 great programs that can help you to find cheaper prescriptions. Over the years, I have had many patients that can’t afford medication because of lack of insurance, high deductibles, or insurance plans that won’t cover it. There are huge cost differences between medication prices at different pharmacies. Read these tips on finding affordable prescriptions and don’t waste money again!
Remembering to take medicine can be a challenge. I was taught that the average person remembers it 70% of the time! That is a lot of missed medication! There are helpful and easy ways to remember to take medications more frequently. In order to increase medication compliance try using a medication reminder app, weekly pill box, or pairing medication with an already established habit.
Depending on the medication you take, missing doses can have negative consequences for your health. For example, taking an antibiotic only 70% of the time can lead to the bacteria becoming resistant to that antibiotic so it will no longer work when you need it.
Despite loving my patients, I burned out. I chose my own quality of life over continuing to work with the chronically mentally ill population that I adored. This patient population is frequently shortchanged with their quality of care and I have joined the ranks of people failing them.
This is my experience working in one mental health clinic in the United States. Every clinic runs differently and there are fantastic systems out there. I am so grateful for the amazing clinicians and psychiatrists that continue to dedicate their lives to this population even when they are underpaid and overworked.
The high cost of medications can be prohibitive for patients trying to fill them. Frequently, people are forced to go on and off their medication depending on when they can afford to pay for them. Cheap medications and cheap prescription drugs are possible! Are you interested in hearing about how to save money on prescriptions? I will tell you about 4 great ways.
- Do you pay cash for medication?
- Are you uninsured or have a high deductible plan?
- Do you know the cost of medication varies greatly among different pharmacies?
- If you have insurance your co-pay may be more expensive than the cost of paying out of pocket for the medication!
Why does the cost of medications vary between pharmacies?
Wow is this complicated! There are so many different factors and players involved. Due to lack of transparency, it’s hard to know who to blame. Wikipedia has a good general overview of different contributors to medication pricing.