With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Barbara O’Halloran.
Find Barbara’s advocacy profile here: ABC for Your Health, LLC
When life is turned inside out and upside down…
COVID19 has impacted every aspect of our lives! It has wreaked havoc and created a great deal of uncertainty for everyone; from kids who are out of school, to parents working from home, to adult children unable to visit with their parents, to the elderly population who are virtually shut in, and may be alone.
Now, months into this pandemic, with our lives virtually coming to a standstill, our tempers have become a little shorter and our fears have increased beyond what we may ever imagined. For some, depression and anxiety are becoming all too real, and many of us are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from our lives being turned inside out and upside down.
Although so much of what is going on in the world today is out of our control, there are some things in our own lives we can control, which could help minimize some of the fear and anxiety caused by COVID19, and also help prepare us for some of the uncertainties that lie ahead.
Here are some DOs for taking control:
Do keep your doctor appointments if at all possible. Most doctors are seeing patients virtually through telemed visits. For those patients who typically attend their appointments with a patient advocate, they can join in the telemed visit with the patient’s permission. A patient advocate can also assist those patients with limited technical abilities set up and log in for a telemed visit.
Do be honest with your doctor. If these unprecedented times of uncertainty, isolation and social distancing are causing increased anxiety or depression, let your doctor know. While your doctor can manage your anxiety and depression from a medical standpoint, a patient advocate can provide strategies and help you connect with resources, such as staying in touch with loved ones, having groceries or medications delivered to your door, and even set you up to stay connected to your church group.
Do take an inventory of your medications. Although patients want to make sure they have enough medication to last 90 days, they don’t want to stockpile medications so there won’t be enough medication for other people. If you don’t have enough medication on hand to last for 90 days, contact your doctor and ask them to send in a new prescription to your pharmacy. If your insurance carrier will not pay for the new refill because it is too early to fill, a patient advocate can contact your insurance company to request a one-time reconsideration of coverage.
Do take a look at your advance directives. Now is a good time to review advance directives like health care proxies and make any changes you would like, or to set up a health care proxy if you don’t already have one in place. Talk to your loved ones and have that difficult conversation of what you would want in the event you are not able to speak for yourself. A patient advocate can assist and guide you, as well as your loved ones, with these difficult conversations.
We are all in this together and together we will get through this. Take control of those aspects of life you can, and for those health or medical-related aspects that feel too far out of reach, connecting with a patient advocate may be the answer.
Stay well and be safe.