How to Find Accessible Chronic Hives Healthcare
Imagine being sick and not having a doctor within 50 miles of your home. Even more so, imagine that the doctor you have is a general practitioner who is not a specialist in chronic hives and is giving you advice from a limited knowledge of allergies that may not be the advanced help you need. Frightening, isn't it?
The reality of inaccessible care and chronic hives
A lack of accessible healthcare is the reality for so many people who suffer from chronic hives. Many people don't have the resources to help them cope with chronic hives.
I used to see an allergist who specialized in children's allergies. However, I was 33 years old when I was diagnosed with chronic urticaria. To say this allergist wasn't the best fit for my care is an understatement. But then again, I didn't have much of a choice.
My experience with insufficient chronic hives care
The doctors available to me were limited, and allergists were even more so. I received a steroid medication that was way too high to be on long-term and was on this for over 6 months. Refill after refill: I didn't know the damage that the steroid was doing to me.
I could see the moon face side effects and weight gain, as well as the mental toll it was taking on me. If I had access to a specialist experienced in treating chronic hives or immunosuppressed patients, I would've had a more promising outcome sooner.
Strategies to improve your access to care
Later, I took a new job, moved to a new town, and found a new doctor. But I couldn't help thinking about those who don't have that option or opportunity. In those situations, you can rely on several strategies to get help.
1. Community support
First, look for community support. Others are sharing their experiences with chronic hives, potentially in your area or online. There may be health networks that can help in rural communities that may be of assistance. You may need to work with key stakeholders at your local hospital to get funds to get it going, but it's worth asking if you can get some community help.
2. Cross-state collaborations
Secondly, consider cross-state collaboration if you are on the border with another state. If there are programs a nearby state offers, see if there is a partnership available. Some state legislatures provide more assistance than others, so look into healthcare laws and options in neighboring states. You can receive help through telehealth or even over the phone.
3. Prescription cost assistance programs
Third, look into prescription relief programs. Drug manufacturers offer cost assistance programs to help pay for prescriptions that are otherwise unaffordable or hard to receive. When I first started Xolair, I went through Genentech's program to see if coverage was available, and it was! It's super helpful when a drug costs beyond $1,000 out of pocket without coverage. All it took was a bit of paperwork and my primary care doctor's approval.
Find your resources
Though these may be significant efforts to consider, you'd be surprised what resources already exist for those in rural areas or who need more access to necessary healthcare. It can make even the slightest difference in someone's journey to better health.
Have you taken our In America survey yet?