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The Hidden Costs of Chronic Illness -- and How You Can Help

Chronic illness is expensive, not just in the traditional sense, but from a physical and emotional standpoint, too. Here are some of the hidden costs of chronic illness that I’ve experienced, in no particular order:

1. Medical Treatments

Many specialty appointments have costly co-pays or they need to be paid for completely out-of-pocket. In my experience, to see a therapist more than once every two months, I needed to go out of network. Naturopath, acupuncture, or massage therapy treatments, which can be very beneficial, also often incur large fees and are not covered by insurance.

2. ER Visits

When the pain gets too intense or new symptoms arise over the weekend, advise nurses often advise patients to go to the ER to get evaluated. Not only do ER visits usually involve expensive co-pays, they usually mean long wait times and can, unfortunately, lead to medical gaslighting too.

3. Prescriptions

It takes a lot of trial and error to find the correct medication to help manage pain and symptoms. Each medication is costly, especially depending on the brand and the type of insurance that you have. Plus, there are no refunds if the medications do not work. Personally, I have at least 20 bottles of medications that I have needed to dispose of because they did not work for me.

4. Inability to Work and/or Needing to Take Time Off Work

Oftentimes doctor’s appointments, especially specialty ones, can be very difficult to secure. This often means needing to take appointments when they are available and not when they are convenient. This means needing to take time off of work, and if doctors are running late or behind schedule, this can mean missing a full day or half a day of work for each appointment. In addition, some chronic

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