As Healthcare Facilities Adapt, So Must I

As Healthcare Facilities Adapt, So Must I
I’ve remained secluded safely at home for two months. As an introvert, I’m content never leaving the house. However, being a Crohn’s and liver transplant patient, I had to brave the outside world over the past three weeks. I had my bimonthly Remicade (infliximab) infusion, quarterly bloodwork, and semiannual follow-up with my gastroenterologist. All were standing appointments, but they were far from typical. Social distancing at the infusion clinic In mid-March, my gastroenterologist canceled my husband’s first screening colonoscopy because they deemed it an unnecessary procedure. I worried about how the restrictions might affect my upcoming Remicade appointment. At the time, the scheduler said the infusion clinic was running normally. That didn’t ease my concern of being confined with five strangers. My stomach literally cramped up when the scheduler called a week later to reschedule my appointment. I was having a stress flare and feared they would push back my infusion. On the contrary, they moved my appointment 15 minutes earlier to avoid having too many patients at once. The clinic also prohibited caregivers from accompanying patients and requested that all patients wear masks. When I arrived at the clinic, they had removed half of the recliners to space patients apart. The nurses wore masks the entire time and used gloves more than usual. The only change that disappointed me was having to air-hug goodbye to my nurses. Getting blood drawn My next outdoor adventure was my quarterly blood draw. I was thankful that my lab location wasn’t providing drive-thru COVID-19 testing. Nevertheless, I was wary about exposure to people who were possibly ill or hadn’t been social distancing. To get to the lab, I had to walk by an outpatient surgical center
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    • Sorry, I don’t work for the medical or pharmaceutical industry, so I’m not qualified to answer your question. However, if you haven’t already, ask your doctor’s office if they know of any financial assistance programs for your medications. You can also contact the manufacturer directly. For Remicade, I only had to pay a $5 copay and the manufacturer paid the doctor the remaining cost up to I believe $20,000 a year.

      I found this information for patient assistance for Delzicol: You might need to ask your doctor or pharmacist for the exact brand name that you’re taking to find the information online. Good luck!

  1. Lynne says:

    Ten years ago I used to get Pentasa (another 5ASA) delivered directly to me from Shire Cares. You should call them and see if you qualify.

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