Have a Chronic Condition? Following Your Care Plan Is Key to Staying Healthy
Living with a chronic health problem isn’t always easy. You do a lot to manage your condition. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find it harder to stick with your care plan. Now more than ever, it’s important to continue taking care of your health and to not delay essential treatment. Your healthcare provider is here to help.
Keep in touch with your provider
To help you better manage your chronic condition, stay in touch with your doctor. You may be able to have an online visit through a computer or another device—a type of appointment called telehealth. If you are a PIH Health patient, you can use the patient portal to help you keep track of your care.
When communicating with your provider, you may want to go over these key parts of your care plan:
- Your medicines. Always take your medicines as prescribed. If you have any concerns about them, tell your doctor. Make sure you have enough medicine on hand to last at least 30 days. Talk with your provider about getting an extra supply, if needed.
- Preventive care. Screening tests and vaccines can help keep you healthy.
- Any tests and treatments. As with preventive care, some tests and treatments may be postponed, but that depends on your specific health situation. Ask your provider about the benefits and risks of coming in for care versus a telehealth appointment. You should keep doing any at-home tests, such as checking your blood sugar or blood pressure, as directed.
- Your mental health. You may be feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed right now. These feelings can make your condition worse. Tell your healthcare provider how you feel so that you can get the help you need.
According to Charles Holzner MD, an Internal Medicine physician at PIH Health, “A healthy lifestyle can also help you manage your condition. Do your best to eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly”.
If you are overweight, your provider can give you some good strategies to help you lose weight. And if you smoke, now may be a good time to try to quit. Your healthcare provider can help you put together a plan to stop.
Make sure you know what to do if your condition worsens or if you become sick. Call your provider right away if you notice any new symptoms.
When you need in-person care
Don’t let concerns about COVID-19 keep you from getting the care you need to stay healthy.
When you arrive at the office, you will notice safety measures have been put in place to protect you from coronavirus:
- You may be asked to check in for your visit in advance.
- You may be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever, before you can enter the building.
- The waiting room may be set up to promote social distancing.
- Your healthcare provider may be wearing safety equipment like a mask and gloves.
Be sure to wear your own mask or cloth face covering. It can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Also, make sure you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces like door handles, elevator buttons, or chairs. And always practice social distancing, even if other patients don’t appear sick.
Visit PIHHealth.org to learn more about Internal Medicine, or call 562.904.4471 to make an appointment to see Dr. Holzner.
Copyright © 2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.