How do You Deal with the pain if you cannot afford medications

This past week my pain has become so intense a nagging ache. A constant ache. I have been miserable. Snapping at my husband. Crying all day and night. Depressed. We do not have health insurance and we struggling right now my husband has been laid off for quite some time. For me to get medications I am going to have to call an ambulance to take me to a hospital that is in another town which would be a charity hospital. The last time i went to the local hospital my bill was over $30,000. Even if I go to the emergency room they will give me Rxs that I will not be able to afford to pay for. I have been taking some over the counter pain pills they help a little. If anyone has some ways that they deal with the pain without taking medication I would appreciate your suggestions or home remedies. Thank you, Star

Heat or cold (or alternating heat or cold) on joints and areas of the body where I have a lot of pain helps. Hot showers. Rice socks are my friends - they are inexpensive alternatives to heating pads...you take a clean cotton sock, fill it 2/3 full (or less) of rice and tie off the end, then heat it in the microwave for a couple minutes.

Eating as healthy as possible and avoiding foods that make me feel ill are important.

Balancing activity and inactivity is also important for me keeping my pain under control. When I'm too miserable to move, I make sure I stretch, move my joints, etc. as often as possible because if I don't, the pain and stiffness get worse.

Reiki and craniosacral therapy also help a bunch. Often you can find people seeking their certification (for either) in your community and they'll do treatments for free.

Is there state or local aid you can get to cover medical expenses? Pcip should cover you, if not - there is a monthly cost, but it's considerably less than paying out of pocket for doctor visits, meds, etc.

I completly understand your situation, I also do not have any health insurance and my husband job pays for bills and that is about it...we are even stretching that! But I was in such horrible pain in early October that I ended up at the hospital 3 seperate times! after the visits I finally was able to self diagnose myself with PsA and find a specialist that accepted patients with out insurance...Thanks to family I was able to pay the $100 deposit for the first office visit, and pay for my first round of medication and then thanks to the amazing nurses and staff was able to set up a payment plan with them that is currently on hold while I try and apply for disability...My suggestion for you would be to call around and ask rhumeys about thier policy for patients with out insurance, you also should try and call your local state assistance agency because they normally have a list of free or low cost health clinics that would be able to help you out with medications and doctor visits. Humira (which is the medication that I am currently on) has a wonderful program that covers your cost of your medication and sends you all of the supplies needed for it I pay a $5.00 co-pay, which you can find out information about online through thier website.

I find that aleve truly helped me, hot showers and baths always helped too, heating pads are a life saver and I know its winter time but the warmth of the sun always cheers me up a little bit and that alone seems to help, I have heard that "Willows bark extract" helps with inflammation, I havent personaly tried it but I heard it is wonderful and my rhumey told me that fish oils and a multivitamin would be helpful as well...Before I started Humira I read online that ginger is a great antiflamatory so I have made ginger tea and add ginger to almost everything now...An even though I know how much it hurts light activity is really helpful, I love my big ball thing it really helps the back when nothing else is working!

I hope some of those help you, but I do hope you are able to find so type of medical care because I know how hard living with this pain day in and day out can be! Good Luck!

Nym,

Thank you very much for your suggestions. I very much appreciate it. I am just praying for some relief.

nym said:

Heat or cold (or alternating heat or cold) on joints and areas of the body where I have a lot of pain helps. Hot showers. Rice socks are my friends - they are inexpensive alternatives to heating pads...you take a clean cotton sock, fill it 2/3 full (or less) of rice and tie off the end, then heat it in the microwave for a couple minutes.

Eating as healthy as possible and avoiding foods that make me feel ill are important.

Balancing activity and inactivity is also important for me keeping my pain under control. When I'm too miserable to move, I make sure I stretch, move my joints, etc. as often as possible because if I don't, the pain and stiffness get worse.

Reiki and craniosacral therapy also help a bunch. Often you can find people seeking their certification (for either) in your community and they'll do treatments for free.

Is there state or local aid you can get to cover medical expenses? Pcip should cover you, if not - there is a monthly cost, but it's considerably less than paying out of pocket for doctor visits, meds, etc.

amueller,

Thank you very much for your suggestions. I am trying heat therapy with the heating pads right now. The pain is not as bad as it has been but it is still pretty painful. The weather has been so up and down here one day it's 60-70 the next day it's 30 that may be having an affect as well. I am just praying that I was going through a bad period and hopefully the pain will ease up.

Star

Thank you so much

amueller said:

I completly understand your situation, I also do not have any health insurance and my husband job pays for bills and that is about it...we are even stretching that! But I was in such horrible pain in early October that I ended up at the hospital 3 seperate times! after the visits I finally was able to self diagnose myself with PsA and find a specialist that accepted patients with out insurance...Thanks to family I was able to pay the $100 deposit for the first office visit, and pay for my first round of medication and then thanks to the amazing nurses and staff was able to set up a payment plan with them that is currently on hold while I try and apply for disability...My suggestion for you would be to call around and ask rhumeys about thier policy for patients with out insurance, you also should try and call your local state assistance agency because they normally have a list of free or low cost health clinics that would be able to help you out with medications and doctor visits. Humira (which is the medication that I am currently on) has a wonderful program that covers your cost of your medication and sends you all of the supplies needed for it I pay a $5.00 co-pay, which you can find out information about online through thier website.

I find that aleve truly helped me, hot showers and baths always helped too, heating pads are a life saver and I know its winter time but the warmth of the sun always cheers me up a little bit and that alone seems to help, I have heard that "Willows bark extract" helps with inflammation, I havent personaly tried it but I heard it is wonderful and my rhumey told me that fish oils and a multivitamin would be helpful as well...Before I started Humira I read online that ginger is a great antiflamatory so I have made ginger tea and add ginger to almost everything now...An even though I know how much it hurts light activity is really helpful, I love my big ball thing it really helps the back when nothing else is working!

I hope some of those help you, but I do hope you are able to find so type of medical care because I know how hard living with this pain day in and day out can be! Good Luck!

You might want to check out some of these links and see if there is anything in there that might help you:

http://www.vhcf.org/looking-for-help/medical-care/regional-providers-and-resources/

http://info.kp.org/communitybenefit/html/our_work/global/our_work_4_b.html

http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/browse-by-state/state/VA

CJCB,

Thank you very much for the links I will check them out!

Star
CJCB said:

I know some of the drug companies havd programs to help people
get the meds even if they can not afford them. I have a friend who
is getting help from Enbrel right now. Curcumin (tumeric) is an anti inflammatory
I take it along with my other meds. Heat and cold.
Distraction and I also have compression gloves( tight gloves)
That help with the pain and swelling. Before I got my prescription one I used baseball gloves in a size too
small, the leather stretched enough to get my hands in
and was enough pressure to take the edge off the pain.
I am not sure about US stuff but is there someone you
could get to help you apply for help ? That can be overwhelming
and confusing all on your own. Hang in there.

starzzbiz said:

CJCB,

Thank you very much for the links I will check them out!

Star
CJCB said:

Hi Kirsten,

Thank you very much for you tips and advise. My arthritis is mainly in my legs and feet which is also where I have most of my psoriasis breakouts. I have not had much trouble with my hands a little swelling at times. I uses one of those little stress balls and they really help with the hands. I have applied for some of the Rx programs hopefully it will not take too long.

Thank you very much.

star

Kirsten said:

I know some of the drug companies havd programs to help people
get the meds even if they can not afford them. I have a friend who
is getting help from Enbrel right now. Curcumin (tumeric) is an anti inflammatory
I take it along with my other meds. Heat and cold.
Distraction and I also have compression gloves( tight gloves)
That help with the pain and swelling. Before I got my prescription one I used baseball gloves in a size too
small, the leather stretched enough to get my hands in
and was enough pressure to take the edge off the pain.
I am not sure about US stuff but is there someone you
could get to help you apply for help ? That can be overwhelming
and confusing all on your own. Hang in there.

starzzbiz said:

CJCB,

Thank you very much for the links I will check them out!

Star
CJCB said:

I dunk my painfull PsA feet in ice water - it works tremendously well! I don’t use NSAIDs or any other pain med. I never use heat.