Tackle This Year-end Health Checklist Before 2021 Arrives

Tackle This Year-end Health Checklist Before 2021 Arrives
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If your holiday shopping is done, indulge in some goodies and rejoice. Hopefully, I’ll be joining you soon. After that, a year-end health checklist awaits.

Many with sarcoidosis require ongoing treatment. When multiple physicians are involved, remembering everything that was prescribed is difficult. One last review before 2021 arrives could benefit your health and your wallet. 

Sarcoidosis is a chronic condition in up to 40% of people with the disease, according to the study “Disease Burden and Variability in Sarcoidosis,” published in 2017 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Assessing our health now provides time to squeeze in anything overlooked before insurance deductibles reset in January. 

Prescription for savings

Medications are a great place to start because many are struggling with costs. In a Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll last year, 49% of those in fair or poor health reported difficulty paying for prescriptions. 

While checking what needs to be filled before the new year gets here, keep unfilled scripts in mind. Those that weren’t affordable before may now be within reach because your annual out-of-pocket deductible was met.

Moving from a monthly to a 90-day supply is also something to consider, as is pill-splitting if your healthcare provider approves. It can lower costs because a higher dosage of a medication is prescribed and then the pill is split in half, as the organization Consumer Reports explained. 

The doctor is in

After pharmaceuticals, I make sure I haven’t forgotten to see or follow up with any physicians. Or missed any of the labs and diagnostic tests they ordered. I wasn’t crazy about getting care during the pandemic, but as I wrote last week, it’s essential. 

My medical team recommends being seen at least once a year by both a pulmonologist and ophthalmologist for sarcoidosis, even when in remission. There was little to no wait time this year to get in to see those specialists or others I needed. 

Where I often drop the ball is remembering to schedule my annual examination with my primary care physician (PCP). Lucky for me, she tracks me down when I forget. 

The Standard-Times reported that many are risking their health this year by skipping these visits. The exams help identify underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and cancer, those interviewed said. PCPs also advise about recommended screenings and bloodwork. In doing so, my PCP ensures that my general health, not just my sarcoidosis, is being carefully monitored. 

I know we are all ready to put 2020 behind us. But before we do, one last check could help us ring in the new year as healthy as possible. 

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Brighter side: We all could use a break from bad news right now. So, I’ll be closing my columns with a roundup of positivity until we are able to say goodbye to masks, hug our loved ones, and leave our homes without fear.

  • Holiday indulgences: Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, and cheesecake are among the many holiday favorites in the U.S., Travel + Leisure magazine reported. The career-builder website Zippia used Google search data to determine each U.S. state’s favorite Christmas treat and created this map.
  • Heroes and Jedis: There wasn’t a single Marvel cinematic release in 2020. But Disney has announced 52 projects that will be sending plenty of heroes, villains, and other shows our way, The Verge reported. The return of “Indiana Jones,” a new “Fantastic Four” movie, roughly 10 “Star Wars” series, and Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”) playing lead in “She-Hulk are in the works. 

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Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

Athena, a former journalist and Pennsylvania native, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2002. She’s admittedly addicted to books, Marvel, and football. She tackles life with humor, passion and curiosity, and hopes to reach others through her writing.
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Athena, a former journalist and Pennsylvania native, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2002. She’s admittedly addicted to books, Marvel, and football. She tackles life with humor, passion and curiosity, and hopes to reach others through her writing.
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2 comments

  1. Andrea Boatman says:

    I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 2006. I am a 57 yo African American female with this disease. I am scared to take the vaccine. Can I receive disability for this condition? I am affected year round. My immune system is compromised 365 days a year.

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