Sunday, October 27, 2013

Is medication and medical procedure costs to high. Help is a simple click away !

 Good Morning everyone!
  I have came across some very helpful information for those of us who don't have insurance or have insignificant insurance coverage that I myself have been using. In some cases the costs are fully covered and in others a huge portion is covered . These are several programs offered for both prescriptions and medical services. 

   The first program is needy meds .   NeedyMeds is a 501(c)(3) non-profit information resource devoted to helping people in need find assistance programs to help them afford their medications and costs related to health care.  NeedyMeds is funded by small grants, donations, sponsorship's  subscriptions to PAP Tracker, and syndication of various database information. NeedyMeds also works with the patient assistance programs of several pharmaceutical distributors. I personally used this and do receive some of my meds today.  The link is as follows  Needy meds will give several options of programs available, so try them all you may not qualify for one but may for another.   

  I also personally use the following website Rx Outreach. It is a non-profit charitable organization their mission is to provide patients affordable medications that are in financial in need.  

 Save on maybe one of the most exciting new finds for myself. It  is a new website to save on medical procedures here is how it works.

  Find great deals on medical services, manage the process online. How it works is sign on the site, type in your zip-code and the service you need to have done MRI, CAT Scan etc... push enter and wow I promised you will be shocked. Just last week my doctor told me I needed a MRI of the brain, he wrote the script and had me call to make the appointment. The woman on the other end of the phone told me the cost would be 2200 dollars. She then ask how would you like to pay. insurance ,which I don't have, all at once which I don't think so or three easy payments easy for whom I ask? After a brief pause the woman said I do have another options I don't usually suggest. Our company participates in a website called save on meds. Simply go on there find your procedure and click on the doctor and the price you feel best about, pay print and call for the appointment. Hmmm I had never heard of such I thing but what the heck. I didn't have a spare 2200.00 dollars so I took her suggestion, and to my surprise I found the procedure I was looking for for 500.00 dollars a huge savings of 1700.00 dollars, the best part at the very same office I had just hung up the phone with. Now I'm paying my information forward to you the link is as follows.

It is very difficult to have a chronic illness with constant chronic pain. Finding out the medications we need just to have a quality of life cost so much just adds to the pain and stress. I love finding new ways to help myself and others offset the cost . It a strange way it helps with my morale, I feel like I'm still able to make a big difference in a life of someone who needs it. Please if you know of any programs that help with cost. Please share your story and the information . You never know whose life you maybe saving.   



One last thing I would like to offer. Many doctors are no offering programs where you pay monthly or one set price for the year and can visit as much as needed. They offer a wide selection of services such-as as check-ups, stitches, some offer bone density test, blood work ect. It will vary from provider to provider. This may be another helpful alternative to the high cost of the urgent care.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fatty Fish May Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

It's been widely covered in the news and on many health blogs - fatty fish (rich in Omega-3 fatty acid) is a great nutritional way to keep your heart healthy. Now the results of a 7 year study conducted in Sweden have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. That's right!

The women who participated in the study and who consistently ate at least one serving of fatty fish a week cut their risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by half! This compared to women who ate little or no fish.

It appears that the potential benefits received from consuming Omega-3s comes directly from the fish instead of a fish oil supplement.

You might consider that when planning meals by incorporating fish into your diet. You don't need to eat a serving of fish everyday - up to twice a week should be fine. Eating one portion of fatty fish, such as mackerel or salmon, could cut your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by fifty percent.

These are some fish you might consider when planning meals:

Oily fish - 1x per week

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Halibut
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Achovies
  • Herring
  • Mackeral
  • Pilchards
  • Trout
  • Fresh tuna
  • Whitebait

Lean fish - up to 4x a week

  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Halibut
  • Monkfish
  • Plaice
  • Pollock
  • Sea Bass
  • Tinned Tuna
  • Plaice
  • Dover Sole
  • Skate

There are many resources online for delicious grilled fish recipes. I found this one on the Mayo Clinic's website.

Melinda's Tips for Preparing Fish

  • To help hold the fish in place when cutting try sprinkling salt on your cutting board and also dip fingers into salt for stability, the salt should be rinsed off fish when complete -  if you are watching your sodium intake. 

  • Using a simple dish cloth wrapped around the knife handle and secured with a rubber band makes the perfect fit for the arthritic hand. 
  • The perfect fish recipe is so simple:  
  1. Season a fish filet with a little lemon juice salt and pepper 
  2. Place fish in parchment paper
  3. Top with a thin slice of onion and tomato
  4. Wrap like a sandwich bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (longer for thick cuts of fish)
  5. Allow to stand in paper sealed for additional 5 minutes serve in paper. 
It is fun for family and guests to open the delicious package!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kids with Juvenile Arthritis: Ways to Help Them Enjoy Time Off



Pain sometimes limits activities for kids with juvenile arthritis. Maintaining a regular exercise program is really beneficial in the long run. Exercise keeps the joints mobile and builds muscle strength. Through regular exercise, everyday movements like walking and dressing become less stressful and less painful.

  • Swimming is a good activity because it uses many joints and muscles without any weight bearing pressure.

  • Walking is also a good way to exercise without putting too much stress on the joints.

  • Download Exercise Tips for Kids (a printable pdf)


Meet Other Kids with Arthritis

Sometimes a kid with juvenile arthritis can feel isolated. Meeting other kids with the same or similar conditions opens up a whole new perspective. Suddenly there are other kids who feel the same way, experience the same pain and understand what it’s like to live with JA.

To connect with other families contact the Arthritis Foundation 1-800-283-7800 or visit to find an office close to you.

Juvenile arthritis camps are developed specifically for kids with arthritis. Camp activities encourage camaraderie and lifelong friendships. The Arthritis Foundation holds a national Juvenile Arthritis Conference annually. The location changes each year. The opportunities to meet with other parents and kids, to learn important information and bond with family are great reasons to attend.

Here’s a sample the fun and educational surprises at the Juvenile Arthritis Conference.

“Kids Get Arthritis Too - Flash Mob at Disney!”
The Young Adult Program at the national Juvenile Arthritis Conference is a program designed to empower young adults (18-30) with arthritis with the skills and information they need to live the life they want and deserve....and it's a heck of a lot of fun! Siblings and significant others join in as well to learn how they can better support the people in their lives.

Connect with Others

  • The Girl with Arthritis
    This lovely young woman has Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis. She's an aspiring artist who is just trying to get by day to day without too much pain. Her goal is to help other kids and adults with arthritis reach out and feel accepted.

  • RArainbow
    A resource blog for young women living with (Juvenile) Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Kids Get Arthritis Too
    The Arthritis Foundation's online home for the 300,000 families living with juvenile arthritis.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Arthritis and Travel

July is vacation month. Kids are out of school, the weather is hot, and it's a great time for a mid-year getaway. But for people with arthritis, traveling can seem like an impossible dream. How do you accommodate the pain of long sitting? What if something happens to your medications while you're away? Are there any activities you can participate in?

Great news! With foresight and a little creativity, you can have a great vacation away from home, solo or with friends and family. Below are five ideas to get you started.

5 Ways to Make Traveling with Arthritis Easier
1. Car Rides: have you ever missed out on a family road trip because your destination was several hours away and you knew that the hours of sitting would leave you cramped and aching? Here's where a little planning is crucial. Since you know you need to move around every hour or so to avoid pain, plan your stops! Find your course on a map and see which cities you'll be driving through, and when. Then go online and find food, shopping, or coffee stops to add to the existing bathroom/gasoline breaks. That way the stops are family fun, not just necessity for you. It's a great way to meet your needs without feeling self-conscious.

2. Air Travel: ok, you can't exactly ask the pilot to stop every hour so you can get a break from sitting, but there are plenty of ways to make air travel comfortable for you. First, talk to the flight attendant before the flight and explain your needs. That way he or she will be expecting to see you taking frequent walks around the cabin, and can be available to help if you should need it. Booking early can enable you to choose the best seat for you, and if your finances allow it, you can spend a little more and book business class. The added comfort is worth the extra cost.

3. Medications: this is an important enough issue to merit its own place in our list. Traveling with meds can be tricky, especially when you're relying on public transportation (planes, trains, buses). The number one thing to remember when traveling with meds is to ALWAYS carry them with you. They should not be under the bus, plane, or train where they can get lost or stolen, or where you can't get to them immediately. Make sure your name is clearly visible on all bottles, blister packets, etc. It's a good idea to pack extra, just in case something happens to delay your return home. Should you find yourself without enough medicine to last your trip (in spite of all your careful planning), don't worry! A local pharmacist can usually contact your home pharmacy and get you the amount of medicine you require to finish out your trip. Talk to your home pharmacist before you go out of town. Let him or her know your plans, and make sure they can cover you in an emergency.

4. Be Organized: because of your special circumstances, it's extra important that you have everything you need before you leave your home. But don't let that stop your plans-getting organized to travel is actually very simple and will be second nature after one or two trips. First, make a list of everything you will need. This includes clothes, meds, and anything else you use on a daily basis. Do this plenty of time in advance, so you have time to add to it if necessary. Take a photocopy of your identification documents (driver's license, passport, military I.D., etc) and keep them in a separate piece of luggage, away from the originals. That way you have backups if you lose the originals. Talk to people who are vital to your health at home, such as doctors, physical therapists, and pharmacists. Let them in on your plans so they are ready to help if you have a problem while you're away. And finally, make some plans for what you will do if you have a high pain day, or if there is an activity you don't feel like participating in.

5. Travel Light: part of this one falls under "Be Organized," since in order to pack light you must be able to plan ahead and take only the items you'll need for your trip. Make sure you know what kind of weather to expect, and what your activities will be. Pack accordingly. Another way to travel light is to have several items of clothes that can be repurposed. For example, a fitted cotton t-shirt is perfect with shorts for sight seeing during the day, and can transitioned to nighttime dinner out with some slacks and accessories. As for the luggage, test it to make sure you can handle it. Rolling suitcases can be a great help, but choose a small one. This encourages you to be careful with what you pack, and has the added benefit of being a carry-on which means no lost luggage for you! This last idea might seem a bit unorthodox, but it can be a great solution: mail your luggage ahead of you! That way all you need to worry about is your toiletries, meds, and maybe one change of clothes, all of which can be managed in a small carry-on. Sending your luggage ahead to your destination can be especially useful if you will be enjoying an extended stay and would otherwise have to lug a huge suitcase around. Even if you're staying at a hotel, rather than with family or friends, call ahead to see if they'd be willing to help you out. Most places are happy to assist.

There is no need to let arthritis keep you at home while others hit the road. With just a few adjustments, you can have an amazing trip and create wonderful memories with friends and family. Happy trails!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Preparation - Meat, Poultry & Fish ​


If you are unable to use your hands to hold the meat in place, I find the following methods very useful when butterflying meats, fish, or poultry. Place the meat flat on a cutting board. Using a fork or large carving fork with a thick handle (if you are unable to use your hand to hold a standard size fork, use the large carving fork), spear the meat right in the middle.

Preparation Method - Peeling & Coring

Cutting and/or coring and removing skins apples, pears, potatoes, small summer squash, mangoes—things of that nature—can become a challenge. There is a simple solution to cubing when your hands just are not up to par. Using an apple cutter works miracles. To cut any of the above (except
Cooking with Arthritis - Preparation Methods: Peeling and Coring
There is a simple solution to cubing when
your hands just are not up to par.
Using an apple cutter works miracles.
mangoes), use a mango cutter when cutting mangoes. Simply place an apple cutter/corer on the top of the item you would like to chop or dice, position the cutter so that one handle is next to your body and the other is away from your body, and place your forearms on the handles, using your weight of your body. Firmly press down. The item is not only sliced, but cored. If any item will not stand firmly, remove a thin slice off the bottom for stability.

Preparation Method - Heavy Items

Cooking with Arthritis - Preparation Method: Heavy Items
Get a cup any size you can handle
and scoop the batter from the bowl
into your pan. A small plastic
measuring cup works wonderfully.
When making cakes, soups, and stews, I find it hard to lift heavy batter bowls and pots with liquid in them. To make this problem go away quickly, simply get a cup any size you can handle and scoop the batter from the bowl into your pan. A small plastic measuring cup works wonderfully. When you get to the bottom, use a spoonula. This is a spatula that has a spoon/spatula appearance. It’s the perfect tool for that last little bit remaining in the bowl.