This is How I Manage Chronic Illness

This post about how to manage chronic illness is sponsored by Walgreens. All opinions are my own.

chronic illnessI’ll never forget the moment I got that call. “You have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis”, the doctor told me. As a 23 year-old, that sounded really scary. Without any other context, that sounded downright frightening. The thought of having a chronic disease for the rest of my life felt like a large pill to swallow (pun intended).

After a long conversation with my doctor, she reassured me that my disease is actually quite common. Many women (and men) live with an underactive thyroid and other thyroid problems. She also said I could manage my chronic illness very easily, if I take my medication every day. I just have to take a thyroid hormone replacement each day, and I’m all good.

I was still visibly upset when I told my parents, later that day. But after talking through it, and filling my first prescriptions at Walgreens, I was relieved to find that it really wasn’t as scary as I first imagined.

My first (and only-to-date) major health scare was a hard thing to go through at a young age. However, the experience taught me a couple important lessons.

Schedule Regular Doctor Visits

Like many chronic diseases, Hashimoto’s requires that my blood is monitored every 3, 6 or 12 months. When I first was diagnosed, they checked me every three months to make sure I took the proper dose of medication. By now, I only need to go every 12 months, unless there is a change in my hormone levels, in which case, I’d go every 3-6 months.

Listen to Your Body To Manage Your Chronic Illness

Any time I notice changes to my body that might be attributed to my thyroid, I schedule an appointment with my doctor and schedule blood tests to make sure my levels are still healthy. There have been times where my levels appear totally normal, but I don’t feel quite right. With even slight adjustments to my medication, I can feel a whole lot better. This just reminded me that I actually know my body best.

Refill Your Prescription On-Time

With chronic illnesses, it’s really important always to take your prescription on time. That’s why I use Walgreens Express RX. My prescriptions are automatically refilled for me each month, and I get a text message when they are ready for pick up.

Take Your Medication as Prescribed

With my thyroid disease, I need to take two pills every morning before I eat anything. I also need to wait 30 minutes before eating. I’ve been taking these pills for years, so it’s quite a habit for me by now.

However, if you have trouble remembering to take your medication, Walgreens has an app that will help you never miss a day. You can download the app here. The app offers a lot of helpful tools, like the 24/7 Pharmacy Chat to answer any questions you have about your medication. The app also has a pill reminder feature to help keep you on track.

If you live with a chronic illness, I know it can be frustrating and hard sometimes. But I hope my story and tips help you know you’re not alone. There are actually great resources to help you stay on top of your health and wellness.

I am not a medical professional. This post should not take the place of professional help. If you have any questions about your health, how to manage chronic illness, or questions about medications you take, please talk to your doctor.

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