The High Price of Living with PsA
Those who have never experienced living with a long-term illness have no clue how expensive it is to live with an illness that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if we are able to work or not. We could have the best insurance plan possible and still have to fork out a fortune for our care. Outsiders often assume that our only expenses are our co-pays for one or two prescriptions, but they are wrong. Living with a chronic illness like psoriatic arthritis is expensive and goes far beyond medication.
Treating PsA isn’t cheap. Treating it pharmaceutically doesn’t guarantee that insurance will cover the medication that is best for us. Even if our provider covers it, they have the ability to deny coverage for it at any time. Some companies only cover a small portion or require that the patient pay a large deductible before covering any portion of the expense. Natural and alternative treatments are rarely covered by insurance.
The cost of comfort
In addition to our treatments, we need other non-medicinal products to make our lives easier or to provide comfort. Some of these expenses include having to replace our wardrobe with clothing that doesn’t increase our pain, shoes that provide support and comfort, heating pads, massages, devices that make cooking and cleaning easier, outfitting our bathrooms to prevent falls, and more. Those who are unable to perform household chores may need to hire a housekeeper.
Whether someone owns a car or not, they may experience periods when they aren’t able to drive themselves. While I didn’t have to pay someone to drive me during the time I couldn’t drive, every errand I needed to run cost my husband time he needed to take care of our house and yard during his off hours. Not everyone with PsA is able to get around without a mobility aid. Again, these aren’t always covered by insurance and can get quite pricey depending on the needs of the patient.
Where does the money come from?
Being able to work doesn’t necessarily make living with a chronic illness more affordable. Those who are able to work lose income every time they schedule time off for doctor appointments and tests. Their jobs may physically drain them to the point of needing to hire help to clean their homes or tend to their yards. Many aren’t able to work outside of their home and others aren’t able to work at all. Families that were accustomed to living with two incomes struggle when it’s cut in half. Not everyone qualifies for disability and those who do aren’t getting rich off of it.
These are just some of the financial costs of living with a chronic illness. I don’t know about you, but I had no clue just how expensive my life was going to get when I received my diagnosis. Is there a particular expense that caught you by surprise?
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?