Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » What to do when you cannot get treatment

03-07-2012, 12:29 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
What to do when you cannot get treatment

Hello all,

So I am an American but currently live abroad. The country I live in provides public medical are for free and private medical services at reasonable costs. I was diagnosed with Crohn's in May of last year after two years of symptoms (docs all told me I had irritable bowel syndrome due to stress of grad school/moving to a foreign country). Finally diagnosed in the UK last year. Anyway, I took pentassa and i was one of the lucky ones- all of my symptoms went away within 3-4 days. Then I moved to a third country to be with my fiancé and ran out of the medication they'd given me in the UK. So I went a week or so without medicine, waiting for an appointment,... and found none of the symptoms came back.

i was totally overjoyed, and thought- "maybe i'm just one of those people who only ever has one flare"? my health held for an astonishing 7 month period- not a single instance of diarrhea, pain, nausea, nothing. I ate and drank as I pleased, no problems.

Anyways, right now I am visiting the States. And we all know the state of health care here. Well, just a few days before I was supposed to visit, I started to get a few symptoms. Nothing major, just a few. But now I'm in a full-blown flare. I'm sleeping 14 hours a day, constant diarrhea, etc. I mean I lived this way undiagnosed for years before, but i forgot how much it SUCKS! I'm so tired and can't focus. and the worst part is that nobody is here to help me. my mom lives on the opposite coast, my friends are not understanding (they think, "finally we get to see you after all this time living abroad and you're sick? you just don't want to see us"), and my fiancee is several thousand miles away in europe.

what do you do to minimize the symptoms until you can get to a doctor? right now i'm just trying to stay hydrated and take iron. paying for care is not an option for me at this point, it's just too damned expensive.


03-09-2012, 11:21 PM   #2
Jennifer's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: California

My Support Groups:
Where are you visiting in the states? There are some areas where you can go to the ER and file for medical insurance that will cover you for a month (here its called CMSP County Medical Services Program). I'd call up your local ER and see what sort of payment/insurance options they offer. You may be able to get a dose of Prednisone there that will last you 10 days. Or you can ask if there's a free clinic around (there are a lot out there but we can't help if we don't know where you are) where they would also be able to prescribe Prednisone for a 10 day period (any longer usually requires weaning and a doctor to watch over you so chances are the ER or a free clinic wont give you more than a 10 day supply). There's no telling if that will do the job for now though.

Remember though that in the states they treat first and bill you later so don't hesitate to go to the ER if you feel you really should.

Sorry for the late reply.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.

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