Chronic Illness Tools That Don’t Require Leaving Bed

Sometimes getting out of bed is really hard. It is extra discouraging when we have other things going on in our lives and feel like we’re falling behind. It is especially easy when you start the day off slow to never gain momentum and get stuck on your phone feeling bad all day.

What I like to do in these instances is try to accomplish a few simple tasks on my phone that are productive. That way, I feel like I have already accomplished something even if I haven’t left bed. This usually leaves me feeling a little better and can help kickstart my momentum for the day in the right direction.

Compare Prices For Health Costs

The hardest part about getting sick is that in addition to a physical and emotional toll, there is often a large financial one as well. This can make it harder to keep hope as you feel less and less in control. One thing that has helped me gain some foothold of control on the costs of medical procedures and hospitalizations is Healthcare Bluebook. It lets me compare prices of many medical services across my local area and the country. I often give it a look before scheduling a procedure even when I’m using insurance, it helps me feel in control.  

Check Lab Results

Chances are you are getting most of your lab tests done through Quest or Labcorp. Well luckily both companies have an online portal to check your lab results. I am able to see my records going back to around 2011 on both sites. Even if you use a different lab test provider, it couldn’t hurt to check if they have the option check the results online.

Compare Prescription Drug Prices

Similar to Healthcare Bluebook there are comparison tools for drug prices. Now a lot of my prescription depends on my insurance but if I ever find myself interested in doing some research I check out GoodRx. They let you find the lowest local prices and have discount prices that are usually honored at the pharmacy. If I ever hit my monthly cap on refills from my insurance I make sure to check it out.   

Order Prescription Refills

My insurance plan actually charges me lower prices for home delivery for several medications. I can log online to see my prescriptions and order refills. Many insurance plans have been rolling out this feature and if you haven’t heard about it you probably will soon. Even if yours doesn’t have this feature most major pharmacies now have similar features in their apps and on their websites.

Wear A Smart Watch

I love my Apple Watch. It lets me quickly check reminders without looking at my phone, which is great for not just text messages but also things like medication reminders. When I’m having a busy day it can be easy to forget if I took my medication or not so I use the MedManage app to send me the reminders right to my wrist. All I have to do is select ‘Take’ on the reminder once I get around to it and it keeps a daily log for me.

My Apple Watch, like most smart watches, is great for a lot of other things as well tracking my vitals and allowing me to see reports on my blood pressure and other vital signs. The apps I use on my phone to help keep track of my health all have features for the Apple Watch.

Chat With A Doctor, Pharmacist, Or Therapist

My insurance plan also has coverage for telehealth and it lets me speak with doctors, pharmacists, or therapists. Some companies that run these visits without insurance are HealthTap and AmericanWell, each costing around $45 a 30 minute visit. Now, I don’t have unlimited visits, but I’ve only had to use it a couple of times. I definitely see myself using these options more and more because it can be really convenient depending on the circumstance.

Compare Medication Side Effects

There are several medication reference apps out there for audiences such as med students and pharmacists but also those oriented for regular patients without much medical knowledge. They even have apps with translations for languages like Spanish or Chinese. Depending on your needs you can find a useful reference app to always have that info available on demand. Personally, I use my medication reminder app as my medication reference tool since it has both features.

Compare Doctors and Read Doctor Reviews

Interestingly enough one day on Yelp I saw they had an advertisement for a local doctor so I did a search of doctors in their app and found a lot of results. This peaked my interest but I wasn’t about to use Yelp to compare doctors yet alone specialists (even though Yelp does have a lot of doctor reviews).

I did a google search and found a pretty good site called HealthGrades which lets you filter local physicians and medical facilities by the insurance they take. It doesn’t always have as many reviews as Yelp does, so doesn’t hurt to check both. It is really useful to use when traveling or need to see a specialist.  

About the Author

Simon Greenberg is an engineer in the biomedical industry who has became interested in healthcare quality and convenience since seeing what chronic illness is like first hand. He now runs a blog to help show the options available to people that can be used to manage their health at

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