When you or your loved one is diagnosed with a serious health condition, finding all the resources you need can be difficult. Jean talks with David Landay, founder of SurvivorshipAtoZ.org*, about his website, which provides users with all the medical, financial and legal information necessary for living with a long-term condition or a major diagnosis. David shares advice to help those facing a significant health issue make the most of their situation.
- Get the right healthcare. Do as much background research you possibly can to find an experienced doctor whose area of expertise relates to your specific condition, David says.
- Think globally. Especially if you've got a more serious or rare condition, David says it's important to seek medical health beyond your local area. Even if you're unable to travel, he says you can get expert opinions by communicating via e-mail, video and phone with experts worldwide.
- Learn about your own condition. Think about your symptoms in advance, make a list of any questions you may have and know the terminology so you can make the most of appointments with your doctor. "You should be thinking of your doctor more as your partner," David says. Follow up with your doctor if you don't get all your questions answered during your visit.
- Exercise and eat well. "We can help make our bodies better fight what may come along or what already has come along," David says.
- Try to make a human connection with your insurance company's employees. "Bottom line, you're dealing with a person," he says. "Try to make a friend of that person. Don't go in as an adversary."
- Don't volunteer information to your insurance company unless it's absolutely necessary. "The insurance company will find out what they need to know from your medical record, and it's better that it comes that way because then they're getting the absolute accurate thing," he says.