Learning How Other Countries Work With Medication

Last updated: October 2021

I wanted to share with you how different each country can be regarding how we get our medication. Reading through the articles and comments that are published on this really special community has been an eye-opener for me.

Hard to visualize

It saddens and concerns me that through different insurances people are not able to have the medication that they need for their COPD. Many of you are battling for what you need. Living with COPD can be so challenging and to have the added pressure of not getting the right oxygen supply or the correct pumps is hard to visualize. Yet, this is the reality for so many people.

National Health Service

It wasn't until I joined this community that I started to see the difference between each country. Here in the UK (I'm in Wales) I used to work when I was well so I paid into the national insurance program. Now I don't get my prescriptions for free, though over the border to England I believe they do. 

I've learned quickly not to take our NHS (National Health Service) for granted. I find it hard to believe that people cannot get what's best for them but we can here. Luckily right now I don't need oxygen or a nebulizer, but I know it would be available for me if I did - without the added worry of whether my insurance would cover it or not.

Pulmonary rehab

Physical and mental fitness

I do work at keeping myself as fit and active as possible to let me feel like I am doing something positive. One thing we have in common is doing a pulmonary rehab program to help us get stronger and more fit, not just physically but mentally too.

Paying for it

I have read that in some states and countries you also have to pay through your insurance to access these courses. Here in the UK, we are offered these courses after being diagnosed and then we can carry on to the next level if we wish. Though this is in Wales so I'm not sure about other parts of the country and we do have to pay for this. The price then depends on our income.

Exercise at home

Since the lockdown started, I've done my exercises at home. I'm lucky that I had some equipment at home so I'm still exercising and filling in my journal. I aim to work out 5 days a week but it depends on how my COPD is. No two days are the same.

Improvising at home

I can only imagine how difficult it is for those who cannot access a pulmonary rehab program. I am wondering if people use the internet to access their exercise routines? When I started at home I used two small tins of peas as weights - one in each hand and then gradually worked up. It may seem funny but it really works and costs nothing.

It is very difficult to hit barrier after barrier without getting what you so desperately need. That said, improvising with things in your home really does help and it's pretty exciting when you read back in your journal what you have achieved by starting off with 2 small tins of peas.

Editor's Note: We are heartbroken to share that Debz passed away in October of 2021. She is deeply missed but her positivity and resilience live on through her articles. Thank you for everything, Debz.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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