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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
Just wondering if I am the only one who has anxiety about the financial costs relating the allergy stuff. I am doing okay and meeting my bills, money-wise, but I still don't have a permanent job (in my field, it can take a few years) and I worry about money a lot. The allergy is just one more thing.

For example, when I started having fruit reactions, I was able to get in with the allergist because of a cancellation (which was lucky, as he did not have any appointments until July!) and I had to take an afternoon off of work to go. Because I am on contract, I get paid by the hour and if I don't work, I don't get paid. I was really stressing about missing a whole afternoon!

Then I was telling the doc about the reaction I had which started the whole fruit concern, and how scared I was, how I almost took the epi-pen, but then I decided to try a Benadryl first because the epi-pen is $150. He was horrified and told me that if it's bad enough that I'm thinking I need the epi-pen, I probably really do need it, and my life is worth $150. Which, yes it is, but that is a lot of money for just one shot! And there is no way to know how often I would need to use it, because all the reactions I have had have been to things Ihave eaten before with no problems.

It's a little bit embarassing, but my mom has helped me out. She bought the epi-pen, and she's also given me money when the doc told me I had to get my medic-alert bracelet replaced. I feel really guilty about needing money from my mom at this point, but it's just that I do not have that much wiggle room in my budget for $150 for a single-use item. Even though I know my life is worth $150 I still feel like if I had a problem, unless I started passing out or something, I woud probably try the Benadryl first.

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I do agree that the financial stress of allergies can be worrisome.

When my DH lost his job awhile ago (company went bankrupt - not unusual in the high-tech sector), we pretty much agreed that he would have to find something PRONTO because of the health insurance (or lack thereof). We looked into getting private health insurance but it was a bit scary cost-wise. Add to that the food, lost time at work (whether for you or your child) and and it can add up. So it was a matter of find something with health insurance, and too bad if it didn't look that appealing. (I also went back to work at that point, even though I'd planned to stay home with my youngest one more year, because we weren't sure how long my DH would be out of work.)

I am always well aware of how lucky we are to both have decent jobs (not to mention a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to the hours - another factor that can cause a lot of stress - if the job isn't flexible time-wise)... and I wonder how those with less money cope. It's yet another aspect that most people without allergies don't think about.

I realize that it's the same for any kind of chronic health issue - I often wonder how all those people cope as well...!

BUT - and I almost forgot to include this - please follow your doctor's advice and give yourself the EpiPen if you even remotely think you need it. Time is an important factor, and if you put off giving the EpiPen, it might actually be too late. It's a miraculous drug when given in a timely manner, but if you don't administer it until your system is shutting down and circulation is reduced, it just might not work at that point.

Where there have been deaths from anaphylaxis, it's been for two main reasons: no auto-injector was given at all, or the auto-injector was administered too late.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
I was thinking about the financial cost of allergies today (we need to replace our aerochambers), and as usual there's always something pertinent on the good ol' talking allergies forum.

First of all, I can understand your concern, Ficbot , at the thought of "wasting" $150 if you end up not having a really serious reaction, but I agree with Karen that it's just too risky to hesitate. Better to be broke, and alive. And as a mom, I know that whether my sons are 7 or 47, I will always be happy to help them with the cost of something as important as an epipen, so please don't be embarrassed about needing a little help.

I also agree that the costs can be overwhelming at times. We are lucky enough to now have good medical coverage through my husband's job, but a few years ago we did not. Every time the doctor pulled out her prescription pad my heart would sink, and some months it was a real struggle just to make ends meet.
Even now there are all of the things that aren't covered like aerochambers, specific moisturizers to keep the eczema at bay, special foods, mattress covers, medic alert bracelets, and the 12 or so gallons of reactine and benadryl that we seem to use up every spring and fall. Then there's also extra considerations when purchasing a home, like age of home, hardwood or other hard surface floors, and central air, which all cost more. We also ended up spending a little extra on our home this time in order to be in the catchment area of a newer school (our sons both suffer from environmental allergies and older musty/dusty buildings make them sick).
I am also a full time SAHM, and I sometimes wonder how other parents handle the missed days for dr.s appointments and sick days (my sons seem to catch every cold all winter, and then there are the inevitable spring/fall days when despite all of their medications they are still too sick to function at school). It must be really tough.
Staying home full time is another sacrifice (and a joy). My husband and my choice regarding me being at home, was definitely influenced by their allergies.
So if you add it all up :shock: ?

Anyway that's my anti-allergy rant of the day.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:58 pm
Posts: 275
Location: on my pc in cp
i always joke around that this allergy thing woudl be way cheaper if i weren't allergic to benadryll, and i don't have anything that's life threatening!! i definatly think that a lot of people are in the same boat when it comes to their allergies

twinmom- can't you get your doctor to write you a perscription for reactine? i know that my dermatoligist and family doctor have both offered that to me as an option, but i don't have drug coverage so it really doesn't make an earthly bit of difference to me, either way i need to fine the money

_________________
allergies - penicillin, benadryl, dust mites, enviornmental & chemical
conditions - dermatographism, eczema, well contorolled asthma
dietary - lactose intollerant, vegatarian


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
I am glad to know I am not the only onein this boat! Right now, my stash of 'things I always have around on hand' is: Benadryl or Reactine, asthma puffer, epi-pen, medic-alert wallet card (because I have things on the card now which didn't fit on the bracelet). At home, I have another 'maintenance' asthma inhaler which I am supposed to take every day and often don't :) If I am not sick or it is not allergy season, I don't use it, and my doctor has complained about that before, but he also told me that if I am not taking the emergency inhaler more than 3 times a week, it means the asthma is under control so I shouldn't worry :) I know when I went overseas, the best money I spent for that whole year was the $300 health insurance they made us get. I used a lot more than $300 worth of stuff because that was when my really bad eczema flare-up (which I am now conviced was a sympton of the food problems) started. At that time, the docs were telling me they didn't know what was wrong with my skin and I should go to the drugstore, buy a 'variety' of creams and just try all of them! I am hoping within the next year or two to get a job in which I qualify for benefits, so that should take some of the pressure off, but right now, it's a situation where if I don't work, I don't get paid, and if I need something, I have to buy it myself. *sigh*

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:29 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6506
Location: Ottawa
Ficbot- If you are in Ontario, you might concider applying to the Trillium Drug Plan.
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/pub ... llium.html

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
Susan, thank you so much for the link! Depending on how my Septe,ber job situation works out, I will for sure consider that. I did not even know that program existed!

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:21 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6506
Location: Ottawa
Hey, that's what we're here for.
Good luck with the job thing!

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
My husband doesn't have medical coverage with his current job, and with me at home, we definitely feel the crunch of all the costs. At $100.00 a pop, epinephrine isn't cheap, and I totally understand why anyone without insurance would want to be as sure as they could be that they actually needed it before using it. Add that to the costs that twinmom mentioned, aerochambers, inhaler medications, medicalert, epi belts/holders, Aveeno creams, etc., and when you stop to add it all up -- Wow. I second Susan's advice to look into the Trillium Drug Program (if anyone's in Ontario) and for those of you in different provinces, each province has a similar public plan. Check out a previous discussion under "resources": http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/vie ... php?t=1728


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Well I don't work and don't plan to for quite a while. My girls don't go to school (also a joy) ..so there's also the cost of curriculum, books, supplies, gymnastics, dance, swimming, art class and various other "field trips" and activities that come up. The usual allergy stuff (lotions, reactine) gets expensive...but food wise...I make almost everything from scratch and garden (FREE FOOD) and we NEVER eat out. I guess that offsets a bit of the expense from more expensive soymilk, nonuttin bars, and rice pasta.

We do buy the more expensive natural cleaners too, a carpet cleaner etc. Then there's the big stuff like our fifth wheel (so we're able to travel) and our plans to replace our bedroom carpets with hardwood $$$ this summer.

I try not to think about it :shock: too often.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 688
Location: Cobourg, ON
We feel the economic strain of allergies also. I returned to work half time last year to help with our costs. Our latest expense coming up is a new front load washer so that I can wash pillows and large blankets regularly to keep dust mites at bay. When we started pricing the washers we found out that we needed the high temperature feature ($$$) to kill the mites also. The longer we are in this allergic lifestyle, the more we realize we need to do. Not only are allergies expensive but it is the time that it takes to manage them! Even just working half time, it is hard to keep up with everything! We really do need more tax breaks and financial support to keep our allergic families healthy.

_________________
13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:54 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6506
Location: Ottawa
I had said years ago that it seemed unequal that celiac was able to get a tax break for the food they bought but those with LTA could not.
When one looks at the statistics around Asthma and the cost to employers and the health care system does it not make sense to encourage those afflicted to do all they can to manage it effectivly?

Look at what I just found on a quick search, I just quoted the most obvious. From now on I am asking for a prescription for every suggestion!

Canadian Revenue Agency
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tg/rc406 ... l#P72_1469
Allowable medical expenses
Quote:

Air conditioner - 50% of the amount paid up to $1,000 for a patient with a severe chronic ailment, disease, or disorder - prescription required.

Air filter, cleaner, or purifier - paid for someone to cope with or overcome a severe chronic respiratory ailment or severe chronic immune system disorder - prescription required.

Certificates - the amount paid to a medical practitioner for completing and providing additional information in regard to Form T2201 and other certificates

Drugs - must be recorded by a pharmacist and prescribed by a medical practitioner. Over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements, even if prescribed by a medical practitioner, cannot be claimed.

Furnace - the amount paid for an electric or sealed combustion furnace to replace a furnace that is neither of the above types, for someone with a severe chronic respiratory ailment or immune system disorder - prescription required.

Gluten-free products - the incremental cost associated with the purchase of gluten-free products, as compared to the cost of comparable non-gluten-free products. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that the person requires gluten-free food due to celiac disease.

Laboratory services - prescription required.

Premiums paid to private health services plans

Tests - the cost of medical tests such as cardiographs, electrocardiograms, metabolism tests, radiological services or procedures, spinal fluid tests, stool examinations, sugar content tests, urine analysis, and x-ray services. Also claim the cost of any related interpretation or diagnosis - prescription required

Training - the amount paid for you or a relative to learn to care for a relative who has a mental or physical infirmity and is a member of your household or dependent on you for support. The amount must be paid to someone who is not your spouse or common-law partner and who was 18 years of age or older when the amounts were paid.

Travel expenses - if medical treatment is not available locally (within 40 kilometres), you may be able to claim the cost of travelling to get the treatment somewhere else. If you are claiming travel expenses to get medical treatment, you can choose to use a detailed method or a simple method for calculating your travel expenses.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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