I read with interest the Editorial (February) introducing the new Living with Illness column and wanted to share with you my delight that AJN will now include articles that explore living with a chronic illness.
I am a neonatal nurse practitioner married to a 43-year-old man with cystic fibrosis (CF) and CF-related diabetes. He works hard to stay healthy, but it's a huge time commitment. More than once, we've had to fight to obtain reimbursement for treatment strategies such as the Vest (an airway clearance system) and for more efficient nebulizers, which insurance companies consider convenience items. The burden of the daily routine for people with complicated and lengthy treatment regimens must be addressed by the nursing and medical communities, and we must aggressively seek to simplify, streamline, and shorten treatment by utilizing the newest technology. This includes advocating that insurance companies cover the use of these technologies.
Nothing angers me more than to hear health care providers use the word “non-compliant” when talking about someone who spends nearly one-fifth of his waking hours on treatment regimens. That's a choice to have a life beyond chronic illness.
Karen M. Kopischke, MS, RN,C, NNP
Overland Park, KS
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