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    • #22193
      Mark Koziol
      Participant

      Forum members, this topic is a post that was previously published.
      As patients living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), many of us experience anxiety and a plethora of emotions on a daily basis.  Many of us also experience the “winter blues”. I recently read an article titled, 3 Strategies to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder: Helpful tips to ward off the winter blues. The article lists 3 tangible strategies to combat the “winter blues” for its readers. These “winter blues” is known as seasonal affect disorder (SAD).   “SAD, also called seasonal depression, is a form of depression that generally happens in the late fall, when there is less natural sunlight and the days become shorter and colder”.

      Exercising, creating social situations, and light therapy are strategies the article mentions to combat SAD. I follow two of these recommendations regularly; I try to exercise more and it seems there is always some type of gathering among friends and family. Sometimes, I view staying at home and watching TV or doing nothing a blessing. The cold winters in Cleveland, Ohio don’t seem to bother me. I wear enough weather protective gear to feel comfortable, and as a patient living with IPF, I am fortunate I have not experienced these “winter blues” the article refers to.

      Have you or are you currently experiencing the “winter blues”?

      If so, what strategies have you tried to alleviate them?

    • #26976
      Mark Bowden
      Participant

      I am down in spirit right now but know this will pass.  I am still trying to make sense of my most recent diagnosis, given I have lived with this condition for 25 years.  At this time I do not experience any of the common symptoms,  but the breathing test and image studies tell another story. I am in the shell shocked stage concerning the price of the medicine. I also am anxious about the side effects.  I don’t know how to make this work. Is it ever too early to start Ofev if you have an IPF diagnosis?

      • #26978
        Mark Koziol
        Participant

        Hi Mark, it seems as if you have fixed your password problem because you are commenting. Our disease acts in peculiar ways, no one can ever tell you if your condition will progress or remain stable. I’m hopeful you remain stable for another 25 years. The Ofev is expensive and some are able to get financial help with the cost of their insurance doesn’t cover. If you peruse the Ofev topics there should be some info on getting financial help. Your physician should have that info as well. If you are being treated at a hospital a social worker should be able to help you too. Ofev is usually prescribed when doctors determine you have moderate to severe fibrosis. I don’t know why this is the protocol. Take care, we are here to help so throw out any questions you may have. Mark

    • #26988
      Cindy Sears
      Participant

      Hi Mark,  I was put on Ofev right away when diagnosed in July of 2019 with mild to moderate IPF.  Because I am not 65 and not on Medicare but have a private insurance from work I was eligible for help.  Insurance covered most and what insurance didn’t cover this assistance program did so I have not had to pay any copay yet.  However I turn 65 in June so we will see what happens then.  The specialty pharmacy arranged everything.  Hopes this helps.

      Cindy

      • #26991
        Mark Koziol
        Participant

        Hi Cindy, thank you for the important info. I was in your boat as well. Employer insurance paid for the medicine, all but $10. The copay was covered by Boehringer ingelheim as they gave me a $20,000 grant for copay help. I wish they could of given me the cash. I hope things are going good with you and Ofev. May your lung function remain stable. Mark

    • #26992
      Mark Bowden
      Participant

      <p style=”text-align: left;”>Mark K — I have read many references to financial assistance in these forums. Some folks have just enough resources that don’t make them eligible for assistance, yet they somehow were able to get help.  I’m looking for that pathway, if it’s real. I am semi-retired, on Medicare with medicare supplement and Medicare drug plans.   I need to figure out what I must pay out of pocket annually to reach the catastrophic level, and then what my monthly copay will be. It’s all very unsettling. The doc says my lungs function at 70 percent.</p>
      <p style=”text-align: left;”>>>>Finally, I apologize for talking about finances in  this forum on on alleviating the winter blues. I know that attitude determines altitude. I’m grateful for each day  — icy winter or humid summer.
      Mark B</p>

      • #26995
        Mark Koziol
        Participant

        Hi Mark, the link provided is to the Boehringer ingelheim financial assistance department for Ofev. https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.us/our-responsibility/patient-assistance-program
        As I stated before I was fortunate enough to have employer insurance that covered my Ofev. At the time I received my scripts BI customer service was in contact with me and gave me $20,000 towards any co-pay. My co-pay was $10 and it was covered. My doctor and his team initiated all of the paperwork and prerequisite forms. I’m hoping this link will provide the help you need. If any other member has any other experiences with getting their Ofev covered, please chime in. Take care mark.

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