9 Tips for Moving to a New City With Crohn's Diseaseby Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Writer
Maybe you’ve just been offered your dream job, but unfortunately, it's three states away. Or maybe you need to make a big move for school or to be closer to family. No matter your personal circumstances, read on for helpful tips to get re-settled and feel your best in your new adventure, all while handling the challenges that come with living with Crohn’s disease.
Reach out to the Crohn's community
Making a big move to a new place can be stressful for anyone. But when you have a chronic condition like Crohn’s disease, it can be even more daunting. Luckily, you’re not alone: According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Crohn’s disease may affect as many as 780,000 Americans. Many of these people have been through what you’re about to go through. Reach out to other Crohnie’s you may know who can provide their personal tips to make moving a breeze.
Find Crohn's support in your new city
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has more than 40 chapters nationwide. Some have paid staff while others are run by volunteers. Once you know where you will be relocating, you can reach out to the nearest chapter in your region to get local support for your disease. To find a chapter, you can search the foundation's website.
Talk to your medical provider
As soon as you know you will be relocating, it's a good idea to make an appointment with the doctor on your health care team who knows you best. Taking the time to sit down with them during an appointment will give them the chance to make any personal referrals of doctors they might know in your new area. They may also offer to remain on your team for things like consults or basic prescriptions.
Visit the area ahead of the move
Keeping your stress to a minimum will be key in the relocation. Visiting the area before you move can be expensive if you have to foot the bill. However, the time you spend scouting out the resources you will need in advance of the move can reduce your stress and save you money down the road.
Understand your insurance policy
Before you move, get answers to key questions regarding your health care coverage. Will you be keeping your same insurance policy, or will you have a new policy? Will there be any gap in coverage if you are changing policies? If you need to pay additional out-of-network expense, are there specialty doctors in your new area who are in your network and are also taking new patients?
The phone number on the back of your insurance card or your benefits coordinator at work may be helpful.
Eat well as much as possible
While there is no specific diet that works for everyone with Crohn’s disease, there may be foods you know do not work for you and other foods that make you feel better. It can be difficult to eat well when you are just getting set up in your new place or when you’re on the road making the move. However, anything you can do with your diet to avoid a flare-up will be well worth your effort.
Form a support network as soon as possible
Your moving to-do list can be overwhelming, with things like forwarding your mail, securing renter’s insurance, and buying basic supplies. However, it is also important to try to connect socially as soon as possible so that if something happens with your health, there will be someone local who can help. Getting established in a new church, joining colleagues socially after work, or connecting with an outdoor club are just a few ways to get connected in a new place.
Be willing to pay for help
Once you move, you may find yourself with a quick group of friends who are genuinely interested in helping you with whatever you need. However, if this is not the case, you may need to pay for things in your new area that family and friends did for free for you previously. Things like moving furniture, after-school care if you have children, and maintaining your car may be new expenses for your budget at least temporarily.
Enjoy the adventure
With any new endeavor, you will have good days and bad days. When things are not going as planned with the move, do your best to remember that the bad days are also a part of our life’s journey. Make your health and managing Crohn’s a top priority, but try to relax as much as possible and enjoy the ride as much as you can.