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Seeking Out of Country Care

Last updated: October 2022

I have been getting another opinion on my asthma. Every once in a while I toy with “are we missing something," or "is there a different approach?" I question if seeking out another opinion would be helpful at this stage.

Previously, I had sought out other opinions as an absolute necessity because I was becoming significantly ill. I had little faith or trust that a particular care team was truly trying their best to improve my asthma. When I had finally left their care, I promised myself that I would always try to ensure that I did not get complacent if a treatment or care relationship was failing.

My current situation

My care team is caring and brilliant but I feel like we have hit a wall. I think it is a combination of what therapies are currently available in Canada and some unanswered questions about what is driving my asthma...is it asthma plus something else? I have always had a gut feeling that I have “asthma plus.”

I have recently had an exacerbation which always brings up a couple of questions for me.

First, what threshold do eosinophils cause tissue damage? Do they need to always be treated and are we focusing our time and energy in the wrong places? The other questions that I feel that I am constantly restless with are the impact of early life advents and my asthma. I was born premature, I have small lungs for an adult, and I swear that this must have more impacts on my lung health than we have identified.

Seeking out-of-country care for another opinion of my asthma

These questions had me wrestling with seeking another opinion. I had previously sought out opinions and treatments in the United States. It was expensive but beneficial, however, my asthma is in a very different and much more controlled state, and I wonder if this fact-finding mission would be worth it.

I am still deciding how beneficial an additional consult will be at this time. For example, what is the result that I am looking for? If I was looking for an additional treatment idea, it is possible that the consult would not yield additional available options or I could face significant access issues once I got home? I do think it would be interesting and important to gain an additional point of view, just in case there have been new developments or other considerations at this time.

I will still plan to investigate the possibility of seeking another consult, however, on initial search, there was not much information available. I will need to consult the physician to see if they will even agree to see me, then figure out what the cost would be for someone outside of the country. I forgot what a process seeking out-of-country care can be and many places are not as sophisticated as major US hospitals with major international programs and concierges.

Next steps in this process

I will spend some time in the coming weeks trying to figure out if this idea is viable. I will reach out, as a courtesy, to my specialist about seeking an outside consult and potentially have them reach out to make the connection. The next step will be to figure out the fine details.

Have you sought out outside specialty care or out-of-country care for your asthma? I would love to hear about your experiences. Click the button below to share your story with the community, or share your experience in the comments section below.

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