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Double Trouble: Remembering Your Medication

Posted Dec 20 2008 5:44pm
When I was picking out baby stuff for Deirdre (then Baby Bun), I had only one stipulation: I wanted the lightest car seat and stroller on the market. Since I'm prone to arthritis, I wanted no part of heavy, bulky paraphernalia. In fact, I opted for what they call a Snap 'n' Go Stroller - a simple stroller shell which is super lightweight. I thought having a light stroller at my disposal, I would be more apt to use it, rather than lug the baby around in the awkward (and heavy) car seat/carrier. A girlfriend generously bought us a second Snap 'n' Go, which we put in Johnny's car - so we'd never be without one while out on the town.

Well - best intentions being what they are, I found myself out shopping the other morning, without - you guessed it - my Snap 'n' Go. Little Deirdre was an absolute doll during the outing, never making a peep as I lugged her and her car seat in and out of the car about a half a dozen times. I didn't notice any pain at the time, but later that afternoon, I could barely move my wrists they were so sore. On top of that - I'd forgotten to take my dose of prednisone that morning - so I was in some serious pain! It only lasted only a day, but since then, I've made some changes in the way I remind myself to take my medication. It's inexcusable to miss a dose like a did. I mean, come on - it's working like a charm. Why should I work against myself? And we've rearranged the strollers so that I'll be sure to have one the next time I'm out. I'm just gla d little munchkin didn't know the difference!

Here are the fool-proof ways I plan on remembering to take my medication each morning:

1) Use a daily pill box: When I was first diagnosed, I was vehemently opposed to using one of these. I thought it was an indication that I was old, decrepit, and sickly. While I was guilty of the latter, I soon realized that the best way not to be categorized as such was to take my medication when and how I was supposed to. The pill box only made my efforts that much easier. So - it's back to the pill box I go.

2) Write it down:
Although my most recent infections probably warrant a couple of entries on my Chronic Control spreadsheet (which I haven't kept in over a year because I've been symptom-free), I think at least I'll start by jotting down the times I'm supposed to be taking my medication. Because I take the antibiotic 4 times a day, in addition to the other medication that I take twice a day, I'm in serious need of a reminder as to whether or not I've taken the appropriate pills. So, I wrote the following on the outside of the prescription bottle, "6am, 12pm, 6pm, 12am", denoting the approximate times I need to take a pill. Each day, when I take the medication, I make a slash (or some other designation ) through the coordinating time, thus proving to myself that I've taken the pill (because in an hour, I'm not going to remember!) I started with a forward slash the first day, then used a backward slash the second day. I'll continue doing that until I've made an asterisk, and then maybe I'll circle it, underline, etc. until the medication is complete. It's working well so far - I have yet to miss a pill under this system. AND most importantly, the infection is I know I'm doing something right!

3) Take medication at the same time everyday: This dovetails into #2. And while you're supposed to do this no matter what medication you're on, I find that if I commit to a specific time to take my pills, I tend to remember to take them. They say it only takes 14 days to form a habit...but since I'm only on the antibiotic for 10 days - I need all the help (tricks) I can get!

Here's a link for more tips on remembering your meds. Enjoy!
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