In this article disabled blogger and Scheme customer Sarah Alexander-Georgeson discuses how she occasionally forgets her medication, or double-doses, and what she does to help her regain control.
Taking medication has pretty much always been a part of my life. As a child I didn’t have to concern myself with remembering to take it on time or making sure I had packed it when going out – luckily, that responsibility was my mum’s and I kind of still wish it was! She’s much better at looking after me than I am – although my boyfriend is awesome too.
As an adult, you would think that taking medication on a daily basis would become part of your routine, that it would be easy to take on time every day, no matter where you were or what you were doing but the truth is, I have had many a mishap.
When you live with a chronic condition, especially those that cause chronic pain and fatigue, memory and concentration is affected. The foggy brain can take over and it can be difficult to remember whether or not you have missed a dose.
Before I started using a pillbox, I had a lot of blunders. I’d sometimes forget to take them. I’d double-dose because I couldn’t remember if I’d had them or not. I would leave the house without them. All of this was mainly in my late teens because I was so stubborn, I refused to use any sort of aid to assist me. I was very much in the mind frame of, ‘I will cure myself of this genetic condition’. Wild, I know, but that’s how obstinate I was.
It did not take me long to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t wake up and my DNA be changed. I had an amazing counsellor that I was seeing for my anxiety and depression who taught me ways to better manage looking after myself, not only mentally but physically.
I bought myself a pillbox and would fill it each week. Each day was removable so I would (if I remembered, and I didn’t always), take the day out with me if I was going somewhere. That way, I didn’t miss a dose. I also started using alarms on my phone to remind me to take them. Sometimes I would (and still do) turn off the alarm and not take my medication right away, then wonder why I was in agony a few hours later.
Things that have really helped me stop with medication mishaps are:
- A routine – Taking my meds at the same time every day. I used to wait until I was in pain before taking my painkillers and then they would not work effectively, now I have them as soon as I get up and regularly throughout the day.
- Alarms – I have three alarms set throughout the day to keep me in my above routine. My boyfriend also has alarms on his phone for thirty minutes after mine go off so he can check that I have definitely had my medication. This has been really beneficial as if I am doing something and switch my alarm notification off without actually taking pills, he will make sure I have had them, and my routine is not interfered with.
- Using a pillbox – This has done wonders for me and it took me a while to find the right box that works for me. I have a stackable tower pillbox, and found when I was using a flat one, I would mix up days and take my night medication during the day. With the stackable, sliding lid, that isn’t possible, and it has made things much easier for me.
- Prescription delivery service – I order online and have an alert each month to remind me to renew my prescription, it then takes 2-4 days to arrive on my doorstep. This is really handy as I know if I am flaring and/or unwell, I do not have to leave my house.
Other ways to help avoid medication accidents include, using reminder apps on your mobile, linking taking your medication to a daily activity, leave yourself a note in a visible place or ask your pharmacy to pre-pack your doses.
If you’d like to find out more about how apps can help those with disabilities, then please click here to see our relevant articles.
I know a lot of my disabled friends have had similar issues to me, so I hope this has been helpful and given you some ideas on how to prevent missing a dose. I swear by pillboxes and have tried quite a few variations, there’s absolutely loads available online that are pretty cheap so try them out to find what is best for you.
Read more from Sarah at www.fromsarahlex.com