Monday, May 10, 2010

Do you remember?

The Alamo? The Maine? No, do you remember to take your pills regularly. It turns out I am not the only person who doesn't remember to take their pills. I have five prescriptions to take daily. I also try to take vitamins daily. I have two pill boxes with Sun-Sat compartments to keep track of them. I sit down every Saturday afternoon and refill them in a complicated system that includes spreading all the bottles out on the bed and opening them one at a time, putting them in their little compartments, and putting the bottles away. But the first step of my Saturday afternoon routine is to look at what I missed the previous week and give myself a little pep talk.

I always remember to take my first two pills of the day - which I have to take an hour before my next ones.
I always remember to take my next 3.5 pills (why is it the smallest pill I take (1/8" diameter) has a daily dose of 1.5 pills?) once I have eaten something.
I almost always remember (6 out of 7 days at worst) to take my evening pain pill.
I usually remember (5 out of 7 days) to take my vitamins. The problem with vitamins is not only do I have to remember to take them later in the day, I have to remember to take them at three different times - noon, dinner, and before bed.

Its way too complicated.

Then once I get through pills, I have to remember to do my damn exercises. I have twice daily arm exercises, twice daily ankle exercises, and one daily back exercises, and a daily walk. Have I whined about this recently? I can't remember.

Anyway, this morning I was gratified to learn that I am not the only person to forget their pills. But I was surprised to learn about how many people don't take their pills because they don't think they need them daily.

Basically, my thoughts are that if a doctor says here's a prescription for a medication for something, you do have a choice if you want to take it but you should understand the risks if you don't. I know women who have opted not to take Tamoxifen by choice. Or others who manage their thyroid issues through natural methods as opposed to medication. But its their choice and they made it. But if you do choose to take a prescription you need to take it as prescribed. If an antibiotic is prescribed for ten days, you need to keep taking it. Also some medications may not make you feel different but may have a long term effect on your body.

The whole issue of affordability is different. If you cant afford a prescription, talk to your insurance company, talk to your doctor, speak up - they won't know if you don't tell them and there might be options available.

Enough for this morning. I am going for a walk. Its 37 degrees out but I need to motivate as I have a 9 am doctor appointment and then have to go to work and then work from home. If I don't go now, I won't go. But I will take more pills before I go.

1 comment:

Liz B. said...

Hi Caroline,

I am on quite a few medications myself for my asthma and forget to take some of them because of the awkward times in the day that I have to stop my routine and pop a pill! This is apparently not a new problem either! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20039597/ This article is all the way back from 2007 and tells our saga just the same...

Along similar lines, something else you may want to look into is this thing called the invisibleBracelet that can keep track of all of your meds so that in the event of an emergency, an EMT can just pull up everything that you're taking! I just bought them for my husband and kids too just because it seems like such a good idea (and it's only 5 bucks each!). I am already a huge fan of the system, so maybe your family can benefit too :)

Your blog is so well written and I am so glad I found it! A dear family friend fought breast cancer for three years and won! I am intrigued by your story and wish you all the best! Stay strong!!