Monday, May 27, 2013

Taking My Daily Medication and Supplements Challenge--Important Update

By now, you know I am not here how to  tell you how to get rid of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue 
Syndrome, or whatever Chronic Illnesses you deal with.  Since I've been ill, there are more people talking about how to manage our illnesses, giving out comfort and encouragement, and wanting to have a dialogue than I have ever seen .  The internet has been a blessing in that regard.  However, that doesn't change that it is up to each of us to manage her health, even when she gets exhausted.  If you are at the point you can no longer care for your own needs, you may get assistance;  but for most of us, we still have to keep track of our daily routine.

And so, the balancing act goes on -- pacing ourselves, keeping track of our medications and supplements, as  well as facing each day with fatigue and pain that never entirely goes away.  Some days are better and other days, we wonder how we can keep going another day.  Most of the topics I write about  come out of my own experience and a few I have caught as I read, so I pass them on.  Today's topic is something I need to work on.

M E D I C I N E  &  S U P P L E M E N T S

A warning about medication and supplements is necessary, because small children are apt to be curious.  Please keep medication and supplements out of the reach of your children and grandchildren.  Some people even keep them in locked boxes.  Since our grandchildren do not live near enough to be here often, I put them in a place that is out of their reach when they visit.  When we visit them, I am also careful to keep medications out of their reach.

Medicine and supplements are tiresome, but necessary.  Sometimes, I get lax, I get tired, I get lazy about taking them.  I say the dirty little four letter "L" word, because of all the things I can do to help myself, this should be one of the simplest.  So let's come up with a plan.  This is my challenge for June, but I am starting this week.  How can I make this easier?  

I don't know what might keep you from taking your medications when you should, but I know what happens to me.  Here are the things I think trip me up:
  1. Not waking up at the same hour
  2. Cannot take vitamins and minerals with my first medicine of the day
  3. Getting busy and forgetting
  4. Forgetting to take them with my food, so I wait
  5. Not putting my pills in their container for the week, because I don't feel like it
  6. Dreading swallowing a handful of pills
  7. Making excuses, because I haven't made it a habit
  8. Forgetting whether I took a medication, because I did not put them in my weekly pill container
I think that pretty much covers my excuses.  None of them look too good to me, so I guess it is time to be my own parent and make this a priority;  because I need to make this one of the first habits in my life.  It might even help other things go better -- I hope.

Solving the Problem

A lot of discussion is not going to solve this problem;  and this is the one thing where I cannot see baby steps being the solution.  However, to make it a habit again, I need to put some real effort into this for a month.  As much as I dislike taking medicine, maybe I will have to make this a priority for two months.  This is how I plan to do it.
  1. Every Sunday, I am going to fill my weekly pill containers.  (If you are interested in what I am using, look in the left sidebar.)
  2. I always remember the medication I have to take before I eat breakfast, so my problem lies with all the other meds and supplements.  Therefore, I am going to take my medication and my first dose of supplements at the same time every afternoon.  Today, I wrote it down.
  3. I will take my evening supplements with supper.
  4. On my calendar after supper, I will check off that I have taken my medications and supplements for the day.  If I forgot, I cannot check it off.
  5. If I have been successful for 75% of the first month, I am going to reward myself with something I would not usually do for myself.  Thus, I am covering the baby step portion of forming the habit.  That means I could miss six and a half days out of a thirty day month, which is about two days a week.  However, I really want to do this thing better, so I am getting pumped up about it.
The main thing is my plan does not have to be your plan.  Maybe, you need to put up some post-it notes on your kitchen cabinets or in the bathroom.  In fact, I think I will do that: I don't even see my old list anymore.  I need something to catch my attention.  I hope you will join me in this challenge.  

God bless you.  Have a good week.

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It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah