Chronic Illness is hard. Having to manage your medication may seem simple, but for some, it can be a real struggle. Personally, I take 13 different tablets each morning. This combined with my ‘fibro-fog‘ can lead to real trouble when it comes to managing my medications.
This is how I make it work.
Use a daily pill organiser
This can be great especially when travelling as you only have to worry about dispensing your doses each week. You can buy different sizes depending on the amount of medication you take. They have the day/ time of day printed on each window so you know when you have taken the dose. I use this one.
Make a list
Write down (or use the prescription copy) a list of the medications you take along with the dosage. This means that others can help with your medication if you are feeling too unwell or confused to dispense your own.
Learn about your medications
What medication do you take and what does it do? When you know what each medication is used to treat then you become more aware of them. This means that you can have informed discussions with your healthcare provider about your symptoms if there is a change or if you have concerns. Remember that some medications are prescribed ‘off-label’ which means they are used to treat problems other than their main purpose. For example, I once was prescribed Amitryptiline (which is an anti-depressant) to help me sleep long term as it has sedative properties.
Know your side effects!
This is so important. Many medications, especially those used to treat major illnesses have severe side effects. It is vital that you not only know what they are but also how to act when they hit you. Dizziness, nausea and drowsiness can be lethal when in charge of a vehicle or operating machinery (or even a cooker!). Know when is the best time to take strong medications and learn how they affect you and your body. Make relatives and friends aware of the side effects you may suffer from and how they can help you.
Download an app to help you
There are apps for everything these days. Medication and health care is no different. Do your research and find out which is the best one to suit your needs. The NHS INFORM website recommend the CARE APP. I personally have never used an app but I find that setting a timer/ alarm on my phone can be very useful.
Be aware of factors which may affect your medication eg alcohol, multi-vitamins or even diet. These can have a mild to severe effect on your medication.
Until next time,