update and medication management strategies!

Hi!

Guess who’s back?!?? Haha, not really completely back. I don’t think I’ll be blogging – regularly, at least – for a little while. I’m not coping well. More on that later (in another post), probably.

I did feel I owed it to you guys to check in and update you. It’s been… a long time. Updating this blog crossed my mind a lot, and I even sat down and tried to write updates a couple of times, but they were just way too bleak and depressing to publish. I know a lot of my readers are mentally ill, and I don’t wanna be posting if all I can say is “hey, everything sucks right now and I want to stop hurting” basically.

I mean, I’m still in that place. However, I did manage to start taking my meds regularly! This still isn’t helping with the depression enough to allow me to function properly, but it’s a step in the right direction.

I really, really struggle with taking my meds, and I have for years. For almost a month now, I’ve been taking my meds daily without accidentally skipping any doses (okay, I missed ONE day, but that’s really good compared to how it was). I wanted to share my strategies that I’ve been using to help me remember with you.

One thing is that one friend made me put up a sign on my bathroom wall that says “TAKE YOUR MEDS” and a reminder that he wants me to, so I see that sign several times a day and I’m reminded every time that he wants me to take them, as well.

I think, though, that the two things that have helped the most are not that sign. They are an app designed to help you remember to take your meds, and… a piece of paper with stickers on it. I’ll explain, don’t worry.

The app I’ve found most helpful so far (and I’ve tried several of the free medication management apps available for iphones) is Mango Health. It has totally helped me a huge amount, honestly. You tell it what meds you’re on and when you have to take them, and it sends you reminders, and follow-up reminders. It has other features too, but those are what I find most helpful!

The other thing I’ve been doing is using a piece of paper my therapist made up for me (that would be simple to recreate, especially with a computer, but could be done even with a ruler and pencil) to mark down which days I take my meds. There’s a space for each day, and every day I take them, The idea is that you fill up the month’s worth of boxes with stickers because you’ve successfully taken your meds each day (or maybe you haven’t, but you’re trying to!), and then when you get a whole month of taking your meds every day (or almost every day, as my therapist and I agreed, if you prefer or feel like every day is unrealistic for you right now) you reward yourself. Depending on what you can afford, you could buy a candy bar, or something you’ve been wanting. My therapist and I talked about it, and on a pretty low income like mine, I can afford to spend about $5 every month on a treat if I manage to take them almost every day. I’ll probably get a nail polish or something similarly cheap but cute. Something I’ll enjoy but that won’t break the bank! The idea is to combine positive reinforcement with a visual representation of when you’ve taken your meds so far so that you can keep track.

I like using cute star stickers on my chart 🙂

A final tip I’ll share is something I’ve found isn’t enough (for me, at least) on its own but that does help a little, which is using a weekly pill organizer to sort your meds. If, like me, you often forget whether you’ve taken your meds yet that day, this will help you remember, because if there are no meds in today’s pill organizer section, that means you’ve already taken them (go you!). This is great because with most medications it isn’t safe to take them twice in a short time, but it also helps prevent the missed doses from if you didn’t take them yet. Without a pill organizer, I skip a dose if I’m not sure, just to be safe – but this way, I know for sure.

Okay. Hopefully you’re doing okay, and hopefully I start doing better soon. Taking my meds isn’t making a huge difference for me yet but I’m really working hard at getting better. I’ll try to update again soon – but you know what’s going on if I don’t. I promise I’ll update again eventually, at least.

xoxo
Zelie