Living with constant medication can be a tedious process of remembering what you need to take every day. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be an uphill challenge. Even if you need to take a gazillion pills from sunrise to sunset, there are ways to manage it and even make it fun.
When it comes to medication, some of the biggest challenges are taking medicine regularly, having enough supplies on hand, and making sure none of those medications will react badly or interfere with each other.
We know it’s a lot to handle. So here are our top five life hacks to get you taking your medication like a champ.
Talk to your doctor and bring your medical history
This is the first step, and it can’t be glossed over or taken for granted. Your doctor knows best how to handle and organize your treatment. Make sure you have your medical history ready for the consultation so your physician will know what medicine to prescribe and make sure you’re not at risk for any negative reactions with other medicines you are taking. Take note of what needs to be taken, and how often. Write it down, so you never forget! If you need to, bring a friend or family member to help take notes and make sure you have all the knowledge needed.
Make a supplies checklist
Often times our treatment consists of more than just simple one-two punch of pills. Depending on your condition, you may have a long list of things you need, from pills, syringes, gauze, disinfectants, inhalers, and more. Make a list, keep it on a notepad, post it in the kitchen, make sure it’s always visible, and keep track of how much you have left and whether you are running out. Never underestimate the efficacy of a good list – lists can help you sort out everything and are the first step towards creating an organized system for your meds.
Schedule it on your smartphone
Modern technology comes in handy when it comes to reminding us of what we need to do. Set reminders on your smartphone to cue when you need to take things, and when you need to go out and buy more supplies. The standard features of your smartphone are robust enough to handle this, but you can also go big on tech and get dedicated apps that can do the scheduling, inventory and even re-ordering of supplies all by itself. Look around for apps that work with your local pharmacy; there are many on the market. Examples include Medisafe, My Pillbox, and Dosecast. Find one that works for you.
Check out how Emily Levy, Mighty Well CEO and Lyme Warrior, uses her MediSafe.
Use clear containers
Lists and schedules are great, but you also need to organize your supplies properly. Avoid opaque containers. They may look nice, but in terms of utility, a transparent plastic is more reliable and makes the job much easier. Whether you buy plastic pill boxes, or large jars to keep more supplies, they should be transparent so you can see how much you have, and what is inside. This makes it easier to check inventory, and you can see visually when you’re running low on something.
When it comes to organizing, the containers aren’t the only thing that count. Labeling each container or section of your supplies is important! Some things can look very similar to each other, especially pills. Labels help keep things in order and make it far easier for you to organize and reorganize things, like when you are filling up your pill box with materials from your home depot. You can even include expiration dates on the supplies, so you know when they’re good to be used.
Containers like the Self Care Case are designed with sleeves that you can write on, to make sure it’s easy and convenient to write down and label your medicines. This also makes it easier for people you are with to administer the right medication in case you need assistance and can’t do it yourself.
With a little planning and an attention to detail, staying on top of your medication is possible and even enjoyable. Your health is important, and making sure you stick to your treatment is the best way to ensure a good, healthy you. Doing a little more work to prepare everything can make everything a lot easier down the road, so it’s best to invest some time to get it right at first, and it everything falls into place like clockwork afterward.
Want to learn more how other people keep their medications organized? Join us in our Friends in the Fight group.