As I talked about in my first self-care challenge, not all self-care is glamorous or fun to do. Sometimes, it’s simply doing what we need to do to keep ourselves alive, even when we don’t want to do them. “Self-care” just means taking care of yourself!
One of the things I really do not like doing is sorting my medications for the week. I take a lot of pills every day to keep me functional, and for infertility. (This is not something that is open to debate and comments telling me to get off pills will be deleted. My doctors have put me on each of my pills for specific reasons.) With Dan also taking a lot of supplements prescribed by our fertility clinic, it’s easier for me to sort out all our medications at once because I’m already sorting pills.
Every single Sunday, I sort all our medications. Then, I have to remember to take my “wake up” medications, breakfast supplements, dinner supplements, and “go to bed” medications. I’m good at remembering my medications, but even I sometimes forget (I actually forgot Tuesday’s wake up medications, which I think is funny given the nature of this post). However, I have friends that struggle to remember to take their medications. Some of them it’s due to needing to take them while they’re at work, or out and about, or because they have severe symptoms that impair their memory. Thankfully, the Health Storylines app has a solution for that!
Medication adherence/compliance is an important part of a chronic illness person’s life! Many medications require regular use to build up in the body and reach full effectiveness. Some medications can cause severe withdrawal symptoms even if you’re an hour late taking the next pill. And some medications cause rebound symptoms if you miss a dose, which means the symptoms they treat come back with vengeance! Therefore, to get the best results, you should do your best to always take medications exactly as prescribed.
Even if you don’t struggle to remember your medications, this challenge can still be helpful (especially if/when you add new medications or treatments to your routine)!
Self-Care Challenge: Medication Adherence
- Create a free Health Storylines account, here.
- Download the free Health Storylines app and login with your account.
- Scroll through the tools that were automatically added based on your profile, and if you see “Medication Tracker” you can skip to step 7.
- If you do not see “Medication Tracker,” scroll until you see the “Add Tools” button. Click it.
- You can either search for “Medication Tracker” or find it in the list. It’s in my “Top Tools” and “Health Tracking” categories (and others).
- Click on the tile for “Medication Tracker” then click “Add.” This should then take you back to the home screen where you can see your new tool. (Or navigate back to the home screen on your own.)
- There should be a card on your home screen for medications, and there will be a little gear symbol in the top right of the card. Otherwise, you can scroll through your tools and click on “Medication Tracker” to get to the settings menu.
- Add your medication to the tool, and you can select when you want reminders. If you take a bunch of medications at one time, I recommend only setting a pop-up reminder for one or two of the medications in that group. When it reminded me of six medications at once, my phone froze up for a few seconds before I could mark them as “taken.”
- Once your medications have been added, and the reminders set, you will get a notification reminding you take your medication! You will then have the opportunity to mark the medication as “taken” once you take it.
- Try using this tool for at least a week, and you will hopefully notice that it starts to become more of a habit to take your medications! You will also have a visual way to check on your adherence, and learn patterns to share with your doctor. (Like, if you constantly miss your noon dose of a medication, you can discuss other options with your doctor so you’re getting the proper amount!)
Don’t forget to document yourself participating in this challenge and share it on social media with the hashtag #FLSSselfcare so we can cheer each other on!
Do you struggle with medication compliance? What have you tried to do? Did this challenge help you adhere to your medical plan better? Let me know in the comments!
*DISCLAIMER* I am in a paid partnership with Health Storylines to produce these monthly self-care challenges. All opinions and recommendations are my own. I do not get paid for any links contained in these Health Storylines posts.