Medication Muddle

OK, so if you are like me, you have an overwhelming number of medications and you are a tad bit disorganized and/or scatterbrained.

Is it five medications in the morning and three at night? Or is that six in the morning and two at night? What about the “as needed” ones? Where do they fit in? Where do vitamins fit in? They all look alike because they are all generics because that’s what the insurance company pays for and more than likely the pharmacy has gotten a new supplier and they’ve changed color or size or something. Also there are some that have to be cut in half, which complicates matters. Don’t forget that some need to be taken with food and some need to be taken on an empty stomach so some get taken and some get forgotten. Oh, and did I already take that this morning/evening? And do I need to eat something to go with it? Or when was the last time I took it so I can figure out when I can take another?

Can you imagine what I am like when I have to start a new medication (especially one that requires dosage ramp-up) and try fit that into the mix?

So my doctor says get one of those pill boxes. Sure, that would be great if I could remember to fill it. And then if I did fill it, say on Sunday, it might be at a time when I was taking the medication or it could have been at some other random point in the day. So, is that little box full of pills labeled Sunday something I just took or something I need to take? (This may sound a bit extreme but it has happened before.) More than likely, I’ve never filled the pill box at all. I have, once or twice, discovered that I took my morning meds more than once in a day even while using a pill box because in my morning haze (I am so NOT a morning person) I’ve forgotten what day of the week it was.

So I go to take my meds, and invariably, something distracts me. Like the dog decides he has to go out RIGHT NOW and he starts barking. I started to take my meds, but then I had to let the dog out and meanwhile I got the idea for this blog and I wandered off to start typing and now I can’t remember what I’ve taken and what I haven’t. I know I thought about taking them, but did I actually do it?

This is more apparent with something like painkillers, which I am on while recovering from surgery. I take them then I have to wait 6 hours before I can take them again. Six can be a lot of arithmetic for someone who is sick or in pain. Especially if you are trying to cut back your dosage from 2 to 1 but then the pain lets you know that you can’t do that all the time, so you start to stagger the dosage. So it’s 6 hours after pill#1 that you can take pill#3 and 6 hours after pill#2 that you can take pill#4, but it’s not that simple, because in between you’ve had a nap (painkillers do that) and now you hurt and can’t recall what time you took the damn things – all you know is that you hurt, and wonder how many is it safe to take?

Maybe I’m ADD. Or maybe I’m manic. Or maybe my memory is going. Or maybe I’m just so overwhelmed with doctors, surgeries, tests, physical therapy, medications, appointments, and worrying about finances and going back to work that I can’t keep anything straight.

Am I the only one like this???

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2 thoughts on “Medication Muddle

  1. I don’t think it’s any of the above in terms of keeping track of drugs. I know plenty of people without bipolar who are impressed that I can take drugs as routinely and accurately as I do, and I manage 4 of them. Some as needed, another at bed time, and another in the middle of the day (that one’s horrible to remember). I think keeping track is just a difficulty that everyone faces since it’s a lot of management.

  2. I ended up with a pill box that had morning, mid-morning, afternoon, and night. And I set alarms on my phone – lots of alarms – because I metabolize my meds so quickly that the ones they say reach a steady state and then you can take them all at once? Uh-uh. I have to space them E-X-A-C-T-L-Y eight hours apart. Six-two-ten, six-two-ten, six-two-ten, every day.

    I feel for you, Monday, because now I am down to few enough meds that I don’t need the pill minder, but I do get distracted and when did I take my last Xanax? Luckily (or unluckily, but I’m trying to be positive this morning) my body lets me know in NO uncertain terms if I have missed something, what exactly I have missed, etc.

    I don’t know how long you’ve been doing this – I probably should, but I don’t – and I also think it has to do with individual brain wring, but I have gotten pretty good at the routine of it after all of this time. Good luck to you, my dear.

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