CRM. A new fibromyalgia symptom?
Well, not really. But maybe.
I know I live with CRM.
Wonder what CRM is?
Let me tell you:
Even though it’s only a matter of hours after missing my medicine that my body begins to let me know, I often forget my meds. With that lapse in memory, I start experiencing body aches, fatigue (more than usual), and headache, sometimes leading to a fever-like feeling and cold sweats. It still surprises me and I think I’m coming down with the flu, but then I’m hit with the ah-ha moment: “I forgot to take my medication.” Then it takes at least 2 dosages before I feel my “normal.”
CRM. It is ridiculous. It is completely unavoidable. Just take the medication. Right?
It isn’t always that easy. Life happens. Any form of interruption in my schedule can lead to me either taking medication late or not at all. The first thing I do every day when I wake is to take my morning dosage; my phone alarm goes off at 7:00 p.m. everyday to remind me to take my evening dosage.
If anything messes with my routine such as oversleeping, vacations, etc., I am likely to forget. In the evening if I’m busy writing, the phone rings, laundry, etc., instead of hitting the snooze alarm, I will hit the dismiss button on my phone and remember an hour later.
I’ve tried many different methods to remember to take my meds and am currently using PillSuite, a seven-compartment sorter.
Here's how it works:
Step 1: Sort your pills (AM or PM) into the seven compartments of the sorter.
Step 2: Place one of the plastic packets over the funnel on the sorter. Tip the sorter sideways and the pills will flow easily into the plastic packets. Label the packet.
Step 3: Finally, use the sealer to seal the pill packet closed and you are done!
I don’t enjoy sorting my meds. It takes me approx. 20-30 minutes to sort 2 weeks worth of meds/vitamins. I’ve gotten lazy and do not label the pill packets which means I really don’t have any way of knowing if I have taken them or not.
There is a very easy fix to this dilemma. I can label the pill packet with the date or start using the plastic daily medicine boxes that are clearly marked by the day and am/pm.
We are creatures of habit. It is important to take medications at the same time everyday.
Tie taking your medication with a daily activity such as breakfast, brushing your teeth or going to bed.
Keep them where you will see them (out of sight – out of mind).
When you take them, visualize yourself taking the medication.
Use a calendar and place a mark on the day after you have taken your medicine.
Place post-it notes or reminders where you are certain to see them such as by your toothbrush, nightstand, car keys, etc.
Ask a family member or a friend to give you a reminder call.
Find a sorting system that works for you.
Avoid the cheap pill boxes. They usually have flimsy lids and clasps that break or wear out after a few months.
Try different ways of reminding yourself to take the medicine and keeping track that you have taken them.
Keep a backup dose of meds on hand in case you forget to take them after you’ve left the house or if you’re going to be out past medicine time.
I’ve now been using the PillSuite system for over a month, and I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to try this product. I have officially tossed the plastic containers and plan on continuing to use PillSuite.
I would love to hear how you remember to take your medicine.
Disclosure: I received the PillSuite system as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.
Melissa Swanson is a chronic pain patient, advocate, and author of Ravyn’s Doll: How to Explain Fibromyalgia to Your Child. Through her Facebook page, she offers positive encouragement, medical information, resources, and support to 16,000+ fibromyalgia and chronic pain patients. In addition to her own blog, Melissa has been published in "Living Well with Fibromyalgia" and the NFMCPA "Advocate Voice." She's a graduate of the 2014 Class of Leaders Against Pain Scholarship Training sponsored by the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association and a member of the Leaders Against Pain Action Network.
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