Today, we spent the day travelling to a large town about 2 hours away from us. We had two specialist appointments to go to for two of my daughters.
The most significant of those appointments was my 11 year old daughter’s neurologist appointment. She has epilepsy and we have to keep a close eye on her and her medications. She’s been having side effects from her meds. She’s experiencing some short term memory problems as well as extreme exhaustion. It’s just not cool to be 11 years old and so tired all the time!
So, our doctor has us trying out a new medication. We have to wean off of one and slowly add in the new one. When we first began our journey of keeping epilepsy under control, we had the worst time remembering every dose of medicine! I’ve been known to miss a dose and suddenly we’re paying for it by having a day full of miserable seizures, headaches, blurry vision, dizziness, etc. It’s just not good to miss a dose!
I’ve had to become extremely vigilent in being sure to make every dose. Here’s the ideas we’ve used that work. Sometimes one works better than the others and sometimes I have to change things up just to be sure that I don’t become complacent.
- Buy a Pill Box (and use it). Ours was a bit tricky because we have to remember to take it 3 times a day. We had to buy a gigantic pill box that had 4 time slots per day in order to get it right. This ended up having a good result, because we’d then remember to refill at the right times, rather than last minute refilling of the meds.
- Email Yourself. If you know that you’re going to be checking your email, schedule a reminder email in Google Calendar. It will email you every day at the same time, reminding you to get the medicine! You can set up reminders for more than once a day, too.
- Set an Alarm on Your Phone. My daughter is supposed to take a mid day dose. This is the dose that we typically miss, so I have my alarm set for 5:00 p.m. This is the latest possible time that she should take her dose. Really, she can take it any time between 2:00 and 5:00, but I figure if I set it for 5:00, if she happened to take her meds late in the morning, she’ll still be OK to get her mid day by 5:00. We have to have at least 4 hours between doses.
- Text Yourself. I’ve never used this, but I hear PosttoSelf.com will let you text yourself. (I actually don’t text, but shhhh, don’t tell anyone)
- Take Your Meds at the Same Time Every Day. My daughter takes it first thing int he morning and right before bed. That’s really helpful, but…it’s that mid day dose that kills us, so that’s why we implement those other tips above! 🙂
- When All Else Fails, Have Someone Call to Remind You. Yes, we’ve even done this. When seizures are at their worse and we seem to be in a bad habit of missing doses, my husband will set his own alarm on his phone so that he is reminded to call me every day. It actually works and got us through that slump.
You wouldn’t think that you’d have to go to this much trouble to remember something so simple as medications, but….. believe me, when you’re a busy mom like me, it’s easy to miss it and that’s when it’s time to employ the big guns!