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How do you keep track of all your med doses?

I keep missing/forgetting med doses. And now my regimen has changed again! And to add more issue, I have to take a reflux med in the morning and wait to eat after that. But I have to eat with some of my other morning meds!

Normally I wake up, grab my morning meds, then wander to the kitchen. My nighttime meds, I just take as I'm getting ready for bed. And now I have stuff that I need to remember in the middle of the day.

What are some ways you use to make sure you get all your doses in during the day? Some are tablets which maybe I could put in a pill sorter, but others are inhalers, nose spray, saline. How to you track your as-needed meds to make sure you aren't taking them too soon? 

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  • jujutsumaster

    I'm very fortunate as I only take meds at bedtime. 

    Just thinking about it, I might use my Samsung smart phone to schedule reminders through the day. Setting each alarm to repeat daily using the alarm title to note the individual meds each time.

  • K8sMom2002

    Kathy, I like Nigel's idea of using your smartphone to schedule reminders. For a one-stop reminder that will text family members and can be scheduled, you can use reminders. I do that for complicated med schedules, and I use it for all manner of reminders — it's useful for scheduled things but also things that I think about and am liable to forget.

    Say I need to remind DH to pick up milk or bread before he leaves work or that he doesn't need to pick DD up at the regular time because she has cheer practice. I may remember it at 10 AM that morning, but not again until after he comes home empty-handed. So with Cozi, I can go ahead at 10 AM and schedule a text to be sent at just the right time. 

    I like the idea of texts because they don't require you to open your email, and you don't have to have a smartphone to get them.

  • Mandy

    I was just thinking about this Kathy! I have been missing some of my non asthma drugs lately. There are so many to keep track of. I will check out the app. Thanks Cynthia.

  • K8sMom2002

    My pleasure, Mandy! There are lots of apps out there to help folks keep tabs of medications, and there might be one that is better suited. I like Cozi because it's free and it's versatile, and because it will allow you to send a text message rather than an email. 

    I'll try to find a good site that has reviews of several reminder apps. 

  • Kathy P

    That app sounds cool. I'll have to look at it closer. T is probably the only teen on the planet who would rather not carry his phone and L is a dinosaur who prefers email! Although he is texting more these days. 

    My problem with phone reminders, and texts, is that I'm often in meetings which automatically puts my phone on silent. Its a feature of my phone. I had set a reminder for myself the other day and didn't see it because my phone was on silent! Or if I'm on my phone, it won't interrupt. I'll have to check the settings and see if there is a way to make the reminders"priority" events that will come through. I could also play with setting alarms vs the reminders. I don't want to make them calendar events since my calendar is shared to dh so he can see what's happening. 

    Here is what I've come up with for today. I had bought this pill organizer for traveling, but I'm going to see if it will work for daily. I have to fill it daily but I'm hoping that I can get back to just am/pm meds real soon. I also set some reminders on my phone. I have several meetings today, so we'll see! 

    I've taken my reflux med and am waiting to take the rest of the morning meds. But I can also carry the little box around which might be more of a reminder. I added my supplements that usually sit in my desk and I take them when I notice them. Maybe this will make me more consistent. 

    If this works, I'll go pick up a few more so I can set up more than a day at a time if needed. I do have a couple of the week at a time ones, but only single compartment per day. 

  • Kathy P

    Well, I found the problem with my reminders – I had the default notification set to nothing! Ugh! Fixed that and hopefully this will work!

  • K8sMom2002

    Kathy P, on figuring out the notifications!

    There are inexpensive monthly and weekly organizers that you can use, so that you go ahead do it in one go, and you can check to see if you've skipped any meds. Another thing that I saw in RiteAid the other day was a pill bottle cap with a timer/stop watch on it. It resets when you open it so you know exactly how long it's been since the bottle's been opened. 

    Or you can use snack zip top bags to organize your meds — just do it all at once and jot the day of the week on the bag. 

  • Kathy P

    My uses the larger week at a time one – I think it has 3 times of day.The problem with that is I don't see it. What I'm hoping will help withthis is that it sitting here right in front of me at my desk. That willremind me about the mid-day things – I just took my supplements that Ican take any time, but left the mid-day Tessalon since I don't need it.

  • K8sMom2002

    You work on a laptop, right? Is there a reminder app you can add on your laptop or desktop or an alarm you can set? That's the only way I can remember to do things when I'm working.

  • Kathy P

    When I'm working, it's usually at my desk. I don't want to add things to any of my calendars. That would just clutter them.

    The phone system seems to be working for now – I almost always have my phone with me/by me.

  • GigiGibson

    Hi Guys, I print of weekly, hourly calendar sheets from Calendarpedia.com. I write down every dose, every puff and what is going on in general, if I have a headache, if I have unusual symptoms, if I sleep or not, work or not, see a doctor, get a shot, have a bug, everything! I did skip documenting this past weekend being at the open house but other than that I have been journaling since July. I keep it in the bag with my nebulizer which is ALWAYS with me and if I go to a doctor or the ED and they ask how I've been I just hand them my calendar in the binder clip and they can see it, ask questions and make copies. It has worked great and the docs thank me. Only thing I need to start that I can't seem to remember is to do a spirometry prior to any meds. I will buy a multi color pen and start writing those on there too in another ink color. 

  • Kathy P

    That looks like a really useful journaling system Gigi! What a great thing to show the docs!

    My system is mostly working. The biggest thing is preloading the little case at night.

  • K8sMom2002

    Gigi, that's awesome documentation — I can tell you're a nurse and you totally get the importance of documenting stuff.

  • Kathy P

    My plan is still working! I'm down to mainly AM/PM meds, so I pulled out the 2x/dy weekly pill sorter. Now I need to add the new antibiotics  I have the prn stuff sitting on my desk to grab as needed.

  • GigiGibson

    I haven't really been documenting the past week since my attacks have been warded off and minimal. YAY!!!! 

  • jujutsumaster

    Hi, thanks for asking.

    Fine for most of the time but woke up this morning with a wheezy chest for the first time since installing my air purifier. Inhaled two puffs of Salbutamol and good after. My two little grandchildren have both had coughs so I may have got something from them.

    I'm looking forward to travelling to the USA on Monday to visit a good friend in North Carolina.

     

  • K8sMom2002

    Yikes! Hope that your grandchildren didn't share their coughs with you … glad your meds helped.

    Hopefully you're not traveling to the flood-affected areas of North Carolina! While some parts of the state have had terrible floods, other parts are almost completely untouched by Hurricane Matthew. 

    Happy packing and may the trip be cough-and-asthma free!

  • jujutsumaster

    Thanks for the good wishes. My friend tells me that flooding isn't a problem in his area though he has several large trees down on his property.

  • Kathy P

    Hope the grandkids didn't share their germs. Sounds like you are top oftreating things which should help if you are coming down with something.Have fun on your trip! Glad your friend was not severely effected by theflooding.

  • Pljohns

    There is a really cool app called pillminder that works like a champ.  when it's time for your meds, the phone gives you an audible reminder and a screen only message.  I use it all the time for the 2Am nebs-I just turn the volume up loud enough to wake me and it's easier and less harsh than an alarm cock.  You can enter all your meds and when you are to take them.  doing an 8 week pred taper gets a bit time consuming but when you adding/dropping neb meds in the middle of it all too, it is the only way I could keep it all straight.

  • Kathy P

    I'm glad that is working for you. I haven't found a phone system that helps me. Mine is going off all.the.time, so reminders easily get lost. Plus, my phone auto-mutes itself for meetings and I'm missed reminders because of that too.

    I have been doing well with my morning and night meds, but the 2x day calcium is throwing me off. I need to be more consistent with that. I've populated a weekly pill tray w/ the calcium and vit D and that seems to be working. For instance, I can see that I haven't taken my 2nd horse-pill tablet for the day, so I can take that now between meals.

  • Pljohns

    I like Pillminder because the alarm actually says "there is a medication to take".  People tend to look at you like your crazy, but it works.

  • Jen

    pljohns – So when you get the pillminder alarm, how do you know which meds it's time to take?

  • Mandy

    I need to investigate this pill minder! With my scheduled meds and supplements, I get confused but seem to find that if I take things at specific times I do better. Routine and all that

  • K8sMom2002

    PLJohns, ugh on the 2 AM nebs. That would kill my sleep because once I go to sleep and then I wake up, it takes me hours to fall back asleep. 

    Kathy P, this wouldn't work for you because of your issue with alerts and your smartphone, but Mandy, if you have a smartphone, it might be an app to check out.

    — it works to automatically populate your meds without you having to manually enter them, and you can create a morning pack, etc.

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, wow, Kathy P — the company also bundles meds for you in packs. Don't know whether that would be anything you'd be interested in. You do the same thing yourself. 

    I can see this being useful for folks who are caregivers for patients who have trouble organizing their own meds. 

  • Kathy P

    I do basically do the same thing myself.

    My method for filling a pill tray with calcium/D supplements is working during the week. It sits on my desk right above my keyboard and I see it frequently enough to remind me to take the contents spread out through the day. However, I'm not in here on weekends. But I figure 5 days out of 7 is a good start. Since these are supplements, they aren't mission critical daily meds like my other stuff.

  • Pljohns

    Jen-the "voice" on the reminder just says "there is a medication to take" but the screen displays the name of the meds you put the reminder in for-like albuteral etc.

  • K8sMom2002

    PLJohns, I kind of like the idea that the voice just says "medication" rather than speaks it out. Not everyone would want people to know that they were on a certain medication.