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Medication Management: Troubles and Tips
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Christine Miserandino posted:
Imagine you're at a wedding. You're trying with all your might to look fashionable, and carrying one of those cute, small purses that's so feminine and goes so nicely with your dress. But in the ladies room, when you open that small purse, a hail storm of medications fly into the air and then spill onto the floor. It feels like there are little pills flying everywhere?

Yes, you guessed it. This girl was me. And I was mortified! I knew next time I needed a bigger bag!

What was the lesson here? I tried so hard to be like everyone else, and forgot that I am not like everyone else. I have lupus. I needed to stop hiding my medications and start working with them, so I could make them a more simplified part of my life.

Now, I am friends with my pharmacist. She knows me and my family by name. I always go to the same pharmacy, so that all my prescriptions go through one system. I now use a 4-times-a-day weekly pill case, and it is huge. Does it make me feel like an old lady? Yes! But it does the job, and now I take my medications on time and with ease. I fill the case just once a week, and the rest of the week I know that everything in there is correct.

How do you organize and carry around your medications? Do you use pill cases, or do you take medication straight from the bottle? Do you have any tips or tricks to share for better organization?
- Christine Miserandino
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Lupylisa44 responded:
I don't usually carry any medication around with me, with the exception of a small pill box with some aspirin, benadryl(never leave home with out it!,) tylenol and maybe an extra medrol or two. It's a small (1"x1.5") pretty, gold box with jeweled flowers on the outside. I got it at a garage sale.

I only take meds in the morning when I wake up and when I go to bed. For me using the weekly pill organizers is great!THey have one box for each day of the week. I use the white ones for daytime and the blue ones for night time-this way they don't get mixed up. I have 5 of each one so I only have to
"do my pills" every 5 weeks. It's a system that works extremely well! I rarely if ever miss taking my meds.

Lupylisa
With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.
 
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lisaisweavebee responded:
Hi,

I rarely carry any pills with me in my purse except maybe 800mg motrin. Getting caught carrying morphine or vicodin pills not in their original Rx container would be bad news.

I use a large 7 day container that is divided am/pm as I only take my main medicines in the morning and evening. I take 800mg motrin as needed during the day but take it straight from the bottle. I fill the container up every Sunday morning and then I'm good to go for the week.

Lisa
 
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An_206420 responded:
I organize my daily meds and supplements into little 2 1/2" x 3" zip-lock bags. Each month I make up 30 daily packets. They're super convenient for travel, although I do have to remember which pills I take when. I buy them from uline.com, Item S-1705
 
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staciecollett responded:
This conversation sounds familiar

I too use the same pharmacist, it's definitely easier! I fill my pill tray on Sunday for the entire week (am & pm) this way I don't have to worry about it, because I have forgotten before.

If I go out of town I take my pill tray and bottles, just in case. I do need to get one of those cute 1 dose pill holder, maybe we should design one with the lupus ribbon on it!
 
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Christine Miserandino replied to staciecollett's response:
Hey guys,

I usually do my medication every sunday night like stacie said. I can see value in doing it once a month like the other girls have mentioned because I start to dread sunday nights. Although it would be a bigger job once a month, maybe it would be a bigger "pay off" to have the month off of filling the case.

Sometimes it is hard with me as medication doses etc change, but when I am on an even regular dosage this seems like it would help a lot! I am always open to try new things. It is so easy to get stuck in a routine when you have been sick many years with a chronic illness, but I am really trying to keep an open mind and to keep learning and growing. We can all learn from each other!

Any other tips about medication management? Do you guys wear medical alert bracelets? Do you keep a medication list in your wallet?

Love and Spoons ,
Christine
 
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anowlin responded:
"Does it make me feel like an old lady? Yes! But it does the job, " I used to line up my 3 pills bottles and bam-bam-bam, I'd knock them down with a swig of water.


The swig of water is still the same (maybe two), but it's no longer 3 pills. How about (depending on the time of day, 10-14. As a nurse, I should know better than one or two swigs, but I like to challenge myself. Every now and then I do more. But I wouldn't be without my pill box, the big one I got from The Container Store, about the size of a fishing tackle! Not the little wimpy one from Walgreen's!
 
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anowlin replied to Lupylisa44's response:
Now that Lupuslisa mentioned it, I have this neat pill 'fob' that I got from a catalog that is meant to attach to a key ring (a friend has since seen them in some stores). It holds just enough pills if you're stranded somewhere and can't get home.

What I find is a challenge is to make sure that I change the meds every year or so, so they're not expired if/when I need them!

I also just saw Lupy's post about "doing her pills." This is a sight as I'm surrounded by a shoebox, something to drink and my pills!
 
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anowlin replied to An_206420's response:
There are 3 of my meds which look the same; I think someone at the pharmacy has it against me-when they get a better deal on another generic and substitute!

Ever realize how much generic keppra, ranitidine and vicodin look alike; but how vastly different their actions are? I occasionally need to check drugidentifier.com or something like that to identify my drugs, too!
 
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anowlin replied to Christine Miserandino's response:
Try my compromise (works for me, anyway) of once every 2 weeks. Works fine except for that pesky coumadin because that does changes every week.


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