I had to scroll back through my blog before writing this post to try and figure out how long I’ve officially been medicated. According to the earliest reference I can find, it’s only been about a year. I was sure it was at least two.
(If you’re new to my blog, the post I’m referring to above is really a good one to read to get to know a little bit about me and where I’m at.)
Since getting the prescription at that time, I’ve never really managed to take the pills faithfully. The problem is partly intentional; I don’t really want to take it on weekends or days when I’m not meant to be putting any emphasis on focus. Partly, it’s a matter of organization; did I remember to take them early enough in the day? When I remember to take them, do I have them close at hand? Am I in a place where it’s appropriate or where I feel comfortable popping a couple of pills? I tried to resolve this issue by keeping a pillbox in my purse which, ostensibly, is always nearby.
This back-up plan worked to an extent, but I would still occasionally forget or not find the opportunity to take them until later in the day, and anyway, I managed to somehow lose this little pillbox a few weeks ago. Shame.
Part of this problem was resolved as of my last shrink visit. I got a prescription for short-acting medication which I could take later in the day in case I forgot to take my pill earlier. In fact, I took one just a few hours ago. I was given the option to take a single pill or to double it, according to need. Because it’s my first time trying this particular format of this particular medication, I took the smaller dose. Upon reflection, however, perhaps I should have taken the bigger dose. Today is my one weekly dedicated work-on-my-own stuff day and, assuming this medication works, it’s a waste of time to underdose.
I have promised my shrink and my temp shrink that I would make an effort to take the meds regularly and to try and track the results. Tracking is not an easy thing to do, as I have no regular workday expectations to measure myself against. Tracking is the reason I started the ‘Drupdate’ series on this blog– to document my progress relative to the drugs. After a year, I am still not sure that the medication is having any positive effect on my life. I don’t know whether it’s worth my trouble to take them or to try and switch to another formula. I need a better strategy.
I recently had an idea that might help to resolve the tracking issue, if not actually remind me to take my medication. It’s this:
This, as you can plainly see, is a pill box. I did not intend to buy such a fancy one with a folder-style case, but that is what the local dollar store had to offer me in the pill box department. The feature I was looking for was a grid layout which, as you can see, this pill box possesses. I thought to myself that if I laid out the medication in labeled boxes, one for each day of the month minus weekends, it would be easy to see which days I’d taken them, just by checking to see which boxes are missing pills. In other words, I don’t have to take action on keeping track (except for when I sit down to fill and label the boxes). Rather, I take stock retroactively.
If you think that it’s not hard to keep track of a simple thing like how often I take my medication, you’re right. You probably also think it’s not such a big deal to remember to take my medication on a daily basis. You’re right again. None of these things are hard for most people, but for ADD types, knowing to do something is easy. Actually doing it is hard. That is what happens when certain elements of your executive function are stunted or underdeveloped. Sucks for me.
Luckily, I’m creative and motivated. Luckily, I’ve learned to identify my weaknesses and to build structures around me in my daily life which keep the essentials in place and help me to get things, people, and ideas to the places they need to be.
That being said, I’ve been sitting on this pill folder idea about a month. I actually thought it up a couple of weeks prior to that. I found some white circle labels and put the days of the week on them, as you can see in the picture, but that is as far as I’ve gotten so far. You may notice that one of the coloured boxes is missing as well. I used that for a different project. So we’re off to a slow start. But that’s better than no start.
Also, if I had started the pillbox project when I’d first bought the box, it would have been relatively simple. Now that I have these new set of ‘backup’ pills, I will have to rethink my strategy. Definitely, this post needs a followup. In the meantime, I welcome your comments and ideas.