My Medication Adherence Experiences
When I got diagnosed with diabetes decades ago, it was a massive shock in itself for me. I had to bring home many medications with me after the diagnosis. Honestly, I was heartbroken. Looking at all those piles of tablets made me sad. My doctor told me to take them before and after every meal. I was teary-eyed, never imagined this happening to me.
Struggling to accept my new diagnosis
Never mind the damage I had already done to my body. I had to look ahead with motivation and a positive attitude. There are plenty of people who are living with type 2 diabetes. Most are living healthy and enjoyable lives. Why was I becoming a crybaby? Well, let me tell you. My mom died at the age of 37 due to complications of type 2 diabetes. I was a nervous wreck.
Taking my Aunt's supplements
This was when I struggled more with the routine of taking my medications. I had an Aunt who was 96, and she would whip up all kinds of supplements for me. I'm not going to lie, but taking supplements was hard. Some of these things relieved some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The relief might have all been in my head. But constantly running to the restrooms, and my extreme thirst improved.
To be honest, I never knew what she gave me. But my father, who's 89 now, told me once it was "medicinal help." I'm still not sure what that means. Overall, I would prefer the post-medicinal period if I could compare my pre- "medicinal help" and post- "medicinal help" quality of life. My body felt good; it was not drowning in fatigue and drowsiness. I could focus on my work, and most importantly, my sleep improved.
Missing my prescribed medications
But all of this got disrupted when I missed the doctor's prescribed medications. For 3 straight days, I was too busy with an important conference at work to take them. Guess what? I ended up lying in the hospital's emergency room bed. I lost consciousness due to high blood sugar. I was so scared because this was the exact thing that had happened to my mother.
The consequences of missing medications
My doctor was furious. He gave a very long speech on how I could have ended up in a coma or lost my vision. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I was scared. I could not maintain a work-life balance. Having a work-life balance is very important for all of us, folks.
Getting in a medication routine
Taking your medications on time must be your top priority. I started putting reminders everywhere to ensure I take my medicines on time. Just like I would set a phone alarm for my lunch break, I set an alarm to take my medication. I started posting reminders on my refrigerator and dining table for my dinner and breakfast doses. Also, my colleagues were very friendly and would remind me to take my dose before starting our meal. Nice, right?
Memorizing the instructions
I tried to be very punctual with my medicines. The most significant setback I faced was carrying all those leaflets of drugs around and memorizing when to take each. I became more frustrated and hopeless whenever I messed up my medicine routine. I was getting irritated quickly and was confused about which medication to take with me and which to leave home. At times I took along the wrong medicines, and it was adding up to extra stress for me.
Organizing my medications
To resolve the problem of knowing which medications to take when one of my sisters got me a gift: a medicine organizing box! I still use the medicine organizing box to this day. I was happy about this box at the time; it brought me such relief. My struggle had come to an end. I organized two boxes: one with all the pre-meal medicines and the other with post-meal drugs. When it comes to a medication regimen, it could be overwhelming to manage. Find the tools and tricks that work for you to stay in control of your diabetes.
How do you keep track of your medication regimen?
This or That
Currently, what mental health challenge are you dealing with more?
Do you have a family history of diabetes?