It is your life and medications can help you with specific problems, but you need to be cautious and know what is working for you and what is not. It is up to you to report exactly how you are feeling.
Keep a medication journal, especially when you are starting new medications or if you have symptoms that are out of the norm for you. Write down what is happening to you. See if you can identify the relationship of your symptoms to any medications or other activity that causes an increase in symptoms. This will help you identify and solve problems. You only have a few minutes to address all these issues with your physician so you need to be your own detective and take care of yourself.
- Pill cutter
- Pill crusher
- Liquid dropper
- Pill organizers
New to Swallowing Pills? Here are some tips with difficulty swallowing.
For larger pills mix with applesauce, oatmeal or something if you have difficulty swallowing. Most pills can either be cut or crushed. DO NOT cut or crush CAPSULES! They need to be swallowed whole.
You can pick up pill crusher or splitter at your local pharmacy. If you are taking liquid meds there are small plastic containers to measure accurately or use a liquid dropper. These give you the most precise measurement.
To practice swallowing drink water or juice if that helps. Hold your tongue under the glass/cup and swallow. Think of something other than swallowing the pill. Eventually you will learn to swallow. This is very difficult when you have never taken medications.
Medications taste horrible. You might begin to gag. Pull it out of your mouth. Relax a little, take a few deep breaths and try again in a few minutes. Give yourself time. Don’t make yourself sick over taking pills. It gets easier with time.
NEVER SHARE MEDICATIONS They are YOUR medications. The dosage may be different. The shape might appear the same. The name may be similar, but all very different medications. What helps you, may be poisonous to another person!
Automatic order your prescribed medications so you never run out. Most medications can be called in if the physicians office handles it that way. Other offices will not call in prescriptions. Either way is right, it depends on how the physician’s run their business.
If you have medications that need to be ordered by prescription only mark your calendar and call the doctors office in plenty of time. Within 15-30 days. DO NOT run out of medications before calling the office. It may take days to weeks to process your request.
Use child-proof caps/lids if you can open them. If you have difficulty opening, ask the pharmacist to give easy open caps. Many medication lids or caps just flip over and they change from child-proof to regular twist on caps. Try it out and see if they are those caps on your pill bottles.
ONLY YOU KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. If you feel intimated, you might need to change your healthcare professionals.
OTC – Good place to shop at discounted prices for over-the-counter medications. Costco, Sam’s Club, BJs and other warehouse clubs. They have high quality for significantly lower prices. Pharmacy also fills Pet prescriptions. If you don’t have a membership you can visit for with a day-pass without a membership. Just stop at the customer service desk and tell them you would like a day-pass.
This includes an array of eye drops, herbal remedies, among isles of different things you might be interested in. Try it out and compare prices. When there is a recall they send you a notice: such as Excedrin, Tylenol, Benedryl, recalls.
You can claim over-the-counter medications on your taxes so keep all your receipts. Herbs are also considered medications for the purposes of writing down what you are taking, even though most are natural remedies. They interact with prescription medications.
Adverse Side Effects are frequently listed with your brochure of medication. Serious adverse side effects are rare, but do happen. Some may happen briefly for a couple days. When in doubt call your pharmacist, physician, or nurse. Usually it takes a couple days for your body to adjust to new medications…sometimes longer depending on the type of medications.
Keep a journal so you can figure out if this works for you. There are many medications and medical conditions that improve your functioning, but make sure you have done everything else possible to help yourself. Good nutrition, exercise, and routine!
Print out your medication list with pharmacy, physicians and vital information in case of emergency. Also see post on flash drive bracelets.
*****When visiting your physician or healthcare professionals take a list of all your complaints. Hand the healthcare professional a copy of your symptoms and everything you want to address. LEAVE A PAPER TRAIL. Most healthcare professionals take few notes. They usually only write down one or two problems. These are the only problems they are responsible for.
Everything else will NOT be addressed and they are NOT responsible unless it is in the chart. Even at that they are not responsible, you are! Make sure a copy of your issues become a part of your chart. It’s not to say that if something happens to you…that piece of paper may become missing, but you will have a copy or your family will.
Hence, it’s always important to visit a healthcare professional with your advocate or another person you trust. You also need another set of ears and someone to take notes while you listen to your healthcare professional. YOUR LIFE IS IMPORTANT! You are usually only important for the 10 minutes or less that your appointment lasts and impressions are made within the first few seconds of your appointment.
Get a copy of all your medical records. They are yours. You may need them someday. Get copies of all your films: MRI, CAT scans, X-rays, Laboratory Results, etc. Medical records of all sorts are usually purged (disposed of) at 10 years. If you ever need a baseline film or comparison of lab work, you will not have it later.
Start and keep your own files in your possession. You will need all the reports for these films as well. Ask for a copy of your entire chart when hospitalized, your doctor’s office, everywhere you go for your healthcare. You need this control. You need your records. You need to keep yourself alive and well. This is your responsibility.
Here is a website with all sorts of memory aids so you never forget to take your medications again http://www.epill.com/ or click on this link: So You Never Forget Your Medications
ABBREVIATIONS for medications:
- qd every day
- qod every other day
- q4h every four hours
- q6h every six hours
- bid twice a day
- tid three times a day
- qid four times a day
- hs hours of sleep or at bedtime
- po by mouth
- SubQ subqutantous injection
- IM Intramuscular injection
- Cap Capsule
General and simple tips for handling and taking medications Part 4 of 4 covered the following:
- Keep a medication journal
- Helpful items for medications
- New to Swallowing Pills? Here are some tips with difficulty swallowing
- Adverse Side Effects
- OTC over-the-counter medications
- Take a list of all your complaints
- Get a copy of all your medical records
- ABBREVIATIONS for medications
- General and simple tips for handling and taking medications Part 1 of 4 (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- General and simple tips for handling and taking medications Part 2 of 4 (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)
- General and simple tips for handling and taking medications Part 3 of 4 (braininjuryselfrehabilitation.com)