I remember a few years ago when I was visiting a cousin in Canada that he had a routine every mealtime of placing a selection of pills on the table beside him. I now understand why. The day before my chemo started we were just heading out of the door for the meeting with the trial nurse and I remembered that I hadn’t started my course of steroids. Dashed back inside, made a marmite sandwich and took my pills. Oops.
A day or so later I had to think really hard “had I taken all my pills?”. What was where? Can I reconstruct the scene of the crime? If I count the pills in the box will it make any difference? After lengthy consideration I concluded that there was a 63% chance I had taken them and a 53% chance I hadn’t (that can’t be right surely?). So a quick internet search (it was the one pill where I hadn’t filed away the patient information leaflet – the pill p.i.l.) for information on the pill to work out whether it was better to miss one (if I thought I had taken it but hadn’t) or to take two doses (if I thought I hadn’t taken it but actually had).
Ever since I went to the doctor with a cough and came out with diabetes I have had a good routine for taking three pills a day made even easier by one strip having the days of the week marked on it, so as long as I knew what day it was I was at least 50% safe. However now I was faced with an additional few sets of pills some of which needed to be taken at a different time. Easy you say, just change my routine. Yes, but I have to remind myself to remember that I have a routine and that it is the new routine not the old routine.
Of course it’s not just the pills that have to be organised, it’s consultations and blood tests and repeat hormones – so a calendar is another important tool. The past may be important as well as the future. When we were in SMH with our daughter last year, after a few days it became increasingly difficult to recall when key events took place – was it Monday or Tuesday that she was awake all night? – so keeping a diary is something I would advise anyone in similar circumstances to do.
Little things . . . .
Next post: Am I being too cautious?
Last post: Three days, three needles