A pencil, pad of paper and medication reminder box next to a bottle of pills

How Good Are You At Taking Your Medications? 

Last updated: June 2022

Most of us here have a chronic disease. Being this is a heart failure community, obviously many here have heart failure. But, there are many others here who also have other chronic diseases, and most chronic diseases require some sort of daily treatment, like pills and inhalers. So, how good are you at remembering to take your medicines?

My medicines and routine

I will start by putting myself on the spot.

I will be honest. I do not have heart failure. Although, I do have a family history of heart failure. Mom says nearly every person in her family has died of heart failure. So, this is something that is of great concern to me and my doctors. That is one of the reasons why I hang out here in this community. That, and the fact that I care for people with heart failure as part of my job as a respiratory therapist.

Like every person in my mom’s family, I have hypertension. This puts me at risk for other chronic conditions, such as coronary artery disease and heart failure. So, I have to take a blood pressure medicine every day to control my blood pressure.

I also have another chronic disease called asthma. I have to take a controller inhaler called Wixela every morning and every evening. I also have to take a pill called Singulair. These medications help keep my asthma in check.

If I forget to take any of these medications, I risk my asthma flaring up. I also risk my blood pressure going up. So, I had to devise a strategy to make sure I remember to take ALL of my medicines EVERY DAY as prescribed.

What is my strategy for remembering to take my medicine?

How do I remind myself to take my medicines exactly as prescribed? I came up with a strategy. And, to be honest, this strategy is many years in the making. I continue to tweak it as needed.

I set all of my pills in their original containers on top of my microwave. It is right there in the kitchen where I stand every morning and every evening. I see them and remember that I have to take them. I also keep my inhalers right by my toothbrush. So, this reminds me to take them before brushing my teeth every morning and every evening.

Do I forget sometimes? Sure. I get busy and forget. And sometimes, to be honest, I get lazy and forget. Still, when I do, I regret it. When I forget more than just once, my asthma flares and my blood pressure spikes. So, I do my best to stick with my strategy.

So, how well do I take care of myself? I’d give myself a B+.

How do you remember to take your medicine for heart failure?

It is possible you take many more medicines than I do. I know some people with heart failure who take over fifteen pills, and they have to take these every morning and every evening. And some people even have to take pills at other times during the day, making it even more difficult. And of course, perhaps you have inhalers that you have to take.

So, what strategy do you have to remember to take your medications? What do you do? And what grade would you give yourself. Let us know in the comments below.

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