Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Never forget your meds.

Monday morning, I went to get my blood work drawn. I set my alarm early, did my (annoying) mask, and, because I was hungry, ate a quick breakfast before heading out. I was halfway up the hill to the hospital before realizing while eating breakfast, I had taken all of my pills. And doing so meant that there was no point in getting blood work done as, to get an accurate level, it has to be drawn before I take my anti-rejection medication in the morning. If I have it drawn after I take my meds (which has happened in the past on other forgetful days), the number is skyhigh and then the doctors panic about the false-high. 

Taking my morning meds with breakfast is so habitual that I never stopped to think that I needed to hold my anti-rejection pill. It wasn't a big deal as I was able to get bloodwork done Tuesday instead but it was yet another reminder that I constantly have to be 'on'. Not only do I have to remember to get the bloodwork done, I need to think about my medication which is always a constant reminder of the transplant. It's something I can never escape from.

Even when I do remember to hold the medication, I can then forget to take it later if I do something outside of my 'normal' routine. One of my bloodwork days, I managed to remember to hold it, got bloodwork done, and then zoomed off to Amherst to get groceries and go for a early morning hike. Only to realize that, in my rushing out the door, I had forgotten my pills on the table so I had to go back home instead of hiking.

Before the transplant, if I forgot any medication, it was never a huge deal. The digestive enzymes were the most important (and still are important) but even then, if I forgot them, it was more about limiting what I ate as I wouldn't be able to digest food. It wasn't a potentially life or death situation.

I realize that sounds super dramatic about one pill on one day but missing immunosuppressant medication can lead to an strengthening of the immune system which can then lead to rejection which leads to lung failure. It's scary to think that one night or morning of forgetfulness can cause rejection.

My phone has a scheduled alarm every morning and evening at 9 to remind me to take my meds but if I'm in the middle of something, I sometimes hit snooze a few times. As a result, it's become habitual to either shut off my alarm without getting up to take my pills or actually get up and take them but then forget. It's become such a routine that I will sometimes panic before drifting off to sleep thinking that I've forgotten. That's where it helps that I have everything pre-sorted in my weekly medication containers so I know if "tuesday evening" meds are gone or not. It's pretty rare that I'll actually forget but it's always something that my mind likes to worry about.

It's hard to always remember to grab my nightly pills if I think I'm going to be out of the house past 9pm. Like in PEI last month. We went off to the beach for a bonfire and it didn't even cross my mind that we were going to be out of the house past 9pm. I had, unusually, left my phone back at the house so I didn't even get the alarm at 9 to remind me. It wasn't until 1030 that I checked the time and then freaked out and rushed back. I know that a few hours delay once in awhile isn't going to cause instant rejection but it's still something that worries me.


LittleM said...

today i had bloodwork at tgh, sat on a bench to take my pills after (out of the same sort of "morning/evening" container as you... started with two myfortics and then looked in the box to grab more of something and realized i had one too many myfortics still in there... so i wasnt sure if either i had only just taken one 2 seconds ago, or i had loaded the container with 5 instead of 4. i voted for the latter and skipped one. my biggest blunder to date.. didn't like the feeling.. same reason as you. its a mental thing. i loved that with pre-tx CF although meds are important, you can get by without fearing death quite as much.

LittleM said...

here's the bracket that never came to end that very long aside: )

Alley said...

I hate when that happens! Then you question how much you trust your past self or if you filled the meds while tired or distracted.