Attention Span ~ Here Fishy Fishy


You may have heard the phrase "Fibromyalgia is like having the attention span of a goldfish". Well, on those extra foggy days I sometimes wonder if goldfish might actually have a longer attention span that me 😉

My intentions are good, however my memory is very poor. It’s quite ridiculous as times.  People are surprised by the fact that I often struggle to remember whether or not I’ve taken my meds or not. I know however, in the chronic community, many of us can relate to that, all too well. Last week for example, I had gone in the kitchen to take my pain meds. An hour later, I still wasn’t feeling any relief at all.  I was sure that I had gotten distracted before making it to the kitchen, to take my meds. I have actually caught myself doing this, more times than I can count. So I tried thinking it through, I did a quick "scan" of my pain level, and concluded that I must not have taken my meds when I originally intended to.  So, I paid close attention to the time and wrote it down on my "med white board", which, incidentally, I never remember to use anymore.  Within an hour from then, I knew for SURE I had made a mistake. At this point, I was clearly OVER-medicated, and what is most frustrating, is that my pain was still the same.

No matter whether I take my prescribed amount or twice that, the higher dose does not give me anymore relief than the lower dose. The
difference of course, is feeling the symptoms of being over-medicated, which I really don’t like!  It makes me feel terribly nauseous, and
non functional.

I have tried several strategies to track my medications, and the problem keeps coming back to the fact that I get distracted before I get it
written down.  My hubby has actually made a rule, that when he is home, I have to get him to get my meds. The bonus is, I have my own
"nurse" lol

Interestingly, I started writing this post last night, and today we touched on this topic in the class I am taking. I think that when I get used to a "system", is often when I forget to use it.  I’m used to seeing the white board now, so it doesn’t catch my attention anymore.

One of the girls in the class came up with a great suggestion that I had not thought to do. She suggested rotating tracking methods.  Since I normally use a system for awhile until it no longer catches my attention, I can change it up every week, or every couple of weeks.  I think her idea is great, and I’m going to see how I can work that into my routine 🙂

Do you have problems with this as well?  What kind of system works for you?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday!  It’s beautiful here, and I hope the spring like weather will stay with us throughout the weekend!

~ Gentle Hugs
 

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8 Responses to Attention Span ~ Here Fishy Fishy

  1. Anonymous says:

    !
    I’m going to have to pay close attention to this post as I also suffer from some pretty wicked Fibro fog.
    Hope you are feeling better soon!!!
    Annie

    • Nancy says:

      Re: !
      Ahhh…someone else who can relate to my issue 😉 Like “nightshade” mentioned, those pill organizers or bubble packs might help you, as long as you don’t have to worry about your meds getting into the wrong hands. That terrifies me!

  2. I’ve taken antiseizure meds for most of my life, starting when I was very young (2 or 3 years old). By the time I was around ten years old, my parents showed me how to use plastic pill containers to keep track of my meds. Dad bought me a light blue one for my “day” meds, and a dark brown one for my “night” meds. My parents showed me how to fill my pill containers every Sunday night, and how to know when I needed to call in refills. Because I got so used to that system before my original diagnosis of CFS/FM, continuing to use that system is a no-brainer for me. Since I’m at my computer most of the day, if I “fog out” and forget what day it is, I can check the day on my computer, then I can go look and see whether or not I’ve taken my pills.
    The only time it’s awkward is if I’m traveling over a period of time that takes me past Sunday. I get my pills through mail order in quarterly batches, so the bottles are very large. It’s a hassle to take them with me when I travel, because I prefer putting them in my carry-on bag, to guard against the possibility of them getting lost. That means there’s very little space left in my carry on bag for anything else I might want–books, CDs, etc.
    Hubby and I live in Houston. We visited San Antonio over Wed/Thurs of this week. The weather was gorgeous in SA, and equally gorgeous when we got back home last night.
    🙂

    • Nancy says:

      Those pill organizers are a great idea, except for the fact that I have 2 children, and the thought of somehow, my meds, getting into their little hands, terrifies me!
      Another idea, that I think is great, but again…not kid safe, is the bubble packs that can be made at the pharmacy. My pharmacy provides this service, as I’m sure most probably do… They are labeled with the day and times, so you can see if you’ve taken them or not. Only prob is, one of the meds I take is for breakthrough pain, so I don’t take it at any specific time of the day, and that’s the one I struggle the most to remember whether I’ve taken it or not.

      • My brother is six years younger than me, so when I was 10, he was 4. My parents kept my pills, and their containers, on the highest shelf in the kitchen cabinet directly above the sink. Now that I’m an adult with no children, but three very inquisitive cats, I keep my pill container/pill bottles in the medicine cabinet in our hall bathroom. I keep the door shut while I’m setting up the pill container, and when I take my pills. That way, if I drop something I can look for it right away, without “helpful” and curious cats getting underfoot and possibly finding my medication before I do. So I would suggest that either of those approaches might work–keep the pills/containers on a high shelf, and keep the door shut while you’re setting them up for the week or taking a scheduled dose. Believe me, I know how hard it is to reach over your head when you’re an FM sufferer, but if it’s for the safety of your children, it’s worth it 🙂

  3. Nancy says:

    An idea that I have had, but keep forgetting to look for one when I go out, is a lock box. I won’t keep my meds in anything the kids can open, even if they are up on a top shelf. It’s just not worth the risk, IMO. So, a lock box might be an option, and then I can keep the pill organizer inside that… Hmmm…thanks 😉 We might be onto something folks!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if this would work for you but I have the same problem with forgetting to take my herbal products (I don’t take medication) and so I have now started getting them out in the am and setting them somewhere that I will see them.
    If they are out of the bottle, under my nose, on the counter say next to the coffee pot, I will remember to take them.
    Just a few days ago, I was at about a 7/8 pain and swore I had taken the Phenocane. Sure enough, I checked, and they were still sitting on the counter!
    I so hate that!

    • Nancy says:

      Me too 😦 It’s very frustrating. Thanks for your suggestion. I’m feeling so restless tonight…don’t know what’s up with that. It’s like I have a ton of anxiety running through my body. Hate this feeling 😦

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