Over the years I have had ups and downs with my health, a constant triage of doctors appointments, hospital stays and tests, as various diagnoses floated in and out of my peripheral vision. To the naked eye, I was conceived to be a hypochondriac, who was exaggerating symptoms just to get ‘attention’ when that couldn’t be further from the truth. At a young age, I was consumed with struggles with my mental health, feeling overly anxious on a daily basis, worried that something bad was going to happen, and was filled with a foreboding sense of dread, that gurgled in my gut. Coupled with severe low mood swings, feelings of desolation, negativity, and an overwhelming array of intense emotions, it was safe to say that my mental state of mind was turbulent. Later, aged 22 I was finally diagnosed with severe anxiety, PTSD and moderate to severe depression, after years of suffering and begging to be seen and heard. My mental health issues were a result of an abusive childhood, feelings of abandonment and neglect, as well as bullying, and other traumatic life events. In short, the doctors realized what I had known from a young age, that my mental health issues were anchored in my past and present, and I needed a great deal of help to overcome it. Thus the course of managing my medication, going to therapy and truly working on myself to find my inner peace began here.
But that’s a story for another time…
My History of Illnesses and Struggling With Managing My Medication
My physical health, wasn’t that funky either. During university, I became very unwell, unable to keep food down on a daily basis, vomiting, developing allergies, coughing or vomiting up blood, as well as painful constipation, stomach cramps, fainting and nausea. My stomach felt bloated and sore, my bottom would bleed or burn everytime I finally managed to poop, and I would bring up bile or vomit each time I ate food. I was in pain a lot of the time and I felt irritable, down and extremely fatigued. During this period of time the doctors found that I had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, symptoms of which include cramping, bloating and constipation), a Hiatus Hernia (symptoms of which include stomach acid , heartburn and nausea), GERD ( Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which causes acid reflux and chest pain) and Hemoptysis (coughing up blood).
As a result I was on a series of medications resulting from laxatives, to pills to line my stomach, combat nausea and control my physical and mental health. I was finding it very difficult to organize all my different medications, and would sometimes miss dosages, wreaking havoc with my day to day routine.I often thought to myself that I needed something to help manage my medications, finding it hard to keep track of what time of day I should be taking these pills, how many times a day and how long I should be taking them for. If only I had a pill reminder app like Safe and Sound Health at that time, but alas my technological assistant was still a few years away.
I was very unwell for a period of five years with my physical health, which gradually began to improve, until I was no longer being sick, and felt (for me) pretty much normal. That was until 2018, where once again my mental and physical health began declining once more.I was back on anti-depressants, and in September 2018, I self-referred myself for CBT, (Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy) , which taught me to not only use medication to manage my wellbeing, but also to change my way of thinking, cut out toxic influences in my life and get rid of destructive patterns that were pulling me down.
Yet in 2019, which proved to be one of the most difficult years of my life, stress and trauma was having a major impact on my physical and mental wellbeing, so the symptoms that I had during university, had come back once more. Except I was able to manage my mental and physical health far more effectively than I had in the past and was very proactive in not just managing my medication, but also chasing doctors to do more regular tests, doing my homework in therapy and being more mindful of eating foods that wouldn’t aggravate my stomach or bowels. In short, even in difficult times, I was still making my medication a priority. And I got better, I felt happier and more healthy in life than I had been, and for seven months, I no longer needed medication. It made me feel good.
Fast forward to 2020, I was taken to hospital, in severe pain, aggressively vomiting, struggling to breathe, feverish, with stomach cramps, severe nausea, vomiting and coughing up blood and burning in my chest and stomach, as well as stinging when I peed. The diagnosis? A urinary tract infection ( a bladder infection), a gastrointestinal allergic reaction, Gastroenteritis (an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, involving the stomach and small intestine), Mallory- Weiss Tears ( tears in the mucous membrane caused by long-term coughing and vomiting) and a parasitic stool infection. A few weeks later, the doctors also found that I had an anal fissure (a tear in the lining of my bottom), caused by constipation, IBS, and meant I had sharp pain and bleeding when I pooped.
How Safe and Sound’s Pill Reminder App Helped Me Manage My Medication
Safe to say that despite my history with physical and mental health issues, I was left wondering how I was going to deal with the influx of medications I would need to take to treat these illnesses and infections, not being the most organized when it came to managing my medication. I was someone who would be ‘committed’ to bettering my health, but would find it difficult to prioritize my health and wellbeing, caught up in a hectic and busy lifestyle, and found it difficult to rest. I was jolted back into reality, it was time to make a change. Coupled with the constant levels of high anxiety I had each day, I knew that there was one thing at least that I could control and that was my health. Which is where Safe and Sound’s Pill Reminder app has come in so handy, during this unprecedented and scary time. From ensuring that I take the correct dosage, to never missing a single pill, read on below to find out how its revolutionary pill reminder app has given me peace of mind.
It Helps Me Cope With The Fear Of The Unknown
A few weeks after I left hospital, we were put into lockdown, which couldn’t have come at a worse time, for me and many others who had scheduled appointments, tests and prescriptions to take. Not being able to continue monitoring my progress with my health, was proving taxing for my mental health, and having more time on my hands meant that I was repeating some of my previous toxic habits, such as obsessively exposing myself to negative news, constant researching, overanalyzing things in my personal and professional life, and being more liable to focus incessantly on the pain I was in, as opposed to focusing on the positives. I had always had a tumultuous fear of the unknown, and things that I couldn’t control, which meant that being put into quarantine terrified me. Not knowing what was going to happen next, how long I would be separated from my friends, boyfriend and family , whether loved ones who were high risk were ok, and trying to grasp a semblance of normalcy when the world around me seemed to crumble, was proving very challenging indeed.
While I can’t control the future, past or present, while I cant predict when our lockdown will be lifted, when life will go back to normal, or whether anyone I know, including myself will be affected by COVID-19, we can’t let ourselves be governed by fear. Instead we have to take steps to focus on what we can control, such as social distancing, taking our medication, communicating with loved ones through calls and Skype, eating well and taking each day one step at a time. Which is why the idea of a pill reminder app that could help me with managing my medication appealed to me so much. Having a routine, like taking my medication at set times of the day, is one thing that I am able to control, and is a reminder for me to stay healthy and well, even if life isn’t all about rainbow unicorns and happy sprinkles at the moment. In fact, having structure during a period where uncertainty is rife, is one of the many things that I am grateful for, and I am thankful that even though my appointments were cancelled, I still have the power to control my own wellbeing, under the guidance of my doctors, meditation and pill reminder app.
It might sound simple, but by taking the stress and confusion out of managing multiple medications, Safe and Sound’s pill reminder app makes medication adherence that much easier. Being able to tick off managing my medication off my to-do list is one big productive thing I can do each day, and helps me counteract the fear of the unknown because I am being proactive by ensuring that I never miss a dosage again, like I had been guilty of doing in the past.
It Helps Me Manage My Medication
After I left hospital, I was given several medications: Omeprazole (to lower stomach acid) , Mebendazole (to treat parasitic infections of the gut) and Nitrofurantoin (to treat the urinary tract infection), which all needed to be taken at different times of the day, had different dosage amounts and a certain amount of time I needed to take each medication for. As I was made to go into work the next day (despite being seriously unwell), the first day I needed to take medication, consisted of six tablets, which proved to be confusing when in the office, and my mind was on other things. Which is where The Safe & Sound Pill Reminder app really helped me, as it allowed me to simply set reminders as to how often I needed to take the medication and at what time. For example the Omeprozole , used in the treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, and to prevent gastrointestinal bleeding (both issues I had), was not only prescribed to line my inflamed stomach, which was sore from vomiting, coughing up blood and constipation, but these gastroresistant capsules were to be taken once a day before a meal, for seven days.
When my nausea and epigastric pain did not improve after a week, I was given a second course of Omeprazole to be taken for another seven days, once a day. At the same time I was given Nitrofurantoin, to treat my Urinary Tract Infection, as I had a pronounced infection with high ketones, which had already been in my system for a week. This was to be taken four times a day, for three days, while the Mebendazole, used for treating parasitic infections of the gut, had one singular dose, to be repeated two weeks after if the infection was still present. What was great about using the Pill Reminder App during this ‘first and second course’ of managing my medication, was how the app would send personalised reminders to my smartphone when I was due to take my medication. As it can be difficult to remember what time of day, how many times a day, what is to be taken when, with or without water, whether I need to increase or decrease dosages, as per the doctors guidance , Safe and Sound Health really helped me learn to manage my medication effectively.
After my stool infection and urinary tract infection had cleared, I was put onto my third course of treatment, where the doctors had discovered I had an anal fissure, and was still hugely constipated, being sick, nauseous and coughing up blood. While the second course of treatment had focused on lining the stomach and curbing the nausea, my third treatment plan was aimed at reducing my constipation, and alleviating my anal fissure, as my bottom was bleeding and burning everytime I would go or try to go for a poop. I was given Lactulose to be taken twice a day ( a laxative to treat constipation), 12 suppositories to take for seven days (night and morning and after a bowel movement) and Xyloproct, a rectal ointment to apply several times a day for short term use. Again the Safe & Sound Pill Reminder app really helped me manage my medication in the best way, as it made medication management stress free, enabled me to juggle between my multiple medications without missing a single dosage and I could even use the app to remind me to drink more water, to take vitamins and supplements, and to ground and centre myself to take stock during difficult moments, making it more than just your average pill reminder app.
It Helps Me Prioritize My Time
What I have leaned about being in isolation is that having more time on your hands, does not necessarily mean that you are more adept at prioritizing your time. In fact it can be quite the opposite. As someone who struggled to prioritize self care in the past, I thought that being at home would mean that I would ‘automatically’ be better at looking after myself , except this was not the case. Because of my job ( I am an Editorial Coordinator in the Pharmaceutical Science Industry) I was constantly inundated with news on COVID-19, and was unable to detach myself from reality, which temporarily left me frozen with fear.In short, my job meant that I felt like I couldn’t switch off at home, and even when I was trying to stay positive, my anxiety was all consuming.
One thing that I did that helped me gain control over my wellbeing, was use the Pill Reminder App to store and log information about my compliance to taking my prescriptions, as well as looking back at logs and charts to see how often I stayed on track. While I stayed on track most of the time (thanks to the very handy personalized reminders that were being sent to my smartphone), I found that there were common and recurring trends in the days where I had missed medication. The overarching trend I could see was that I was often lax on the ‘weekends’ where I had less of a routine, and was therefore less organised with my time. While I was not aware of it at first, I realized that as well as being disorganized on the weekend, I had less productivity, procrastinated more, and felt more bored with my time in isolation, because I was not filling up my days with the same structure as I had during the week. I was able to view a report of the medications I had missed in the medication report section, and was able to use the report to keep myself up to date on my medication adherence, keeping track of the medications I had missed.
With that in mind, I began creating a gentle morning routine to kickstart my day, which included a 10-15 minute meditation for positive energy, breakfast, alongside viewing a timeline of any medication reminders I had coming up for the day. I would then finish my breakfast, express gratitude and organise my medication to be taken at certain points of the day. This not only made me feel grounded and centered, but it also helped me prioritize my time, boosted my productivity and made me manage my medication, as the app automatically ticks-off dosages I have already taken, helping to ensure I never take a dosage twice or miss my medication. It was more than just a pill reminder, but a virtual assistant who organised and managed my needs to make me and my health happier. I could easily set complex medication reminders, by choosing the frequency, time of day and hours for taking my medication. I could also make amendments to the dosages or switch reminder on or off without losing any data.
The Benefits Are Endless
1) The Safe & Sound Pill Reminder app was the ideal solution for me because it was a smartphone medication adherence app that helped me manage my medication, and kept track of my progress.
2)It was a great free option to manage my medication, whilst still being independent in the process. Although you may not have access to a physical product, the app can send reminder notifications in the same way as products that incur costs.
3) It is convenient, easy to use and budget friendly, making it the perfect way to help me take my medication. It helps me feel better, ensures I stay safe and healthy and maintains that I am getting the proper treatment and am staying on track with my health and wellness.
4)The Safe & Sound Pill Reminder app is available on both iPhone and Android. It’s free to download, and so easy to use.
5) Whether you need to take a pill once-a-day or several times a day, consume medicine before bedtime, a vitamin supplement first thing in the morning… it makes medication management stress-free.
6) There are no fees or in-app purchases. Free today, free forever. What’s more, it is completely ad free and can be taken with or without their pill boxes!
So what are you waiting for? Download Safe & Sound’s Pill Reminder App Today !
Download on Google Play Here
Download on the Apple Store Here
Please note this is an ad in collaboration with Safe and Sound Health, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.