Remembering to take meds is a constant struggle for folk with ADHD. I've been taking medication* for eight years, bar two breaks for pregnancy. I can count on one hand the number of times I've forgotten to take it in that time. Would you like to know how? It's not because I have a good memory! I have a set of strategies I use which make it easier to remember.
1) I take the tablets at the same point in my morning routine each day. I take them between when I wake up and when I eat breakfast. I rarely forget to get up or to eat breakfast so this works well for me. I keep the pills by my bedside.
2) My tablets come in monthly blister packs with the days of the week printed on them. This means that I can see at a glance whether I've taken my meds or not. It also helps me remember what day of the week it is. Bonus!
I wish all daily meds came this way. If yours don't, then you can buy a pill organizer. I suggest getting one that can hold 4 weeks worth rather than the standard 1 week because then you won't have to refill it as often. If you got this box, you could use the first column as week 1, the second as week 2 etc.
3) Right after I take my meds, I put on my wedding ring. This way I know without checking the packet if I've taken them. I'm used to wearing my ring, so if I'm not wearing it I feel odd and that reminds me to take the pill. I take it off every evening and sleeping with it also feels wrong.
This is similar to having pills labeled with the days of the week, however it has saved me on occasions when I've not bothered to check the pack. Having more strategies means it's less likely that they all fail, for something as important as remembering meds, more is better!
5) Planning for danger. With all of the above, there are two scenarios where I'm most at risk of forgetting.
a) I'm ill.
b) I'm travelling.
Being ill is a risk because it disrupts my morning routine. I might not get out of bed. I might not eat breakfast. It helps to be aware of this and to conciously go through an 'I'm ill' checklist. Do I need to cancel anything. Should I take painkillers? Did I take my pills? Have I got enough to drink. I also let me husband know that if I'm ill he should check I took my meds. He can check by looking at the pack.
Travelling is a risk because I might forget to pack the meds. Then even if I remember that I need to take them, I can't. I also might forget because I'm in a new environment, the pills aren't out (untill I remember to put them out) and routines like breakfast may be different.
To make sure that I don't forget the meds I have a packing list, which has meds at the top (and at the bottom, just in case). If it's an option, you can put a pack of spare meds in your travelling bag so it's always there.
My ring routine helps me remember to take the meds, even in an unfamiliar place. I still feel weird sleeping with my ring, so that reminds me to take it off. Then I go to put it next to my meds, which reminds me to unpack the meds.
Once you've mastered taking your meds every day, your next challenge is to get the prescription refilled in good time!
*hormonal birth control
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