No one enjoys having to take a boat load of pills and supplements every day, but the reality is that they can do us a lot of good and in many cases can help us to survive serious conditions that might otherwise be life threatening. Thus it’s crucial that we swallow our reservations (no pun intended) and take our tablets.
Of course tablets and pills are only good for you in moderation, and they’re only good for you if you are being careful to take the right pills and at the right time. If you should overdose on a particular type of supplement or medication then this can sometimes be more serious than the initial problem itself and it can lead to severe complications.
But this isn’t made easy when you have ten different kinds of tablets to take. Or when you have five for yourself and three for your children; or when you have five some days and less on other days because your supplement needs to be cycled or ‘loaded’ first. It can all get a little confusing and adding a brain pill to the cocktail might just make matters worse – a mistake becomes hard to avoid.
This is why you need to come up with a system, and one that can make it much easier to keep track of what you have taken and when. Here we will look at how to do that.
First of all you need to think about where you are going to keep your tablets and how you are going to segregate them. It’s important they don’t get mixed up, so before you do anything else make sure that your pills are being kept in individual pots that are marked in some way by a label or by a color code. This will help you right off the bat to avoid getting muddled. Likewise you should keep them in one place so that you use them as far as possible at the same time rather than all throughout the day. It goes without saying that this should be somewhere that’s off limits to any smaller residents living with you.
Near this pills area should be a selection of notes that can make it easier for you to keep track of what you have taken and when. This means that you should have for instance a calendar on which you can write down each pill you have taken it as you take it. And you should make it an absolute rule that you write this down every time you do take one. This way you can then simply check the calendar if you forget whether a tablet has been taken or not.
Likewise it can help a lot to pencil onto the calendar what you need to take each day if this varies and it’s complicated, or just to write a list somewhere of everything you need to take each day. It may also help if you set the pills you need out the night before so you don’t forget what you’ve taken halfway through.
When travelling you can often get a pill pot that will allow you to take several tablets with you at once. This also has the advantage of allowing you to count how many you have with you at any time and to work out how many you must have already taken based on the number of days you’ve been away and how many you brought to begin with. If you find this system easier then you can also use this travel case at home and lay out what you need for the week in there.
For keeping a note of what you’ve taken while you’re on the go, don’t forget there are plenty of very useful iPhone and Android apps out there such as calendar apps and even apps designed specifically for people who have to remember a lot of tablets.
What to Do if You OD
If you DO overdose then it’s important to remain calm but to act fast.
First of all, call the emergency services and get them to arrive as quickly as possible. While you have them on the phone though ask them what the best course of action is and inform them of what you or your loved one has taken. They might encourage you to try and be sick in which case you should try drinking a saline solution of salt and water quickly in gulps or gagging on your fingers. Don’t do this unless explicitly instructed to by your doctors however as otherwise it can cause damage to your oesophagus when you bring it up.
Alternatively what may be useful is to buy activated charcoal which will act to absorb much of the medication inside your stomach thus helping you to absorb less. The doctor may also recommend drinking lots of water but again you shouldn’t do this unless you have been told to. Otherwise remain calm and as still as possible while you wait for the emergency services to arrive.