Six Tips to Keep Track of Your Psoriatic Arthritis Treatments
I know it can be tough to keep track of your psoriatic arthritis treatments. I constantly have to be mindful of both my dosing schedule and my work schedule when it comes to booking my biologic infusions. In addition to those, I am on oral chemotherapy, as well as a host of dietary supplements geared toward reducing inflammation and keeping my gut happy. Chemo-brain and disease fog can make managing treatments an even bigger challenge.
I’d like to share with you my tips for managing and staying consistent with psoriatic arthritis medications, along with psoriasis treatments, etc.
1. Keep one calendar.
I rely on my iPhone to sync all my calendars, so I can see what is going on at all times. This enables me to schedule my biologic infusions and keep those appointments. I also have calendar reminders of when I need to reorder my dietary supplements. This is working for me. So far, I’ve only had to reschedule infusions for illness, when I should not infuse, or for an emergency that called me out of town.
2. Cut your multivitamins and calcium supplements in half.
I literally use a pill cutter to halve these large pills. Partly because they can be tough to swallow, and partly because the body can only absorb so much at one time . Lastly, it helps me to remember if I took my morning dose.
3. Keep all your oral medications and supplements together.
I rely on what I call an “old lady days of the week pill case” for my oral chemotherapy and dietary supplements. I do not have the day and night variety, because I am good at separating my doses appropriately. However, this may be an option for those who have a harder time keeping track of day to night medications. Am I embarrassed when folks see me taking pills out of the case at meals at the office, out with friends or on a cruise ship? No way! I simply laugh it off and say I am in training for retirement.
4. Store your topical medications in one place.
It is not always convenient, but because I use my topical medications less often, it can be easy to forget to check the expiration date. When I need to treat topically, it is a drag to reach for my topical medication and find that it has expired. Keeping these in one place helps me remember to check the expiration dates on the packaging more frequently, for all of them. This way, I can re-order an expired topical before I need it and have it ready to use.
5. Make use of your pharmacy’s app.
If I relied only on myself to remember to refill medications or when I need the doctor to re-submit a prescription, I would miss an awful lot of doses. My app e-mails me when it is time to refill a prescription. When I open the app to do this, I can see if I have refills available or if the pharmacy is going to need to call my doctor to get a fresh prescription. Also, when I am filling up my pill keeper for the week and run out of a particular drug or supplement, I can quickly use my phone to open the app and request a refill on the spot.
6. Order your dietary supplements online.
This helps me to remember when I last ordered and allows me to duplicate my shopping cart when I need to reorder. As I mentioned above, I use my iPhone to schedule ordering these on time. Fast shipping can be a blessing, but not when you ran out of supplements a couple of days ago.
I hope you find these hints helpful. Self care and managing our own care are very important with chonic illness! Until next time.
Lori-Ann wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Psoriatic Arthritis.