Sunday, August 15, 2010

When forgetting causes problems...

...many of you have read my previous posts about my migraine-related vertigo disorder. Well the nortriptyline they gave me to prevent this problem has been working REALLY well. Within 6 hours of my first dose, I was back to 90% of my normal self. Let's hear it for being super med-sensitive! It's supposed to prevent vertigo/migraine problems, and because I'm such a med lightweight, I noticed dramatic improvements very quickly. All of the benefits of this type of treatment are not immediately noticeable however. Gaining back my last 10% of awesome has taken several weeks...let's see...ah yes, about 6 weeks. That's about right for this type of medication. So in just the past week or so, I suddenly have felt that last bit of "me" coming back. I feel sharper, quicker, and the signs of vertigo have ebbed away. The last little twinges are now rare.

However, this is an ADHD blog...

It is generally laborious for me to establish a often takes several weeks for me to really solidify a routine...I can then sustain it fairly well, until something knocks my concentration off, or my visual cues are interrupted get the idea. Once the routine is disrupted, problems arise.

And so with my vertigo/migraine medication...oh yes. I keep my meds in a small purple lock box, so that my small step children do not get into the goods. Especially important since I started the easy-to-od-on migraine meds. The other purpose of the lockbox is that it allows me to keep my meds out as a visual cue to remind me to take my meds everyday, without my little ones getting a bad surprise. A couple-few weeks ago the lock broke on the box and I couldn't get the meds out. After about an hour I was able to pry the sucker open with, of all things, a beer opener. The brute force, however, broke the lock.

Which means I can't leave it out anymore...and I was afraid to get a new box, fearing that a second box would lock in the same way and I might get stuck not being able to take my medication. The ADHD meds I can function without if I need to, but I'm basically disabled without the migraine meds.

Since the box has been "out of sight" and out of reach, it's been very hard for me to remember my meds. A couple of days ago I finally forgot to take them altogether...tonight too, though I just remembered a few hours late.

I either need a new box, or a new's just frustrating, since we ADHDers have to put SO much effort into establishing routine, to have to go back to point A and start over. Even more frustrating right now because I finally just got to the point of maximum benefit for my medication. All these weeks have been building up to this return to my normal self, after a couple of rough months spent essentially disabled, prior to the medication. This timing could not be worse.

Obviously, I just need to DO something about it, and the challenge right now is not to let another priority pop up in my ADHD mind that will delay the implementation of said plan. I often forget things, but another feature of the way my mind works is...well, you know how in restaurants they might have those "ticket" holders in the kitchen that revolve? That's what my brain does. I put a ticket in for "new meds system" but then another thing pops in my head and becomes a ticket that says "dog needs a raincoat" and another one that says "make stepdaughter a dress" and another one that says "laundry" and things pop up in my head and the ticket holder spins around and around and it's highly likely that the meds issue will pop back up, it just might be three weeks from now and by then I will have forgotten my meds a handful of times.

So I'm looking for a post-it right now (where did they go!) to write on it "new med system" so I can stick it on my phone for the morning so I can deal with it. I hate having to create new systems for such mundane things that SEEM like they should be easy but this is one of those characteristics of the ADHD mind that would make Jeff of Jeff's ADD Mind say "see...this is why it's not really a gift" I really just have to do it. There is no escape from the hamster wheel, so we may as well make the best of the ride.


  1. Keep the Purple Box in your visual field as it was as a Cue to remember But EMPTY of Meds! Put the meds in another safe place, away from the kids, where you can then go and take dose.....Lock them in the trunk of your car. or use your suitcase which you use to travel..They have locks.. or put them high up in the closet of your bedroom. Or put your daily dose in the pocket of the pants your are going to wear the following day...Buy another box with a fail safe lock. If not purple...paint it purple or cover in purple paper.

  2. Oh, and from my earlier comment...Put a note in the bottom of the empty purple box as to exactly the place where you put the meds.

  3. Oh dang...that's a good suggestion! It's easy to get so caught up in the details that I lose sight of easy solutions that are staring me in the face!

  4. It's frightening how quickly we can fall out of a routine. When we are "in" the routine, it seems like we have been doing the activity forever but...when the routine is broken...we're in big trouble. It's like we lose a piece of our personhood.

    Whatever system you come up with...don't make it too complicated. You'll obviously need something that can be opened/closed/locked a gazillion times. A quick search turned up this: I have no clue about the quality of the product but...I'm sure there are others out there.

    P.S.Who's that "Jeff" guy you were referring to? ;)

  5. I LOVE THE LOCKMED! They should make it in a variety of fashion colors :) I like little boxes that you can lock and keep cool stuff in. I like reliable locks even more.

    However, for the meantime, I have gone with the "Anonymous" suggestion to keep the purple box in plain view and the meds elsewhere. I tried it yesterday and it worked brilliantly.