Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are You on a Schedule or Just Going with the Flow?

Welcome to another edition of the Question of the Week.

As you may already know, I started Hepatitis C treatment this past Thursday.  That means I am now on a very strict schedule when it comes to taking the 12 pills a day and the one shot a week that comprise the treatment.  And this new emphasis on being "on time" presents a big new challenge for me too!

You see, I am by nature a "go with the flow" kind of gal. I have never been big on detailed schedules or planning my waking time out hour by hour.  Sure, I have used these tools when I was working and when activities I was involved with demanded them.  But left to my own devices, I preferred to be more spontaneous and less clock and calendar driven.

Just ask my husband.  Since we have been together (way before I was disabled) he's been constantly frustrated by my tardiness and my "let's do this now" and "let's do that now" approach to life.

That doesn't mean I don't plan ahead.  In fact, I probably do more planning now that I ever have before because managing chronic illness well demands it.  It's just that my plans often get implemented when the time is right and my body is willing and able, since my level of functioning changes every day.

But now my life is ruled by a clock.  Every 8 hours I must take my medications with 20 gram of fat.  I have a little wiggle room, a window between 7 and 9 hours, but I'm trying hard to stay on time.  That's because I know myself.  If I start pushing my medication time back, I'm going to mess up one day and breach the 7 to 9 hour window, which might be all this darn Hep C virus needs to mutate and become immune to the treatment.

Talk about pressure.

Because I knew this in advance and planned for it, buying tools like a pill box and timer and preparing myself mentally, this hasn't been too bad.  At 4 days in and 80 days to go, I think I am off to a good start.  I just need to stay vigilant...

That said, I know some people with chronic illness who do really well with a detailed daily schedule.  For them, it is an important way the manage their limited energy and get the most out of life. I can't say I understand how it works so well for them; perhaps this is why I have not been able to replicate their success for myself.

But who knows?  Maybe my new pill routine will teach me a lesson about the power of scheduling I overlooked or missed the first several times around...

So what works best for you?  Does your chronic illness respond better to a daily schedule?  Or do you find flexibility is a more important management tool?  Either way, I want to hear what you have to say, so leave me a comment here or over on the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page.

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1 comment

Sarah Mae said...

I don't have the option of being laid back when it comes to my medical problems. Medicine A is taken every 4 hours. Medicine B is taken every 8 with food. Medicine C is taken every 8, but not the same time as medicine A--so they have to be staggered by an hour or more.

And that's just three of my 20+ medications. :)