Do What Works.

I'm horrible at taking medications regularly. I've tried so many tricks and life hacks and tactics and ultimately they all fail to overcome my subconscious resistance to taking medication every day. I don't even know WHY I'm bad at it!

A couple years ago, I got so annoyed by myself and my roommates leaving coats and purses everywhere that was NOT the coat closet that I snapped. The issue was that the coat closet was across the entire house from the door that we used, and no one could be expected to use it. So, I went on Freecycle and got a freestanding wooden coat/hat rack to put by the door we used. Results were instantaneous, and worst case scenario was that if someone dropped their belongings on a chair and came back to find them not there, they knew exactly where to look.

It was a revelation. Instead of fighting to do things that I simply wasn't going to do, maybe I could find different ways of doing things that would work better. It seems so simple, really, but it was huge. I draw the line at this solution, but a great example is how I know a few people who simply will never fold their clothes. One in particular came up with a solution that works for him: Rather than throwing dirty laundry on the floor all the time because the laundry hamper was full of clean clothes, or throwing clean clothes on the floor to use the hamper for transporting dirty ones (and ultimately forgetting what was what and just rewashing everything), he got two hampers. One clean, one dirty. No piles, no folding, no confusion.

I don't know WHY I resist taking pills. It's not fear of the unknown, I know enough medical science to be able to educate myself when I need to, and my mom is a nurse. I trust western medicine, or at least I think I do. But I know that medications have side effects and I'm prone to getting them, I know that western medicine is not foolproof. I've had so many awful doctors that I'm reluctant to take them at their word, and let's face it, big words are scary even to the educated.

All this to bring us to the fact that I am bad at taking pills and inhalers daily, but I'm good at changing eating habits or remembering how to treat symptoms. I also find I'm much more likely to drink three cups of tea a day, not just because I like tea but to make a point of doing so for better asthma maintenance. I resist taking a pill for my migraines, and instead will reach for a cup of coffee and a nap, and now a cotton ball with some peppermint oil, or looking up the acupressure points for various pain relief. And then if those don't work, I don't mind taking a pill.

But rather than beating myself up about it, or waste time psycho-analysing myself, I've started embracing my natural tendencies. Bleach and ammonia (not together, obviously) both irritate my asthma in any quantity, but vinegar doesn't if I don't go overboard with it. Pills give me unusual and confusing side effects, but acupressure either works or it doesn't. If I don't drink my tea, I don't get the effects of it, but I don't go through withdrawal either.

I don't know why I resist lifestyle changes that involve daily medication, but do better with lifestyle changes that involve daily intake of sunshine and bee pollen. I still don't get my bee pollen daily, but it works when I take it, and maybe that's the biggest factor: So many of the treatments involving pharmaceutical medications work by being consistent with them, but natural remedies will still work with intermittent use. So the part of me that feels guilty for not being consistent is quieted by the part that knows that with these home remedies, consistency is less important. So I feel less defeated, and more likely to just say "oh, I should drink my tea today" and not worry about the fact that I've missed three days in a row. Instead of saying, "I missed the last three days, what's one more when I would have to get up to get water for my pills that will make me sleepy when I have stuff to do today?"

Do what works. If something doesn't work, don't beat yourself up about it, just find a different thing that will work. It's a lesson I will probably still be learning when I'm old and dying, but it's a lesson that I hope to become better at putting into practice.


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