With one exception, I do all my pill popping when I get up, or when I go to bed. It’s easy to remember to take these pills. With the same one exception, it really doesn’t matter much if I forget and skip a pill.
The one exception is Sinemet (generic: carbidopa-levodopa). I’m supposed to take this pill four times a day at about six hour intervals. After my “joy of quiet” meditation hour, I try to keep this pill schedule: 5am, 11am, 5pm, and 11pm. The first and last are easy to remember. But I was having trouble with the two middle pills: remembering to take them in the first place, and then remembering IF I’d taken them. Messing up the Sinemet schedule carries consequences: skipping the 11am pill, for example, would would create serious balance problems for me by mid-afternoon.
I finally found a system that works for me (shown below). At bedtime, I set up my pill splitter for the next day. What you see in this photo is the four daily carbidopa-levodopa pills. The white pills are the two halves of a 1mg Azilect tablet. Azilect is usually prescribed for people with Parkinson’s in addition to the carbidopa-levodopa therapy. As with most of my meds, I’ve found that cutting the pill in half seems to work as well as taking a whole pill. So at 5am the next day, I’ll start off with one-half of an Azilect and one of the four carbidopa-levodopa pills.
Now, let’s pretend it’s 11:30 the next morning and, as is often the case, I’m asking myself: “Did I take my 11 o’clock pill?” I look at the pill splitter and see that only the 5am pill is missing. The other pill splitter at right shows my 5-HTP supplement and my blood pressure pill — both split in half — and the remaining half of my statin for cholesterol.
Keeping a Blood Pressure and General Health Journal
I’m experimenting with cutting back on my blood pressure med (Tribenzor). After two emergency room trips, I know that too much 5-HTP (the serotonin booster that is one of the three supplements I still take) can cause pressure spikes. So I’ve been using a bp monitor in the morning and at bedtime. I record the pressure stats in a journal, and now add comments about any changes in my health routine. I’ve found this process helpful.
For example, I’ve been trying various ways of dealing with my bad back: different physical therapy exercises, steroid shots, etc. It helps to have a record of what I was trying at different times, and with what results.