I’d like to begin with the importance of our medication because I have seen both parents and sufferers suppress the significance of medicinal aid. Personally, I was blessed with parents who understood the meaning of it being as critical as breathing itself. It was only when I hit adolescents I believed I was cured and invincible (as discussed in the ProBLOGue), losing weight and lung function was the result of my ignorance almost resulting in admittance.
On the other hand I have witnessed parents who have neglected their child’s therapy because their son or daughter simply does not want to do it. As daunting as it may be, your will power to persist with your child’s medication requires the same ‘tough love’ mentality that I received. Being treated no different than any other child and enforcing medication is paramount because at the end of the day your only investing in the health sustainability of your child’s future health which I will continue to advocate in future posts.
Below are 5 tips and tricks that I lived by growing up with Cystic Fibrosis
TIP 1: Cling wrap tablets
Wrapping your pancreatic enzymes within the glad wrap of your meal. This method used by my mother once I started school and developed a basic level of independence but was still learning the tablet to fat ratio of foods. From this I passively learnt how many tablets were to be consumed for different foods and it reassured my parents that I would receive the most nutritional value in each meal because I am not forgetting my medication. The image below demonstrates the technique:
TIP 2: Nebulizers at night
This May be obvious to new parents of sufferers due to modern technology and education of the condition but it was only advocated to me as a young adult that the extra value and effectiveness of taking nebulizers before bed. This allows the mist to settle on your lungs while you rest which ensures the breakdown of mucus. If you administer therapy before physical activity you may be prone to expelling the drug through heavy expiration which does not allow the medication to do its job, this may also stop the drug from entering deep into your bronchiole because after being dormant your airways are not fully open to oxygen. My tip for this is to create a reward program in which they receive a relaxation task to administer therapy and understand its routine and not a choir. Possible activities may include screen time or reading a book to them before bed, what ever makes this time more desirable than just sitting and nebulizing.
TIP 3: Exercise: Self prescribed Therapy
I can not express the importance of physical activity! Although there is no script written by your doctor, it is the most discussed part of my physiotherapy session and has always been. Exercise is one of the fundamentals to being healthy with cystic fibrosis because being active does not allow mucus to settle on your lungs and block your airways. Hard to list a sport I haven’t tried but regardless of what your personal prescription is for physical therapy it is %100 vital that you do it on a regular basis. From personal experience physical activity also promotes weight gain, increased lung function, social skills and development and also develops a stronger immune system. Get Active!!
TIP 4: Routine medication organizer/poster
As there were 6 children running around our house it was important for my parents to incorporate a weekly planner in to my medication routine. Being both visual and informative, the poster displayed the schedule of my medications and when to consume them. Also incorporated in the poster was a list of foods and enzyme requirements in basic imagery eg. 1 picture of Banana = 2 enzymes. This great idea also allowed guests to understand what medications were required if they were looking after me.
TIP 5: Technological Notifications
Probably the most simple but effective tip for those of you who have busy schedules or are Forgetful when it comes to medication. This is a tip I follow religiously when am on holidays or out of my usual routine. Saving reminders in your phone for periodic drugs such as month on month off, also setting alarms through the day for when your are required to take medication. this allows you to continue your busy schedule and a simple notification will remind you to stay on top of your drugs.
One thing I must express as a footnote to this discussion which is something I am most grateful of my parents for, is that being raised with the mentality that I was normal. This attitude abides by my saying that ‘CF lives with me, I dont live with it’ and that I was never subjected from the crowd because I need to take medication, it is something that made me unique and aware of my health which is something I appreciate most nowadays.
If you have any questions or feedback on this article leave a comment or email me directly to discuss your personal methods for staying in routine of your medications. Make sure you hit ‘subscribe’ to stay up to date with this blog and thank you for reading.