I’m not even going to waste a second of my time or your time pretending. I am the single most disorganized mother on the planet – somewhere between teenage boy and hoarder. I can usually be caught saying things like, “If I only had one more filing cabinet” or “If I only had a mudroom, or laundry room, or a cleaning service!” You get the point. If it’s in my hand, I can and will lose it. And if it’s a bill I wasn’t expecting, I will misplace it, only to rediscover it the day after it’s due. There is one thing, however, that I must stay organized with because I literally have no choice: my daughter’s medications.
She has cystic fibrosis.An entire kitchen cabinet is dedicated just to medications for her. And each is on a different refill schedule. Some are every 30 days. Some are every 90 days. And then, of course, others are on 30 or 90 days but need to be refilled half way through the month instead of at the end of the month. So how do I always know what she needs when she needs it and make sure we never run out? Well it kind of happened by accident – like I said, I’m no organizer.
As cystic fibrosis progresses, my daughter needs more medications. She has the digestive enzymes she takes with every meal and snack. She has acid reflux meds, appetite stimulant, high dose vitamins, three nebulized meds, one inhaled med, and etc. They medications obviously have to be kept in a dry, cool location where the little hands of our two younger daughters can’t reach them. Therefore, there is a kitchen cabinet devoted to these medications where they are all kept lined up (most of the time) and ready to be rotated when a new batch comes in. Because if you don’t rotate them, it turns out they can (and will) expire. Not that that has every happened in our house or anything.
Organize the medications in a way that makes sense to you so that they are always rotated and you always know what you’re running low on. This is vital to ensuring your child never runs out of a life-saving or health-sustaining medication.
Along with the medications comes the equipment. My daughter has a few important pieces: an inhaler and spacer, a nebulizer, a PEP device, and The Vest machine. Before we had organization, our system meant we had to pack up the nebulizer and very heavy Vest after each treatment and unpack it for the next. Some days, this meant unpacking and repacking four times a day.
Now, we use a microwave cart. The Vest and nebulizer fit nicely inside and the doors mean it all gets hidden and kept safe when not in use. The drawer is the perfect spot for the spacer and PEP, plus extra nebulizer cups and masks we haven’t opened yet.
The Mail Order Pharmacy
We use a mail order pharmacy and the staff calls me when it’s time to refill meds. So unless for some reason, we run out sooner than expected, for example, she’s sick and needs to take some of the medications more frequently, they call me to schedule free delivery of her medications on the day of my choosing. This could not be a better deal for a disorganized mom.
The Auto Refill
There are some medications we get from our neighborhood CVS. For those, we have the option to do automatic refill, which has been a lifesaver when it comes to the Atrovent and Nasonex since I don’t always notice how low they are since she does them herself and you have to shake them to see how full or empty they are.
See, even chaotic households can have a level of organization. You just need to figure out what works for you to ensure you or your loved one are never out of necessary medications.