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Routine (220.0) - Mark's Journal
Routine (220.0)
I had conversations with two people on Saturday that ended up taking a more similar direction than I'd have expected them to. Both ended up being about routine.

The first was the strong suggestion that someone should add a shower to his morning routine. (Yes, if you think you know who I mean, you're likely right.) I started out by saying that paying more attention to hygiene would stand him in good stead in group situations, but we ended up talking about how changing routine is difficult for him.

He also expressed the concern that he could make a serious effort to improve his hygiene and would still find that he had trouble being accepted. I told him there was nothing automatic or magic about becoming likable just by taking showers regularly, but that not keeping up with basic hygiene was a serious impediment to social acceptance that he at least had some control over. The rest could follow.

The second was a friend who needs to get in the habit of taking daily medication, and for some reason has not been able to get that into his daily routine. (Yes, if you think you know who I mean, you're likely right.) He's considering a new attempt to get back in the habit a tribute to a friend who just died of a stroke that could have been due to a treatable condition, and if that does the trick, I'm all for it. I explained that I made the medication I need to take daily part of my morning routine. Get up, go to the bathroom, take a shower, brush my teeth, take all my vitamins and this medication, etc., etc. Setting an alarm clock for a particular time as a reminder to take the meds seems like it's not something that could possibly work as well, unless you can always be sure you're not going to be in the middle of something else at that time. (And, in fact, it's his current approach, and it's not working well.)

There are probably things I could do better, or more reliably, or what have you, if I managed to make them part of a routine. Maybe I'll make a list.
9 comments or Leave a comment
jccohen From: jccohen Date: October 4th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could stand to alter my routine as well.
helianthas From: helianthas Date: October 4th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
#1) Hygiene guy-- is it possible that he keeps his hygiene poor b/c at least he can blame his lack of social acceptance on that, as opposed to his personality, for example? Once he cleans himself up, and if he is still not easily accepted, it might hurt more. Acknowledging that could be a first step for him. A good thing to do is make a "Pros of Not Showering More Often, Cons of Not Showering more Often, Pros of Showering More Often, Cons of Showering More Often" list (see http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/part_42.html); this can illuminate the psychological processes that are going on behind the scenes, beyond "I don't like to shower in the morning".

#2) If it is medically OK to take the med at night (ask the doctor, not just what's on the bottle), I find that taking meds at night when brushing teeth is much easier than the morning, b/c in the morning I'm all sorts of fuckered up and rushed.

My 2 cents.
pixel39 From: pixel39 Date: October 4th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I use those "one-a-day" pill holders for my nightly meds so I take everything that I'm supposed to be taking--you fill them once a week, and that way it's only one thing to add to the routine instead of four, or five, or whatever.
sskipstress From: sskipstress Date: October 4th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have a hard time remembering meds in the morning, especially if I try to take them before work. So I started taking them with me to work and taking them with the first cup of tea while I read my email.
From: tywysoges Date: October 4th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Considering that birth control is the sort of thing that one does have to take at the same exact time every morning, I disagree that setting an alarm doesn't work well. Unless your schedule is super crazy and unpredictable, most people can determine a time in the early morning when they're likely to be home. (Note that I didn't specify a time when you're necessarily likely to be *awake*!)

My alarm goes off each morning at 8am. Weekdays, I'm usually getting up around this time. Weekends, I wake up, take the pill (keep a bottle of water next to the bed if you must) and go back to bed.

Admittedly, this can be annoying to the person you share a bed with :P But assuming the medication is something extremely important, then they should suck it up and deal!
From: sylrayj Date: October 4th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I liked reading the suggestion to find a time when the routine can be modified. I take one of my medicines around suppertime, and have an alarm on Google Calendar and on my Palm for it. I've been waking up mostly consistently, but there are times when I sleep in. Bedtime isn't consistent at all. Supper, however, is usually a transition time no matter what day it is, so for me it's the most effective time to change. I prefer to shower after lunch - in wintertime I don't want to go out in the cold with wet hair and it takes my hair *forever* to dry, and I don't like to sleep with wet hair. There's a good thing to being a homemaker. :)

A good first step is to identify the routines already in place, perhaps visually in a flowchart format. It can be easier to change a routine if the modification can be visualized, with all facets clearly available to consider.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: October 5th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I think I got into a sort of "perfect storm" regarding the meds last time. My doctor moved on. My meds got used up, and I'm lucky I can get dressed in the morning before getting out the door usually.

I think the alarm is actually working to a good degree, although I may have to modify when it goes off. People thought the pill case was overkill, but I'm finding that I'm disagreeing. I think I have to get a smaller one, but the idea is working. Indeed, I'm finding its the combination of the two that is being effective, somehow.

The next piece of the puzzle is finding a good way to replenish the meds. BF#1 does this via a mail order scenario, and as soon as the doctor and I are convinced these meds are working as they should (today's reading was 118/77) I'll look into that. This is important since I don't have the car anymore.

While Kevin died of a stroke, we'll never know what caused the stroke. His BP was out of control in his last 12 hours, but it wasn't due to him not taking his meds. The issue is that, as we know, HBP is the "silent killer." You usually have no symptoms. Certainly I don't seem to. And so, with only a reading to tell me if something was wrong, I could basically convince myself that nothing was wrong. This time I'll remember Kevin when that happens.

Finally, I may have a critical mass of folks watching me now. I've actually caught my secretary, Aaron, and BF#2 in a conspiracy of sorts. Ginny has changed all the tea in the office to caffine free. Aaron has basically ordered me to take doctor's appointments whenever they tell me to (I'd only previously accept a first thing in the morning or last thing at night schedule due to transportation issues). And Don is scheming to find me a BF#0 who is a role playing, cat loving, chubby ginger cardiologist! Terrifyingly, he doesn't seem to be kidding. And him being a proto-Ph.D. medical researcher himself isn't hurting matters.

I will say, however, that it was a bit distressing having all four of us - me, Bu, Barb, and Sarah - comparing meds and delivery mechanisms Sunday morning. Are none of us living without chemical supplements anymore?
blaisepascal From: blaisepascal Date: October 5th, 2010 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Sarah was standing in as a proxy for Kevin. It was Kevin's pill-case that Barb is ending up taking home.

phoenixmedusa From: phoenixmedusa Date: October 5th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had to make taking my BP and diabetes medication part of my morning routine. I take my shower and then take my meds while I drink this morning protein drink that I am using now to get ready for my surgery. It helps me to have a routine. If somehow my routine gets messed up the first thing that gets forgotten is my medication.
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