By Lindsey Seel
When I was about to get married my friends and family asked me plenty of questions about my husband-to-be. Why do you love your fiance? Does he make a good living? Do you trust him? Is it forever?
While these questions are commonplace when it comes to marriage, you may be surprised to find that you can ask the same questions about your medications. As a pharmacist it is my job to help you discover the role medications can play in your life, and exploring the questions below may assist you in understanding your own relationship with the medications you take.
Why do you love your medication(s)?
The medication(s) you take may relieve your pain or prevent migraines... they could be keeping your sugars low and leaving you feeling more energetic and healthy... maybe they are bringing you out of a depression or keeping you from having a heart attack? Every pill you take is benefiting you in some dramatic way or you wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be taking it. End of story. So practice loving your medications and seeing them for the good they do in your life.
Do your medications make for a good living?
Freedom isn’t free and neither is your good health. It is a good idea to understand what your medication costs you, budget for it and always remember the costs you’re avoiding down the road. Imagine your preventative medications (like those for blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar) the same as a 401K. If you invest early and often, the pay off in end is much larger. Keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars down early and you may be saving yourself around $21,995 in yearly out-of-pocket expenses for heart disease and $23,380 in yearly out-of-pocket expenses for a stroke, according to the American Journal of Medicine (2007).
Do you trust your medication(s)?
People have to earn your trust and so do your medications. You may not have a lot of trust in medications because of the commercials that demonize certain drugs or because you had a bad experience in the past. The fastest way to gain trust is to ask questions and learn about your medication. Don’t google your questions on the internet and don’t ask your cousin. Ask your local pharmacist (preferably the one who fills all your medications) and your doctor. The more you know the easier it’ll be to trust that you are taking the right medication for the right reasons.
Is it forever?
Some medications are only meant to be taken for a few weeks or only when needed, but others are meant to be for life. Just like relationships, the long-term ones require the most attention and effort for success. Many people become burnt out on taking medication or may be discouraged about the prospect of taking something forever. This is normal. Figure out a routine that helps you periodically recommit to your health and taking your medications as prescribed. Like in any good relationship, you get what you give, and when it comes to your medications what you get is a good bill of health.