I think I am “peaking” now with my pain – at least I hope I am – two weeks out from reconstruction. I feel like my life has become very routine. Every morning, I “shuffle” to the kitchen, make myself a cup of tea, and start laying out all of my medications for the day. All of the pill bottles are ceremoniously lined up in the order I have to take them. This morning it dawned on me that this is part of my new normal, and for a moment, a little bit of depression set in.
Since my pre-cancer life was extremely active, this has been a very challenging experience for me. I went from crazy motorcycle enthusiast and yoga chick, staying out late and living it up, to recliner fixture that can’t even pick her feet up half the time when she is walking. Gary and I had just talked about this in the last few days – how our lives completely changed with one phone call. A phone call that resulted in several surgeries and treatments for over a year, all which rendered me pretty much useless.
It’s like cruising on your motorcycle at 70 MPH on a warm sunny day, and then slamming on the brakes while a thunderstorm dumps buckets of rain on you.
I said I wasn’t going to do this…I said I wasn’t going to look back, but today, I can’t help but think about it sometimes…
Gary has been at my side, watching me deteriorate, for the last year and three months. Wow…a year and three months… Let that sink in for a moment. I have to be on the upswing now…I just have to be…
My “shuffle” has become a signature sound in our home. Gary can hear me approaching the kitchen several seconds before I even get there. I am trying to see the benefits or lessons learned in all this because that has become part of my purpose. If I can help one person with my experience(s), then I don’t feel so useless. So today, I offer the medication spreadsheet and the pre-loaded Medical ID app on iPhone.
Before my reconstruction surgery, I created/printed out a spreadsheet of all my medications with the date/time and frequency of use. This has become very handy since some of the pain medication makes it easy to forget when I took what. Also, if something happens and I am incapacitated, Gary can just grab the sheet and my phone (this has happened once). On my phone, I started using an app that Apple has been including in their releases from the last year called “Health” (might have been out longer, but this is when I noticed it and started using it). There is a Medical ID feature built into this app that can be viewed even when the phone is locked.
The Medical ID enables you to put all your information in, including your allergies, medications, important contacts/phone numbers (I have all my doctors listed), and blood type. If your screen is locked, an EMT or your caregiver can quickly access your information without your password/fingerprint. I have been using this app for the last year and I love it. Since I have all my medications and history listed in the app, I just hand my phone to the nurse on doctor visits when they are updating their records. If you didn’t know about the Medical ID feature in the Health app on the iPhone iOS, give it a try and let me know how you like it.