It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Star Stickers: A Winning Strategy!

I say this now, ask me in a few months...

Last fall/winter I quit all my meds for 6mos. Don't ask me why. Since then it's been a bit of a struggle. Mid May to mid June was abysmal, but from mid June to mid July I can tell you I took one of my meds 80% of the time. Fantastic for me & even my shrink agrees, although the new psychiatrist wasn't so pleased. The other med I've never restarted. Anyway, it's becoming harder to remember how many pills I've actually taken as I've been increasingly running over them. It's a good thing I built up some reserve over the time I wasn't taking it, but the issue is I can't just look at the sleeve and count them.

Back the very end of June I bought a planner. Now sometimes I buy them and sometimes I don't, because I never use them. When you have executive functioning issues, every shrink will repeatedly tell you to use one, but as far as I was concerned, I'd just sit there and roll my eyes. Not my thing. But the thing is that from June-August my horseback riding lessons were few and far between, and my PT appt times are sporadic. Then there've been the Care Congress, more CAG commitments, a few work trainings, "medicaid cost containment" public hearings, MFP subgroup meetings, frequent conference calls, and a botox appt thrown in the mix. I have a history of knowing and remembering exactly when thing A is and knowing and remembering exactly when thing B is, but not realizing until the last second that they are at the same time, and my trainer was doing me a favor and dragging her kids along with her to the barn. The last thing I wanted to do was double book her! Hence the planner...

My shrink, who at this point has known me 4 years, was practically speechless when I showed this planner to her with things written in it. The fact that there's more and more in there, I mean, you should just see the look on her face!

Back to the meds and not knowing when I've taken them, I think you see the connection between that and a planner and the title of this post. She went out of town and my appointments were 2 weeks apart. One of the first things she asked me was "are you still taking your meds?" I looked at her and said "Eh." "How much," she asked. "I have absolutely no idea," I replied, "this time I didn't start with a full pack. But I'm sure it's less then 80%"

I have in the past had a thing for stickers. In my apt I have unopened packs of pony stickers and "Incredibles" stickers that say things like "Good Job!", "Way to go!", and "You're INCREDIBLE!" The thing is that my planner is on the smaller side, as you can see, and they're all too big. So I said to her last week, "You know those gold star stickers, the ones that come in the packs with the silver ones and whatever? As long as I'm actually using this planner, I might as well go buy those [see right]. I just can't seem to get motivated enough to actually go get them."

That's a really good idea!" she said. Now that look of shock and the sound of utter amazement that an idea such as this would ever come out of my mouth, I don't know if I've ever seen that. "Plus, you're giving yourself a gold star for taking them!" OK, *eye roll*, cheezy!

A few hours ago I finally made it to a store that carries them to buy some. FYI, neither CVS nor Safeway carry them. As I can only remember as far back as Aug 20, that's where they start. The stars were $1.68 for a pack of 715 in 5 colors and the neon dots were $1.88 for a pack of 475 in 4 colors. I couldn't decide what I wanted, so I just bought both. That's over a years worth of stickers for $3.56 +tax

Realistically I don't think they'll motivate me into better compliance then say 85%, but they'll give me a nice picture of things that is nice to have. Everyone is always so concerned about my levels. I'm using 3 colors, pink dots for my mood stabilizer, gold stars for exercising (ok, I'm not gonna lie, they do make me smile!), and green stars for my antidepressent. Note above that there are no green stars :( It's too much of a time sensitive med and I'm just not getting it. This is a very accessible strategy, as it doesn't cost much, and even blind people can feel the stickers different shapes. All I have to do is dig up a paperclip and secure them to the front of my planner.

Like I said though, ask me in a few months if I even have a clue where my sticker packs are. My strategies tend to fizzle. If I don't I'll dig them up and mail the leftovers to you for free.


therapydoc said...

Proceed with caution when you put them on the window, a pain to get them off.

I get my stickers at the dollar store. They have some really good ones there. Once you get into the planner thing, you won't look back and you will get crazy when you lose it, which is why electronic things with back up are excellent.

I may even link over to you in my First Rate Madness post, mid-September. But we should talk first. You've been a mad blogger for some time now :)

Cheryl said...

TD, FYI both packs are Avery brand and the neon ones on the front say "removable color coding labels" and on the back say "removable adhesive allows you to apply and remove as you like. Organize with color" So I can put THOSE on the window, but not the stars :) Those say "permanent adhesive sticks and stays."

Never got into the smartphone/PDA thing. And thank you for considering me "first rate mad." It's an honor, really. Besides the fact that i HATE euphemisms. Call it what it is! I'm MAD! Or well, that sounds rather British, dontcha think? I think I'll stick with NUTS. But I digress...

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