Thursday, May 18, 2023

System failure

Once again, a failure derailed my systems. Then another failure, one that had nothing to do with me, caused a different problem. There are remedies, but are they solutions? Time will tell.

I’ve written a few times about using Apple’s Reminders app to help me make sure I take my prescriptions each day, and that included taking about adjustments I had to make after I missed my daily doses.

The system has failed yet again: On Monday morning, I reached for my prescriptions, only to see the pouch for Sunday was still there: I’d once again missed a day’s prescriptions—the fourth time since I began using the pouch system.

I have absolutely no idea how it happened, but somehow I was convinced I’d taken them, and marked the day’s Reminders notification as completed. I think I was working on something at my desk that afternoon when I got the Reminder to double-check my prescription. I was certain I’d checked the pouch the last time I was in the kitchen, so I just marked it completed, without actually double-checking.

I suppose my head must’ve been busy mulling over something or other on Sunday, and that lack of focus and attention could’ve made me assume that I’d taken my pills AND double-checked. Having my head busy mulling over something or other is pretty much an everyday sort of thing, and it’s precisely why I’ve been developing systems so that I don’t have to remember anything—I probably won’t, anyway.

So, on Monday I tore off the pouches for both Sunday and Monday, separated them, and took Monday’s pills. The Sunday pouch is now another backup supply (I now have two of those). Then, I had to figure out what to do to fix the situation.

My first thought was that I should go back to normal pill packaging instead of the pouches, because then I could leave my pillbox on the kitchen bench (the cardboard box that holds the reel of pouches is too big). I realised, though, that I’d still have to actually look at the pills AND have it register that I’d taken them—basically no real change.

I realised that if I’d actually checked, I’d have seen that I hadn’t taken my pills because there wouldn’t be a pouch on the kitchen bench. The only thing to do is always look—that’s still no guarantee, as I noted back in March when I added the second reminder, but it’s the best I have right now.

The next day, there was another problem: I went to tear off the day’s pouch and ripped the bottom off Wednesday’s pouch, exposing them to air and moisture, and the pills might fall out. So, I took Wednesday’s pills on Tuesday, and used the intact Tuesday pouch on Wednesday.

Today, the same thing happened: Friday’s pouch tore, and a pill did fall out. I took Friday’s pills today (after I found the one that fell out) and put the Thursday pouch aside for tomorrow.

This problem with the pouches is also nothing new, and I’d found that folding the pouch back forth along the perforation made them tear apart properly. But it’s not perfect. Scissors are the back-up plan, assuming I notice a problem with the perforation, which two failures so close to each other might make more likely. Maybe.

These problems keep recurring because of my lack of focus. The physical defect in the pouches is easy to miss, especially because I can have several batches in a row that are fine. But the missing prescription doses? That shit’s gotta stop. It frustrates the hell out of me, first, that I have such problems with focus, and second, that this can cause potentially serious problems for me. But, that’s a subject in itself, really, and the perfect time to talk more about that—and some things I’ve realised—is early next month when I’m going to do an update on my personal organisation system at the three-month mark.

I just have to figure out how to remind myself to do that. C'est la vie.


Roger Owen Green said...

I take my pills before I go to bed, and it works for me mostly. One I should take earlier, but I can't be bothered.

Arthur Schenck said...

If I could take them all at night, I could leave the pill carton (or whatever the thing that holds the roll of pouches is called) on my nightstand. THey want me to take them at breakfast, sadly—something I don't usually have until around 10am, though.