I talk a lot about the practical issues of dealing with mental illness on this blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever specifically talked about the challenge (and truly it is a challenge) of staying on top of taking my meds regularly and keeping up with medications refills. I take three different mental health meds daily. And in our home, its not just about me.
My husband has allergies and thyroid disease, and Ronin has a dangerous peanut allergy, so we have several other family medications with which to keep up. Managing it all can be pretty complicated. But for the past nine years, we’ve been using Walgreens, and since they lauched their Walgreens app (I think it was about 4 or 5 years ago) its been so much easier (seriously).
I have to confess that taking medications for my mental illness is not a pleasant prospect. I’ve been doing it for about 16 years now (ugh, I can’t believe its been that long) and in past years, forgetting to get refills wasn’t uncommon. I’m sure a few of you can relate. I mean it happens, and let me tell you, missing a dose of this type of medication is hell. Pure agony. Stressful and painful, physically and mentally. But since finding the Walgreens app, missing a refill rarely happens anymore. Thank. Goodness.
A few things that I really love:
We can easily view our family prescription history, and not just mine. I can set up my account to include both Ronin and John to help them manage refills.
We can get automatic refill reminders via email or text, and even set up auto refills for those very regular medications we use. There are certain medications as I said that I need without fail each month. It makes it so much easier to have reminders set so I don’t forget. I can pick them up in store (or in our case at the awesome drive through pharmacy window.)
Or I can have them ship directly to our home with free standard shipping. I admit I actually have never set up auto refills with free shipping. I’ve chosen to get the reminders and then pick up at the store. But I think I may just go ahead and try it. That could be even easier, especially if shipped to the house.
I think I’ve just been scared of them not showing up on time. But that’s just me and my anxiety talking.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you can also do all of these things online at Walgreens.com, so its pretty easy to take advantage.
Other things you can do within the pharmacy app or web site is chat with a pharmacist if you have questions. You can print your prescription records and health/immunization history, and if needed, easily transfer prescriptions from other pharmacies.
Being compelled to take medications because of a health condition like mental illness, isn’t something I really want to have to do. I’m sure John would prefer his thyroid to function normally without medication too. But some times you gotta do what you gotta do, even if its a pain in the butt. Thankfully its less stressful to manage by using the services Walgreens provides.
How do you manage your family’s medication refills? Is it working for you?