Money tips for MSers
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Underwear and pills, oh my!

Underwear-and-pills[1]
Random thoughts during recent morning ablutions. :)
 
One thing I was happy about when I was first diagnosed was that ATMs existed and there were 24-hour grocery stores. Soon we were becoming more comfortable with online Bill Pay and shopping online.  Tech was steadily improving and newer services were being invented. I remember thinking that of all the times in history to be struck by this disease, this was the best.
 
I applaud manufacturers making easy open tabs on cans, resealable bags on grocery items, even instant coffee and instant oatmeal. You can even find "instant" mashed potatoes in the freezer section made out of "riced" cauliflower which tastes good.
 
Pill Bottles
 
I recently bought a small bottle of allergy medicine (Benedryl).  It had an up caret  ∧ on the bottle and a down caret ∨ on the lid.  In order to open the bottle, you had to line up the two, then pop the lid open. I used my teeth and every once in awhile instead of behaving, the whole open bottle would go flying across the room spilling tiny, bright pink pills all over the tile floor. Which I then had to pick up FROM MY WHEELCHAIR!
 
Another time I was starting a new MS med to be taken orally.  I was so excited to not have to give myself shots anymore.  Then I discovered that the new pills were coming to me in a bubble pack; I had to pop one out each day, or pop out a bunch (while watching TV, for example) and store them in a used pill bottle for safe keeping.
 
My coordination has slowly gotten worse over all my years with this disease.  I have not been able to handwrite for about fifteen years; I use my mouse with my left hand and type with one finger.  Why, I asked my doc--and anyone else who listened--would the manufacturer package these pills in a way that makes it so hard for MS users to open? Luckily, they switched to a regular bottle in the new year.
 
I also have begun to notice pill bottle labels printed in larger type (is braille being used too?), which I assume is helpful for those with limited vision. I believe you could arrange with your pharmacist.
 
Lid colors
 
I have graduated to a twice-a-day pill dispenser (A friend's husband said to her, "I don't think I need that yet. It's for old people!"  She said, "Yeah, so?" as she pulled her own pill dispenser out of the drawer with her vitamins and calcium.) When I think pill dispenser, I think convenience.
 
I get my prescription bottles with all different colored caps. As they seem to be standardized, I have been able to swap out my plain white medication bottle caps. Color makes me happy!
 
I confess that I take enough different pills that I started switching out all the caps on new bottles of things I need to take in the a.m. to blue caps, and things I need to take at night to magenta, and things I need to take both times to white caps. 
 
When I'm refilling my weekly pill dispenser (I do it every Saturday a.m) it makes it quicker to not have to read the label each time. Just put items in white capped bottles in both sides of the dispenser, items in blue capped bottles go in the a.m. side, and items in magenta capped bottles go in the p.m. side.
 
Incontinence Products
 
Before I needed to wear them, a friend and I joked that since these were only made in white, but I only wore black underwear, we should get the patent on colored, disposable underwear for when our generation started to need them. Oh ha-ha, so funny! (You and I both know they are more commonly known as Adult Diapers, but I hate that and since it is my blog, I will be using "disposables".)
 
Flash forward to today, where lavender and peach colored disposables are common and I just saw Depend® offering a limited edition of black disposables.  Well, we had our chance.
 
So I applaud manufacturers for making incontinence underwear in colors. Also making incontinence pads, which are more substantial then menstrual pads and made to hold urine. 
 
I would encourage more standardized sizes and absorbency levels (see description of Tranquility products). When the store is out of our regular "product" don't make it hard for us to find a suitable replacement. Standing around the shelves trying to read each different package can be mortifying. And if you have a caretaker doing it, I think it's worse.
 
Just things that make me go hmmm...
 
Related stuff
Nothing found here should be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes.

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