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Veterans: Balancing Treatment and Productivity at Work

Before we delve in to this topic, I want to offer an important reminder. Please do not change your medication amounts or schedule without first consulting your prescribing doctor. Many medications require a gradual, controlled, and monitored approach before stopping or reducing the prescribed prescription drug. Serious side-effects may occur if handled incorrectly for your condition and medication.

Life Hacks for Managing Medication and Career

In this article, I’ll offer some life hacks for managing the tricky side-effects that you might be experiencing from your doctor-prescribed drugs for veterans.

Medically prescribed medication can be positively life-changing to those of us with any chronic medical conditions that we are managing.

But, on the other side of the coin, those prescribed drugs can have pesky side-effects. These unexpected results can cause an added challenge for you.

Here are some tips and tricks for taking your medication as prescribed and still being able to function at work and home. 

Please note these are recommendations from a non-medical professional. You are strongly advised not to change your medication regimen until you have first discussed this plan with your prescribing doctor.

#1: Is it the medication or is it me?

Knowing if the reason that you feel tired, in a brain-fog, shaky, weak or have another type of unpleasant feeling in the morning is important.

Having a good sense of why you feel unwell and slow at getting your day started is an important conversation to have with your doctor.

Taking charge of your healthcare challenges is a critical job that requires your time and attention—just like the work that you do for your employer.

Asking your doctors questions and reporting feeling unwell and the problems and limitations that it has created in your work and personal life is a conversation worth having.

Together, you and your physician can come up with a strategy to eliminate or reduce the symptoms—but it all starts with a conversation.

#2: Reduce feeling stressed about talking with your doctor

It can be a little unsettling to have to talk with your doctor about the medication they prescribed. Here are some examples of how to get the conversation about your medication started:

  1. Doctor Smith, after taking my medication I feel (fill in the blank). These feelings are affecting my work/school/life in the following ways (briefly list how your life is negatively impacted by the prescribed drug.
  2. Doctor Patel, the medication you prescribed is interfering with….
  3. Doctor Kurosawa, is it possible to adjust my medication so that I don’t feel so… in the morning?

#3: Life hack for starting your day like a hare—not a tortoise

I broke my back and suffered a mildly traumatic brain injury. As a result, I have to take several medications to manage my ongoing medical conditions.

The side-effect of many of the drugs is that I feel very tired and require extra sleep that I just do not have time for.

My days are usually begun in a brain-fog, feeling dizzy, and even having a drunk appearance.

Getting ready for work and arriving at places on time requires significant planning the day before.

To remain productive and in my employer's good graces (being a freelance writer there are several), I had to hack my medications in order to live my new normal—big life.

#4: How to hack your meds

A hack is a strategy or technique for managing one's time or activities more efficiently. 

You can learn more life hacks and get a free eBook at: https://www.antoinettetoscano.com/new-normal-big-life.

After talking with my doctor about the troubling side effects that kept me from starting my day off on the right foot, I began practicing these medication life-hacks.

  • Adjust the time of day you medicate - My doctor told me how I could adjust the time of day that I take my medication. I began taking the prescription earlier in the evening rather than at bedtime. Now, when I wake up for work or play the next day I feel energetic and ready to go.
  • Break up the dosing – My doctor recommended reducing a 600mg prescription at night to 300mg at bedtime, 100mg in the morning, noon, and evening. I get better results from this strategy and have fewer negative side effects. 
  • Frequently review medications list – On my own, I often review my prescribed medications and how they make me feel. Sometimes, I have realized that I no longer need a drug or maybe it’s not required at the current strength or frequency. Together, my doctor and I negotiate reductions and eliminations of medications. We have even moved some daily dosing to an as-needed basis.

Being able to get the relief that you need from your valuable medications while living your life to the fullest is an important part of your quality of life.

If you suspect that your medication might be interfering with your ability to show up for work on time, be productive throughout your day, and to live your biggest and best life—you should have a talk with your doctor and hack your meds too. 

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