Reminding myself to stick to the plan
Confession: I hadn’t taken my daily vitamins and supplements for, like, a week. No need to scold me—I’ve been doing plenty of that myself. You think about migraines all the time, Janet—why aren’t you following your doctor’s regimen and taking the dang pills she prescribed? The answer is elusive, or at least I haven’t found it yet. I got back from a trip to Chicago and, true to form, being out of town threw off my routine completely. I’m getting back in the groove, but taking my vitamins and supplements, most of which are for migraine treatment (B2, magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6, iron, etc.), just hasn’t been happening.
Logically, I know I just need to get my little weekly pill box and fill up the little compartments—each day of the week has a spot for morning and afternoon pills. It would take me ten minutes to do this, and I can carry the box with me everywhere so I’m never stuck somewhere thinking, “Oh no! It’s time to take my vitamins!”
Writing this post is enough to make me know that I’ll be filling that pill box today (promise), but it doesn’t quite help me understand why I haven’t just gotten off my booty to do it sooner. Sure, I’m busy, but I have plenty of time off and spend a lot of minutes goofing off on things that have nothing to do with improving my health. Heck, I paid a lot of money for these high-quality vitamins and supplements. It’s silly not to take them. And my doctor is willing to work with me to prescribe these instead of heavy-duty preventive prescription meds, so why am I not sticking to the plan she and I made together?
I don’t really know the answers to this, but I do know from talking to a lot of you that I’m not alone. Maybe I’m not seeing a big enough connection between my daily pills and improvements in my migraine patterns. Supplements don’t tend to work overnight, and it takes awhile for them to really have an effect on your system. Am I just tired of not seeing results? Or have there been results but they’ve emerged so slowly I don’t really connect them to the pills?
In essence, this boils down to something I’ve written a lot about here: why don’t we, as patients—or, to be more general, as humans—do the things we know will be best for us? Come to think of it, why don’t we do the things that we know will be best for our family and our shared quality of life?
Very few patients start new health regimens and stick with them flawlessly. I have learned through this migraine.com community, through conversations with my health coach, and by reading books that we are constantly having to be mindful of our behaviors. These behaviors must be reset again…and again…and again. If we’re in pursuit of a goal, we must continuously circle back to the reason behind that goal and what sort of outcome we hope to achieve. There’s often some kind of wake-up call (like me looking at my Curelator app calendar and realizing I’ve missed my daily supplements for over a week) that jolts us back into the self-care we deserve.
What is your experience with having to set and reset goals? How do you (or don’t you) comply with treatment plans, and how do you convince yourself to keep your eyes on the prize?