More about Mia
Mia’s first significant medical issue was anxiety, which started around 10 years ago. She tried to manage her symptoms with relaxation techniques and counselling without much success. Within a week of starting sertraline in 2004, she felt she was back to her old self, and since then anxiety has not been an issue for her.
Most of the medicines Mia takes are for managing Crohn’s disease, which was diagnosed when she was 22. Immediately after her diagnosis, Mia took the oral steroid prednisone to help treat flare-ups in the hope that she would go into remission, which unfortunately did not occur. She was then started on mesalazine and azathioprine to try to prevent flare-ups, which has generally been successful provided she takes her medicines regularly.
Mia has had episodes of uveitis, inflammation of the eye, thought to be associated with Crohn’s disease, which she manages with steroid eye drops and ‘horrible’ ointment. On the advice of her gastroenterologist, Mia takes probiotics for her gut health, and fish oil to reduce inflammation.
One of the biggest issues Mia has in managing her Crohn’s disease is remembering to take her medication regularly. Her work as a paramedic involves irregular shifts, which makes it hard for Mia to develop and stick to a routine for taking her medicines. She has a very active social life so is often not at home at regular times, which makes taking multiple medicines difficult. Mia never consciously decides not to take her medicines; her life is so busy that she simply forgets to take them.
If she remembers to take one medicine, she generally remembers to take them all. Likewise, if she forgets to take one, she usually forgets them all. If she only misses her medicines for a few days, Mia is usually all right, but if she forgets them for a long time she can end up with symptoms and flare-ups of Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately Mia finds if she misses her medicines for a few days, she tends to forget them for the week, and then tends to forget to have prescriptions filled.
Mia finds it easier to remember to take her medicines when she starts a new medicine. Generally she only starts a new medicine if she is feeling sick, so is motivated to take her medicines so her symptoms improve. Her problem is more when her condition is stable and there is no trigger in her day to remind her to take them. She has tried leaving her medicines where she can see them and using phone app reminders, with little success. She intends to buy a decorative pill box off the internet to pack her tablets in, to see if that helps her to remember.
Mia dislikes knowing that she just can’t forget about her medicines hoping her Crohn’s disease will go away and is concerned about the long-term consequences of forgetting to take them. On the other hand, she is grateful that her medicines are available and, when takes them as she should, her Crohn’s disease is well managed.