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Very seldom do I see a hack that makes so much sense that it is just a gimmy. Let me explain. Curtis’s blog post “My Medication Hack”—about taking his meds with him everywhere, so whenever he remembers to take them, there they are—hit me right between the eyes. I take vitamins. I mean, I try to take vitamins. Not a single daily multivitamin. My brand takes organically grown foods that are then concentrated and made into vitamin supplements. So instead of one pill this becomes three pills, twice a day. Then I take calcium supplements and another supplement to insure my joints stay limber. All told I take about thirteen pills a day. Anyway that’s the plan. So there is no way I’m humping all these bottles and trays of stuff with me everywhere I go. Then where’s the benefit of this ‘take the bottle with you’ hack? Lets start back at the problem. I have a seven day pill case with an AM and a PM side. Every Sunday I fill it for the week. Every morning and every evening I am supposed to pop open the appropriate hatch and take my pills. Problem was every morning I would walk out the door without taking them.

A spilled bottle of pills.

I’m very fortunate when it comes to my health. I’ve reached my mid-forties without ever having been seriously ill or badly injured. I’ve never been hospitalized and have only one chronic health concern. I have polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic kidney condition that causes progressive deterioration of the kidneys leading to eventual kidney failure. I was born with it, of course, but I’ve known I’ve had it for about twenty years. PKD can cause pain and other symptoms, but in my case there are none that I would notice. My doctor noticed that my blood pressure was starting to rise, which is a symptom of PKD and very important to control because high blood pressure itself can cause kidney damage and accelerate the progression of the disease.

A young boy climbing a wall.

This is the second of a series of posts on Julie Tittler’s experience with an experimental medication for her son’s ADHD.


We can breath! We’ve found a foothold!

In Grasping at Straws, I wrote about how we had tried every class of medication approved by the FDA for use in treating the inattentiveness and executive function deficiencies associated with ADHD. All caused my son such severe side effects that he had to be taken off of them. Fortunately, his psychiatrist, who is one of the top pediatric pharmacopsychiatrists in the world, knew of a medication approved for treating moderate to severe Alzheimer's which has been showing great promise in treating ADHD, bipolar, and autism spectrum disorders in adults, Namenda. She had used it in some severe pediatric cases to great effect and told us it was one of our last avenues of treatment. No clinical studies have been done on its use in pediatric cases. Eeep!