Medication Management: A Key to Better Health

Looking back in time, I can still remember my words, "I don't take medication, not even an aspirin." And I didn't. If the pain or whatever else didn't stop and I needed something, I would take an aspirin.

Bayer Aspirin is what was available or what my mom chose in my younger days. That chalky taste was horrible. Penicillin seemed to be a one size fits all antibiotic.

The evolutions of medications

Some of that was the era. Thankfully, when my children came, the medication was improved. My children did get antibiotics and Tylenol when needed.

Some of the liquid medications were bubble gum flavored and some were grape. Salves, sprays, and lotions were so much friendlier than in my days. Some still did hurt, though.

Oh, yes, I told my kids all about mercurochrome iodine. That burn on the knee, or wherever the sore was, always made a person cry. Sob and crying some more were likely when it was dabbed on the sore. The younger ones, for sure. I don't remember adults using it, but I'm sure they did if needed.

Everyone in the neighborhood knew that under that Band-Aid was the red coloration of mercurochrome. Even those that weren't good friends would say that they were sorry. It definitely was a friend-maker. I do have to admit it did clear up any infections.

Then came my surgeries: hysterectomy with appendectomy, arthroscopy of the knee, and wisdom teeth. All in my early 30s. With those came antibiotics and pain medications.

Thankfully, I only needed to take them for a short amount of time. Hormone meds were next. They made my heart flutter, so they were discontinued.

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The purpose of sharing medical history

Does this information matter? Yes, those that you had an allergic reaction to, for sure, need to be placed with permanent records.

Why? In case I am unable to speak or write. I might be alone, so no one could share my information with medical personnel.

Doctors, dentists, and hospitals all must have this information. What information do they usually need?

  • Family history: Including parents, siblings, and grandparents.
  • Alive or deceased. Age and reason for each death.
  • Illnesses and allergies for each family member. Approximate the age of each person, as well as their chronic illness and/or death.
  • If you were adopted, it would be your genetic/birth family's information that would be needed. If you have it.
  • Medications that a person is taking are so important to share. Including oxygen and over-the-counter medications. Why? Giving you a new medication could have serious consequences if there were contraindications to the different meds. Allergies are very important to share.
  • Do you, or have you ever smoked? What did you smoke? How many packs or individual items, such as cigars, did you smoke? For how long?
  • Were you around secondhand smoke? What else have you been exposed to in your lifetime?
    Anyone who is sick or suffers from chronic illnesses has likely been prescribed medications. I have been, have you?

COPD and medication maintenance

Have you, or do you know someone who has been diagnosed with COPD? If so, when diagnosed, you and they were probably given a rescue inhaler. This is a necessary medication that is usually prescribed for those with COPD and asthma. An article on bronchodilators can be found here. ——covers inhalers in more detail.

Over time, you will likely be prescribed other medications. Wait! Others, maybe family or friends, are piping in here.

  • "What?! You are taking all of that medication. No wonder why you are always sick!"
  • "You are addicted! What do you need all of those medications for?"
  • "Is all of that supposed to heal your lungs?"
  • "How many pills is that? What are all of those medications for?"
  • "Should you be feeling better or healed when you are finished with these prescriptions."
  • "You can't have COPD if you aren't on oxygen; I saw that on TV."
  • "You don't need all of that! Just smoke pot and get the gummies. There are so many things that you could take."
  • "Why do you do with a harmonica? Is that a vest for swimming?"
  • "I think that someone is feeding you a line or more. They must be getting a commission off of you with all that you are taking!"
  • "You need to eat more; you're getting too skinny."
  • "It's time that you get up and get busy. You're getting too fat!"

These are actual comments that I have heard over time. Very close anyway. I can remember feeling hurt and betrayed. Over time, I've learned to brush the comments off.

Advice for managing medicines

Managing medications is so important. Why?

  • Some medications should be taken in the morning, others in the afternoon, and some are best taken at night. These are the times that they work best in your system.
  • It's important that your pharmacist knows each medication that you are taking. That includes each of these medications: Prescriptions, including oxygen; over-the-counter; diet; herbal; CBD; creams; ointments, and more. Your pharmacy will want to make sure that your medications complement each other and not contraindications.
  • Medications are so important. They can help you to feel better, help to clear mucus, open up your lungs, help rid of cholesterol, help blood pressure, help strengthen your bones, and heal the bacteria from your lungs. Healthy lungs are good and so important. Don't give up. Sick lungs can possibly be treated and slow the progression of your disease.
  • You were prescribed medications for a reason. Take them as directed.

These are important for your overall health.

  • If you smoke, quit. Avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Take medications as prescribed.
  • Exercise.
  • Diet. Gain or lose weight as needed.
  • See your doctor as scheduled.
  • Have a support system. That might be a Better Breathers Club, a therapist, family and friends, a Facebook group, or even here at

Remember, medication is so important. Take it as prescribed.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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