Managing by Colours

Filed in Family, Health, Tech Stuff

My lupus meds are quite boring. They’re the same colour, white. Well, except for the Rocaltro which is white and orange, but it’s not really a lupus med, but a supplement. And it’s in a white foil pack until I pop two to take every other day.

In contrast, mother’s various meds include two whites that come in foil packs in their own branded boxes (so there’s no worry about getting them mixed up), as well as two other meds that are refilled loose from a bulk supply from a medical centre – Lasix, which is white, and Digoxin, which is blue. To help me differentiate the two so I don’t refill the wrong med in the wrong transparent bottle at the nursing home, I use a blue tablet container for the Digoxin (same colour) and a yellow for the Lasix (cuz there’s no white container in the set, only pink, blue, green and yellow). To make doubly sure I don’t mix up the two meds, I used my Brother labeller to make name labels to put on the containers. Like this …

It’s one of my tasks to liaise with the nursing home regarding mother’s medications. Whenever they run low, they would give me a call to bring a refill the next time I visit mother. I used to give them the full refill but the person previously in charge of medication would call to let me know only when there were very few tablets left. Some of mother’s meds require special orders, and there was at least one instance when we nearly couldn’t refill on time to make sure there was no interruption in the supply. Now, what I do is keep about two weeks’ supply on standby at home, so that when it’s time to refill, I give the nursing home the standby meds and then call the pharmacy to refill the prescription. As for the Lasix and Digoxin, I would get a three-month refill from the medical centre but give the nursing home a month’s supply at a time, so as to keep track of the meds; it’s more for my own peace of mind.

Meds are not the only area I use colours to help me manage. I also use different coloured inks for my handwritten notes. This is so that when I flip through my notes to look for something, the different ink colours help me find what I’m looking for faster. I use blue for my work notes, purple for personal notes, brown for family notes, and red for expenses.

But instead of having individual pens for each colour, I have found a multiple pen that contains three different coloured inks, and have two, the first one containing red, blue and black inks, adn the second containing purple, brown and green inks. Such pens have been available for a long time – as far back as when I was still in school – but recently, I found one with gel inks that I prefer over fountain pen or regular ballpoint pen inks.

The pen, a Pilot Hi-Tec-C Coleto, is quite environmentally friendly as it uses refills and has a flip top that allows for the refills to be changed quite easily.

Best of all, the pen barrels and refills are available locally; I’ve seen them in two bookshops, Popular in IKANO and my preferred supplier, Cziplee in Bangsar.