Sometimes I need a reminder, but that doesn’t mean I’ve failed

Instead, missing a deadline just means I need to implement a better system

Danita LaShelle Jones avatar

by Danita LaShelle Jones |

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I’d missed it.

While sitting at work finalizing run sheets for “content day” at my new job and sending out a rehearsal schedule to my actors for the next production, I glanced at the clock computer and saw it was 10 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. The realization sent me into an immediate panic.

Despite two years of sending in my column every week, I’d gotten so busy that I didn’t realize what day it was.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do, and surprisingly, I knew what that week’s topic would be. However, it was an hour past the deadline, and it would take me another hour to ensure everything was written and formatted correctly before turning it in.

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I frantically messaged my column lead, explaining the situation and asking if it’d be OK for me to turn in everything by lunch.

“It depends on the editors’ workload this week,” she replied. “I don’t know if they can fit you into the schedule.”

She was right. Just because it wouldn’t take me long to write my column, suddenly inserting me into a time slot not allotted for me would likely throw off the day’s progress. My forgetfulness and haphazard hastiness to fix it would cause more damage.

Although I sent a “totally understand” response, I felt defeated. Who forgets what day it is when something important is due?

“I can’t believe I forgot it was Wednesday!” I exclaimed to my husband, Paul, when I got home.

“A new job, and you’re in production. I’m not surprised,” he replied. “Just set a reminder like we do with Ladybug’s medicine.”

I all but slapped my forehead. Of course! The simplest solution was right in front of me, or better yet, on my phone.

A wake-up call

When our oldest daughter, whom we lovingly refer to as Ladybug, was diagnosed with hereditary angioedema (HAE), she was already taking a laundry list of medications. Then she was prescribed additional treatments that needed to be administered on specific days.

Initially, when she was taking Haegarda, remembering to dose her “every three days” seemed simple enough. But when we added our other children’s activities, medications, and homework to the mix, I soon realized that a simple ping of my phone could keep me from forgetting that I’d reached the third day.

Later, when Ladybug switched over to Takhzyro (lanadelumab), I breathed a sigh of relief. Surely, I could remember to dose her every two weeks. As far as I was concerned, it was easier.

It wasn’t.

Our family is never less busy. Deadlines come up, business trips arise, and school projects become due. Although HAE is part of our daily routine, it’s just as easy to forget as picking up eggs on the way home from the store.

My husband and I put a reminder on our phones to alleviate this problem. Every time Ladybug has to get her preventive shot or see her doctor, or we have to order new medications, the reminder shows up on the automated Google Home in our kitchen and den, as well as on our phones.

Is it overkill? Not even close. It’s a great reminder that our lives continue and we’re human enough to forget occasionally.

As caregivers of someone with a chronic illness, we must accept the fact that our memories aren’t superhuman. We need a system of reminders to remember significant things like medication and little things like when it’s Wednesday.

Note: Angioedema News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Angioedema News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to angioedema.


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