This is a sponsored post on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are of my own.
If you follow me on any social media platform, you have figured out that I am super close to my father. But for those of you who do not know me on a personal level, you do not know that my dad has suffered from chronic conditions most of his life. I grew up watching my father use an inhaler almost every single day of his life. Did you know that nearly 100 million Americans do not follow their prescription requirements correctly – either because of forgetfulness, inconvenience or lack of education? Or that 33% of prescriptions are never filled? I had no idea! But I do know that it always has been extremely important that my dad take his medications as prescribed and that Walgreens has always been the pharmacy we can count on. This is why I think it’s awesome that Walgreens is on a mission to deliver a “Wake Up Call” to America by bringing awareness to and encouraging drug adherence- promoting better living! I want to share with you my father’s story and share some perspective from both him and I to encourage others to start a discussion abut drug adherence as well.
Here is my dad’s story:
“Asthma hit me as a young adolescent which then was hard for me to realize the impact it had on my life. I only knew how to act like the other kids around me. I was very active in recreational sports and of course in our days, we were always outside doing things like playing tag, riding bikes, and playing sports in the fields. Asthma never made me stop being who I was because I always had a rescue inhaler with me. Carrying my inhaler with me became such a normal part of my daily routine, it was like putting on socks or underwear. Oddly enough, it wasn’t being active that fired up my asthma, it was all the dust and dirt we breathe everyday on a normal basis. As I grew older, my asthma got worse and I now have to take a pill in addition to my inhaler and a steroid inhaler one to two times daily to assist the others. All these medications are just to have a normal day of breathing everyday. I’ve learned that I have to keep inhalers everywhere. I keep one in my vehicle, at my daughter’s house, at my in-law’s, at work, in my wife’s purse, even upstairs and downstairs at home. As you can see, with asthma you can never be too safe. I have to consider my condition at all times, in all circumstances.”
As I have gotten older, I have been additionally been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and bleeding. The disease has a different affect on everybody. In my everyday affairs, it does make me a bit tired but I fight through those moments with an occasional power nap. The bleeding is probably the symptom with the biggest effect on me so I try to keep gluten in my diet to a minimum. This is something I have to live with almost everyday. I currently take is six pills on a daily basis for this specific condition. Crohn’s can go into remission however, it is easy for it to resurface which is why it is so imperative that I follow the medicine instructions properly.
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT is also a new condition to add to my list of headaches. DVT is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body, most commonly the legs-which is where I get them. Clotting has caused many issues for me, I have had to have surgery and I will be on blood thinners the rest of my life. With DVT, I am constantly at risk of a clot breaking loose and causing a serious problem in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism. This condition can be become life threatening very quickly if I do not take my blood thinners as prescribed. The bad thing about being on blood thinners for me personally, is that it results in much more bleeding with the Crohn’s Disease. Unfortunately, I am basically contradicting one issue by treating another.
Living with these chronic illnesses is not easy, but I know how crucial it is to take my medications as advised, because my life literally depends on it. I have so much to live for and want to spend as much time living with my family as humanly possible.”
I have always been the daughter asking my dad, “Dad, do you have your inhaler with you?” or “Do you need to use your inhaler, Dad?” I will forever worry about my father’s health because of his chronic illnesses and because he is so dear to my heart. I think bringing awareness to drug adherence is so critical because so many people’s lives truly depend on it. When I started working towards this mission with Walgreens, I asked my dad, “Why is drug adherence so important to you Dad? What do you have to look forward to in the future?” and the first thing he said was, “I want to see my granddaughter get married one day.” And that’s exactly my answer as well. I want my kids to grow up knowing and witnessing how much he loves them and experiencing how great of a papa he is. I want my kids to get to know him in their adult years and make memories with him for as long as possible because he is a great man for my children to look up. The bond my kids have with my dad is priceless and so precious to me! I want others to have this too and that’s exactly why it is so significant that we all take care of our health, especially those with chronic illness.
If you or a loved one has a chronic illness, download the Walgreens app here http://bit.ly/redphone-wakeup where you can utilize helpful resources that’ll help you or a loved one never miss a day of medication. Features of the app include Walgreens 24/7 Pharmacy Chat where you can get answers to questions about medication, Pill Reminder so you can create a routine for taking your medication and Save a Trip Refill and Walgreens Express TM which help make medication refills quick and easy. Let’s spread the word of drug adherence together and help create a healthier future for all.