The Art of Being Compliant

I do not like needles. I really, really don’t like needles. That is why I was shocked to be talking with some friends with psoriasis that disclosed they would rather have infused or injectable treatments as opposed to being able to take a pill. I love what my injectable medication has done for my symptoms, but if there was a way to get those same results without a sharp piece of metal assaulting my skin, I would jump for joy.

However, as the conversation continued, I realized most of them felt that way because it was easier to remember. They only had to worry about their treatment once or maybe twice a month at most, whereas with pills they would have to remember to take them daily. Now, that is something I can completely understand. Being compliant with psoriasis treatments before the days of shots was tough. Whether it was slathering on ointments or soaking in concoctions, I never was able to sustain doing it long enough to notice the benefit.

Thankfully, the longer I have had the disease, the more tricks I have developed to help me stay on track with my treatments.

Change my mindset

The first thing I had to do was to change the way I viewed my treatment regime. Seeing any treatment application as a chore, then I am just setting myself up for failure. (Because who likes chores, right?) It’s akin to going to a party. If you convince yourself it is going to be a lame event before you even get to the door, chances are you are not going to enjoy yourself. So, instead, I tried to get myself pumped up for the slather-time (like hammer time, but cooler)! I would put on some of my favorite music, or simply enjoy a little alone time away from the kids as I turned myself into a greased pig. The more I made a conscious effort to be more positive, I noticed that I stopped looking at it as a mundane task, and instead viewed it as a way to love myself.

The joy of technology

I am a tech geek. I always am eyeing the latest phone, video game system, or gadget. Yeah, yeah—there are a lot of downsides to technology, but no one can deny that it makes our lives a lot easier. One of the most-used features on my phone is my calendar alerts. All I have to do is set a timer to go off 1-2x a day to remind me when I need to reapply or take my medication. It takes the guesswork out of remembering if/when I last treated. Bonus tip: set the alarm sound as the Rocky theme music to make you feel like you are really accomplishing something.

Tracking progress

Once I mastered my attitude and was becoming more and more consistent with my reminders, the final thing that motivated me to stay compliant was seeing progress. I likened it to working. I wouldn’t be motivated to keep showing up at my job if I never saw a paycheck. Managing a disease is the same way. As I mentioned earlier, I am a bigtime nerd, so I like to keep pictures on my phone and make a collage with side by side comparisons. I usually do this every 2-3 weeks to help remind myself that the effort I am putting into my skin is not for not.

As with most things in life, consistency and perseverance pays off. The longer you are dedicated to making a change, the easier and easier it will be to keep the change happening.

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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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