Keeping on top of cystic fibrosis (CF) treatments can be complex and time-consuming. It is therefore very important to establish and maintain a daily routine that makes it as easy as possible for you to follow your CF treatment and physiotherapy schedule as prescribed by your doctor.
If you’ve been managing CF for years you probably have an established routine and may already be using some or all of the tips below. But take a look, you might find something new!
Remember: Every time your doctor makes a change to your treatment it is important to make sure that any changes fit in with your entire CF treatment routine. Your doctor and nurse will always be willing to help – so never hesitate to ask for their advice.
Tips to establish a daily CF treatment routine
1 Set mobile phone and/or alarm clock reminders
Set reminders for when you should take each of your medicines and other treatments e.g. physiotherapy. The CF MedCare App is a handy App for setting customisable treatment reminders.
2 Organise a routine that works for the whole household
Involve everyone! Set up a daily routine that works for you and ideally all the other people you live with, such as your parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, a partner or housemates. Using a shared diary or wall planner can be a simple and highly visible way of keeping everyone aware of who is doing what and when.
If your CF treatment routine also works for everyone else affected by it then it is more likely that you will be able to stick to the routine.
3 Start early
Get up early enough in the morning to allow enough time and privacy for your morning therapies. This could help to ensure that your routine has minimum impact on your daily life outside of the home.
4 Be organised
Organisation is key to making your CF treatment routine a normal part of everyday life. It can be helpful to:
Check the required storage conditions of each medicine.
Keep all, or at least a majority, of your medicines in one place.
Monitor your stock of all medicines, including CF treatments.
Make sure you never run out of your CF treatments.
Arrange to receive repeat prescriptions before your current stocks of your various medications run out.
Maintaining a routine
However well you establish a CF treatment routine, the unpredictability of day-to-day life means that sticking to it is likely to be challenging at times. Nevertheless, it is important that you continue to take your CF treatments correctly, as prescribed by your doctor, each and every day.
Even if you feel well, or feel no better after starting a new CF treatment, it is important for you to continue to take it correctly as part of your routine.
Think about how friends, family and housemates could help you stick to your treatment routine. This support network may be able to help by:
Acting as a reminder or back-up support to help ensure you follow your treatment routine.
Doing simple visual checks around the home, like checking you have used your nebuliser at the correct times, based on whether your equipment has been washed and left to dry.
Discussing any concerns and help share responsibility for spotting risks to your treatment routine.
It is good to keep an eye on things that could potentially upset your CF treatment routine and be proactive in trying to prevent them from happening.
Big life changes
Big life changes such as moving home, starting a new school or university, getting a new job, or even transitioning from paediatric to adult CF care can disrupt your CF treatment routine.
Although it’s difficult to predict exactly what will change in these situations, try to think ahead about the best way to adapt your CF treatment routine. Being prepared can help make the transition as smooth as possible.
If you are starting college, university or work it is important for your teacher or employer to understand your specific needs and how they can help.