Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Better Way to Track and Organize Your Meds

  This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

Shaking and dizzy, I crawled into my bed and laid down.  The room spun around me.  I had just returned from a trip to the pharmacy to which my dad had to drive me because I knew it wasn't safe for me to drive.

All I could do was lay there in bed.  I couldn't even sit up or the intense dizziness hit me again.  Shaking, I unscrewed the childproof cap off the bottle of pills I'd returned from the pharmacy with and then managed to prop myself up on my elbow just far enough to swallow one of the pills with a gulp of Gatorade.

I wasn't sick.  I had forgotten to refill an important prescription and which lead to me forgetting to take it for several days, and the side effects of stopping the medication cold turkey were brutal.

"Never again," I promised myself.

Fast forward a few months, and I've forgotten to take my meds at least several times since then, thankfully for no more than a day at a time.

I'll be honest, I'm busy and forgetful.  Trying to stay on top of meds for myself plus 3 kids is tough.  Like so many with chronic illnesses, I frequently struggle with brain fog and remembering important things.  I know I'm not the only one who has these kinds of problems, so when I was introduced to PillDrill, I knew I had to share it with you.

PillDrill is a smart medication tracking system that tracks your medications and moods and reminds you when it's time to take them.  It can be set up to send real-time updates to caretakers or even your doctor.  It doesn't just track pills though.  It can also be used for inhalers, nasal sprays, and more.
PillDrill was created by Peter Havas who used his FitBit to keep an eye on his mother's recuperation after a hip replacement.  That experience led him to found PillDrill, Inc in 2014 to develop a smart medication tracking system to help people around the world.

The PillDrill Kit includes the PillDrill Hub, 12 scanning tags, two pill strips (one for AM, one for PM) and a Mood Cube.

The heart of the system is the PillDrill Hub.  The Hub connects to Wi-Fi and sends clear audio-visual alerts when it's time to take a medication.  When the user swipes the tagged medication, the Hub registers it as being taken.

The scanning tags can be adhered to any medication, such as inhalers, that can't be placed in the pill strips.
The Pill Strip is a weekly pill organizer that is composed of individual pill pods for each day and time (such as Monday AM) that have a built-in sensor for scanning it on the Hub.  Additional pill strips can be purchased and connected together so that the system can be customized to your particular medication schedule.  While the kit comes with 12 scanning tags, more can be purchased separately.

The Mood Cube makes it easy to track your moods every day.  It has five faces: Great, Good, OK, Bad, and Awful.  All you have to do is scan the face that matches your mood to track your health patterns over time.

A PillDrill App is available for Apple products that syncs with the Hub in real time.  It makes it easy for a loved one or caregiver to get updates on the PillDrill user or can be used to get reminders and dose logs when not at home.

The PillDrill Kit is available for $199 at and and is a one-time cost with no monthly fees.

You can learn more about PillDrill on their website or by following PillDrill on Facebook and Twitter.  Head over there and let them know what you think!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Spoonie Momma

This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing something through one of those links does not cost you anything extra, but it does help keep this blog going!  

As a special needs mom with special needs of my own, I'm often asked what my days look like.  So, last Friday, I journaled my whole day to give you a glimpse into my world.

A Day in the Life of a Spoonie Momma

Friday, March 10th.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

How to Inspire Your Kids to Love Reading

How to Inspire Your Kids to Love Reading with Reading Parties!This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my linksThank you for helping me keep this blog going!

I have an addiction, and I'm not planning to quit it.

However, having kids has cut down on the amount of time I have for my addiction.  Chances are, you have the same problem.

I am unashamedly addicted to reading.  I'd love to read all day if I could.

But...I have four kids and an insanely busy schedule so unless you count reading notes sent home from school and recipes off the back of a pasta box, reading is not something I get to do much anymore.

Even though I don't have much time for reading myself right now, I still want to instill a love of reading in my kids.

My mom taught my siblings and me to love reading and one of the ways she did that was with family reading parties.

You read that right.  Reading parties.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Giving Back with Davy's Birthday Blessings

Davy is turning 3 in less than a week.  THREE YEARS OLD.  I'm not sure how that happened, and I may be in denial that my baby is turning THREE.  I should probably start thinking about his birthday party...

Giving Back with Davy's Birthday Blessings

Davy's first year was intense and filled with hospitalizations, doctors' appointments, infections, etc.  During that time and in the years since, our family was blessed in so many ways by family, friends, and complete strangers.  We've received meals during and after Davy's hospitalizations, money to help cover gas and other expenses from his many doctor appointments, visits, phone calls, messages of encouragement, help with household chores, etc.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cherishing the Firsts AND Lasts of Childhood

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my linksThank you for helping me keep this blog going!

As parents, we mark down and celebrate our kids' firsts.  Their first smile, first word, first step, etc.  Some people keep detailed memory books or calendars, others post the latest milestone on Facebook.

But have you ever stopped and thought about your child's lasts?  They usually slip by unnoticed until all of a sudden, you realize that things have changed.

Here are some of my kids' lasts that I wish I known about. Some were welcomed, some were sad:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Few of My Favorite (Tubie) Things! + a Giveaway

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my linksThank you for helping me keep this blog going!

For 16 months of his life, my son Davy had a hole in his tummy.

He got it when he was two months old and was unable to eat enough to grow.  His G Tube was a little button that was inserted into the surgically placed hole or stoma in his precious little tummy.  Eventually, he learned how to eat and when he was 18 months old, we were able to remove his G Tube, leaving a little pucker on his stomach that resembles a second bellybutton.

A few of my favorite tubie things + a giveaway!

During Davy's time as a "tubie," I compiled a list of things that I found especially useful or just really cool and am excited to share them with you.  Please keep in mind that everyone is different and what works for one person, may not work for the next.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Davy's Tube Feeding Story

I used to think that only kids who were terminally ill, disabled, or premature had to have feeding tubes.  I never in a million years thought I would have a child who would need a to be tube fed.

I was so wrong.

Davy's Tube Feeding Story

Friday, January 27, 2017

What It's Like to be a Special Needs Mom With Special Needs

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my linksThank you for helping me keep this blog going!

I have 4 kids. Katie (8 years old) has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, asthma, and a visual tracking disorder.  Nano (6 years old) has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, asthma, and eczema.  Anna (4 years old) has Amblyopia, and Davy (2 years old) has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, asthma, GERD, severe eczema, hypotonia, mild developmental delays, and is a tubie graduate

And then there's me, the source of my kids' bad genes.  I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, GERD, asthma, eczema, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS, unexplained sudden anaphylaxis episodes, and PTSD.  I'm what is referred to as a spoonie.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Join the Free Birds Coffee Club!

My baby sister had a baby last year.  I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around that.  Wasn't  it just yesterday that she was a little 4 year old with a head full of Shirley Temple curls following me around like a cute, but annoying little puppy?

But I digress.

She entered into motherhood with a lot of experience and knowledge under her belt, thanks to watching both me and our older sister have four babies apiece and being the cool babysitting aunt.

Join the Free Birds Coffee Club!

Basically, she's rocking the mommy thing, and I'm kind of amazed at how awesome she is at it.

One of the things she's learned about being a mom is that you will go crazy if you don't take some time to recharge every now and then.  So she decided that once a month, the three of us sisters and our mom will visit a coffee shop together while one of our husbands watches the kids.  Not only is she making sure that she stays sane as a mom, but she's making sure we do too.

Have I mentioned how amazing she is?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How to Share Your Affiliate Links

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Thank you for helping me keep this blog going!

So you signed up to be an affiliate (hopefully with the Sunshine and Spoons affiliate program!) what do you do with that referral link?

Obviously the goal is to share it with people so they'll make purchases and earn a commission for you.  To make that a little bit easier, here are 6 ways for you to share your affiliate link along with 5 affiliate companies I recommend joining.

How to Share Your Affiliate Links

First, the most important thing you need to know about being an affiliate is that you must always disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner that the link you're sharing is an affiliate one.  This post from Tricia Meyer gives an easy-to-understand overview of the FTC's disclosure guidelines.

Basically, if you include affiliate links in a blog post, you have to include a disclosure at the beginning of your post.  See the top of this post for an example of how I disclose.