In the economic downturn we’ve all been feeling in recent years, it’s important to keep a balanced perspective. How do you know when you’re over-extended? Time does it. Time means a change of routine. Time is needed to find the fulfillment and purpose within our lives that we find so worthwhile. It’s time to make decisions with our vision and where our passion is. We will become less stressed, less anxious, and more resilient over time when we find the balance in our lives and start to value our differences. When we start to value our differences, we are free to live a fuller, more meaningful, more rewarding life. That is all a matter of understanding that the amount of time you give to giving, and the amount of time that you get back back, depends on the amount of time you spend prioritizing your priorities over time.
When I first started taking my father’s medication around 1999, I had the OPI positive urine drug test for anti-anxiety medication. My father was dying and my job at P&G required me to take my medication to calm my nerves. During that same period of time, I traveled weekly to Mexico to take care of my five siblings. I ended up on medications that were not controlled by the U.S. prescription process because my father had moved to Mexico and there were few doctors or pharmacies who could prescribe those medications to my father and my siblings. From my high school and college days I knew what it was like not to have control over my medications and I know that a lot of other people my age did not know what they were taking, because they didn’t know their medications contained those ingredients. Since there is no specific test for mental health conditions, patients with underlying mental illnesses, along with substance abuse, have to come to their own understanding on how to manage their medications with the doctors and pharmacists they trust. This takes time because it is often extremely frustrating to learn how to take medicine that is not controlled by the U.S. regulatory process. This is especially true when your physician has prescribed only one drug and then the pharmacy fills out the paperwork for you and you get back one medication that contains two ingredients. This is not supported by the U.S. Pharmacopeia, the organization that oversees pharmaceutical composition of medicine. Your doctor will probably never know about your incidences of confusion over what is listed in the bottle.
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There are 15,000 medications currently on the market approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Approximately half of them contain the active ingredient zolpidem. Most people and most adults will get some sort of overdose from taking too much of the active ingredient. Around 20% of older adults in the U.S. will experience an unintentional overdose of the active ingredient zolpidem. This means that one out of every 5,000 patients will have a fatal overdose of zolpidem from using the drug. Most of the fatalities occur when older patients forget to stop taking the medicine and take too much without warning. Zolpidem is most commonly used to treat insomnia and can be taken three hours after sleeping. While most drugs are safe for older adults, zolpidem should be avoided in those who have impaired brain function or agitation. It is important to take your medication with someone you trust and to pay attention to signs of confusion or agitation in yourself or someone you care about. Research has shown that people who use sleeping pills often have altered levels of happiness and sense of well-being, making it important to talk to your physician before you start using sleeping pills to ensure that you get a proper prescription.
With this in mind, P&G asked myself and other notable honorees at this year’s Time 100, “Where is the most direct impact you can have on society today?” I firmly believe that my work with Pampers diapers is the most direct impact I can have on society today. I have the opportunity every day to positively impact the thousands of children who use our products. The journey with Pampers has been good for my career and my family, and I have made a life decision that I am always proud of. Regardless of what work we all do, time is our ultimate authority in life and it plays a crucial role in changing your future. As all the Time 100 honorees say, “By thinking better, you will work better.”
Nancy Rosado-Santiago is the Family Care Specialist for Pampers at P&G.