Compliance Is Not As Automatic As We Think

by Judy G.

When I started Dr. Gonzalez's program â�� 15 days on pills, 5 days off â�� I calculated that he did the hard part: adjust his program to my body, while I did the easy part: follow the schedule. I misjudged “easy!”

My first six months on the program, I was constantly chasing the clock. Every scheduled pill time was a surprise to me � Oh my, its already ten minutes to � Darn, I'm 10 minutes late! During the next 6 months, a routine emerged. Occasionally time slipped by: when I checked the clock, I had 30 minutes before pill time; the next time I looked an hour had passed. I decided to wear an alarm wristwatch. At first it worked. But sometimes I'd tell myself I could finish what I was in the middle of � and that delay would make me late taking pills! There were times when I slept through the 3 a.m. dose. I got a snooze alarm. Sometimes it went off 3 times before I woke up enough to take them. My husband wasn't too thrilled about that! Once or twice, at the end of a 15 day period, I was surprised to find 4 packets of dinner pills and 5 packets of night pills left over. Without realizing it, my alterations to the program had increased.

Dr. Gonzalez routinely asked me to evaluate my compliance with the program. I thought that I was sticking to it about 85% of the time. Did I skip doses daily? weekly? I was mostly late, I thought. Sometimes a few skips. I really wasn't sure. It seemed like sometimes, but in truth, I didn't know.

Eighteen months into the program, I decided to find out exactly how compliant I was. I made a chart to record all my prescribed activities: meal pills, away-from-meal pills, carrot juice, veggies, fruits, bath, brushing � everything! I checked the box if I did it and left a blank space if I did not do it � every day for 15 days. How revealing! How embarrassing! How horrifying to see so many blank spaces!

Because I was in the habit of altering the program, I had to make a conscious effort to break that habit. By the third 15 days, the chart showed me I was truly following the program â�� very few blanks! I had become compliant and was proud of it! By using the chart, I noticed: 1) I could not run all my errands in one day and take my enema before 5 p.m. 2) I could not take my 7 a.m. dose at 8:15 a.m. and “catch up.” I'd be hungry just when I was supposed to take my pills! 3) When I took pills on time, the day had an easy rhythm and one activity flowed easily into the next. 4) Recording became a reminder. For example, I couldn't eat 3 vegetable servings because I didn't buy enough vegetables! When I forgot to take my almonds â�� the chart alerted me. 5) My heightened awareness from using the chart was a better reminder for me than an alarm.

When I do not use the chart, after awhile due to everyday distractions, I alter the program schedule. Now, as soon as I recognize this old habit creeping in, that same day I bring back the chart so I can immediately help myself get back on track. The chart has a steadying effect on me.

The benefit of the chart is I can quickly see how well I'm following the program. However, the real benefit for me is that as soon as I was in compliance, my health immediately improved. Also, I actually experienced changes in my body, mind and spirit! Physically, I am less tired; mentally, good ideas keep coming to me; and spiritually, I now see positive aspects in daily situations. I also feel less anxious. These personal outcomes show me that Dr. Gonzalez has successfully adjusted the program to my body's needs. All I need to do is keep doing the “easy” part!

Addendum: one of our patients reported a vibrating timer helped him remember his supplement doses.

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