Hate taking pills?
You’re not alone. None of us likes to think of our body as less than perfect, and unfortunately, the older we get, the less perfect it is. At some point in our lives, most of us will face the fact that we need a little help if we want to hang around awhile.
I’m not talking about tossing down an aspirin or Tylenol once in a while for a headache or sore toe, or maybe a few of the big boys after major dental work or open heart surgery. It’s the every day, maybe several times a day, for the foreseeable future pill popping that’s the most irritating, and the type that everybody in their 30’s and 40’s claims they are never going to succumb to.
About ten years ago, I could answer the question “What drugs are you taking?” pretty easily. In fact, the nurse used to look up and say, “Is that all?” Well, no more. The vials in my bathroom are now lined up like a platoon of those Chinese terra cotta warriors all around my sink.
Let’s say your doctor has given you the good news (you’re alive) and the bad news (it’s questionable how long). And say you’ve finally gotten to a grudging acceptance. You fill the prescription, only to have a new host of problems arise. Your bottle might have a little label that says “take with food. Pretty easy. However, what if your doctor adds yet another drug for that or another condition. Which, of course, says, “take on an empty stomach,” so taking them together is not an option. And that’s if you only have to take one pill a day. But what if one is once, but the other is twice of three times? It’s easy to see that as things add up, you’re going to have a scheduling issue similar to Amtrak.
Fear not. Medical science is wonderful. Even now, they are trying to come up with ways of reminding you about your meds so that you won’t have to worry. The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about some of these developments. One company is considering putting what is known as a “GlowCap” on top of your prescription bottles equipped with a wireless transmitter that plugs into the wall and which “emits a pulsing orange light” when it’s time to take your pill. “After an hour,” the Journal article goes on, “the gadget starts beeping every five minutes, in arpeggios that become more complicated and insistent. After that, the device can set off an automated telephone or text message reminder to patients who fail to take their pills.”
OMG! as they say. And what if when, as has been known to happen, I completely forget the entire morning array? I can see my bathroom looking like a “Q” performance of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. And if I happen to be a complete no-show there (i.e. I’m off running errands), Verizon would be absolutely delighted to put through those calls and texts on my cell phone. At an additional charge, if I go over my allotment of minutes that month. There are other options, too, including a micro-chip that you swallow and which alerts you to a missed dose, an iPhone app, or even a personal call from your pharmacy if you haven’t renewed your prescription lately, asking if you need more information.
A brave new world, indeed. Best option? Stay as healthy as possible. And invest in pharmaceuticals.