About Those Little Pills

20171107_215814.jpgFew things make me feel older than this pill contraption thingy. I mean…look at it! It’s about the size of a small laptop! I used to have a pill box that would fit in the palm of my hand. But that was before…

I’ve been on medication for quite a few years, mostly due to the whole kidney situation. Polycystic Kidney Disease causes high blood pressure (BP). High BP causes further damage to the kidneys. So BP meds are a given for anyone with PKD. I take three per day. Then, because my liver is so large and takes up so much room in my torso, acid reflux is something else I take meds for – twice daily.  Then there’s that pesky thyroid that doesn’t act as it should and a few other things that need medication.

With the progression of my kidney disease and several doctor visits, I’ve had a few medication adjustments over the past few months. Some pills were cut to half the dose, then back to the original dose so I had to take two half pills until they were used up. Some meds were exchanged for a new one and then there was a another one or two added. Some pills are taken twice a day, some only at night, some with food and one that can’t be taken within 4 hours of some of the other pills. Then there’s the fact that several of them are the same shape, although not the same size. And they are all the same colour – white. No pretty pink or little blue pills for me.

And let’s not forget about the bottles. Some pill bottles got put away once I refilled my palm-sized pill keeper for the week. Others sat on top of the fridge or on the table – all as reminders and within easy reach. Of course, there’s also my hubby.
“Did you take your pills?”
Me, angrily, “Yes!” or “Oh shit, I forgot!” Thanks, Babe. Needless to say, it’s been hard to keep up and keep everything straight.

Now, with all this pill-taking, there is a lot of water-drinking. I am s’posed to drink about 3-4 litres of water per day anyway. No kidding! How many of you even drink 2 litres? Water makes your body function better. Drinking water is probably the best detox method you can do. Feeling bloated? Drink more water. Feeling tired? Drink more water. Got a headache? You got it. Drink more water. In my case, it is also s’posed to decrease leg cramps and the occasional dreaded (insert swear words here) charlie horse. Water is actually my preferred beverage of choice. We even just bought a water dispenser so I have refreshing cold water or hot water for tea readily available to help entice more water intake. I don’t always (in fact, hardly ever) make the 4 litre mark, but I try. Of course, with drinking there’s peeing. I get up to go to the bathroom once or twice a night whether I drink water or not. This is due to my kidneys. And once I’m up, before I head back to bed, I have another sip of cold water.

So, one night a few weeks ago I got up to go to the bathroom as usual. Except this time I felt…”funny”. Couldn’t quite describe it. My heart was a little fluttery, I was a little dizzy. Nothing major. Just odd. I made my trip to the bathroom, had a sip of water and headed back to bed to try and calm down a bit and get back to sleep.

The next morning I got up and made my way downstairs. The first thing I do every morning is get a large glass of water and take my pills. But when I went to take them, that slot was empty. Ah…that’s why I felt the way I did last night.

I called my pharmacist and said something like, “I f#&@ed up” with a sort of embarrassed giggle. He laughed and said something like, “Tell me what you did and we’ll get you fixed up”. He told me to take “this” pill, but don’t take “those” and then continue as usual. Whew!

All this, of course, made me rethink how I was divying up and keeping track of my meds. Hence, the new pill thingy. You’ll also notice in the photo I’ve labelled the top of the bottles too. “B” for Breakfast-time, “S” for Suppertime and “N” for Nighttime. Much easier, and no mixups…so far. Hopefully I can keep it that way. Now I’ll leave you to go get another tall glass of water.

Did you know that there are tons of apps available on your phone that can keep track of your water intake and medications? You can even download ones that have an alarm to remind you. If you need such assistance, go ahead and try one or more and let me know which ones you like best.

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