Monday 10 June 2019

I'm Sorry Mum

Thirty years ago [when she was the age I am now] we used to tease my Mum about her medication. She had very poor health and was on about 5 different tablets, taking between 1 and 4of each one every day. Back then they were all in separate bottles, I don't recall any blister packs. Sometimes at the end of the meal, she'd empty bottles out onto the tablecloth and count them, just in case she'd forgotten to take any. This was a regular ritual and it caused much amusement, especially if someone interrupted her counting and it began all over again.
I'm sorry Mum - because in this past week I have finally understood that medicine can be extremely complicated. 
I've taken a statin tablet every night at bedtime for years. That's OK I am used to that. My GP has just altered my Vitamin D from large pill twice weekly to small pill every day. And then I had a four times daily antibiotic for the week, which has cleared up the insect bite problem.
It is so complicated! The packet from the Vitamin D ones advises "take once daily, with food for maximum absorption" The GP said it was good to make a habit of taking the daily statin at bedtime. The antibiotics pack says "one hour before, or two hours after eating"
That is all a bit much for someone just emerging from Fatigue Syndrome Brain Fog. I've just about managed to remember "Vitamin at breakfast, Statin at bedtime" but I confess my daily antibiotic intake has often only been 75% successful.
I know you can get little cases with sections for daily pills at different times and you can preload them. I am not ready for that yet [tomorrow I'll be back to 2 pills a day] I have the greatest admiration for people like my cousin. She keeps her Mum's tablets and makes regular visits to dispense them as my Aunt gets confused.
My "Zero-Waste" self laments the arrival of single use blister packs and tamperproof sealed plastic packaging - we used to manage with a glass bottle, and it's little cotton wool plug under the cap. My other self recognises sadly the need for security, and acknowledges gratefully the days of the week printed on the foil as an aide memoire.
Mum, I was wrong to tease you. Illness, incapacity and old age are not laughing matters.
My two phrases for this week
Thank the Lord for the NHS and
Keep taking the tablets! 


  1. It seems a very long time since the glass bottle era. I've had to succumb to preloading one box for morning and one for evening and I'd like to add "thank the Lord for seven day tablet boxes". My brain couldn't cope otherwise!

  2. Yes, I have 'the night box' and 'the morning box' on my chest of drawers, with all the spare packets in the top drawer. I must admit arranging all the little boxes and making them fit is a challenge when we do a pharmacy run.
    It's the lunchtime pill I have difficulty in remembering as each day runs to a different schedule!

  3. I am dependant on Thyroxine as I do not have a thyroid, but it is my only tablet thank goodness - my problem is it is a different dose on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Tuesday, Thursday and the weekend - so I really have to remember what day it is, not so easy now I am not working!!

  4. I have one pill daily plus a magnesium, stored in a day to day plastic thing as above. Every night at 9pm, the alarm goes to take them. Every night I look at them, trying to remember what day it is:(

  5. I preload 7 little boxes for my husband's meds. They are in a neat little case ,so easy to use. I label each one with the day and then , hopefully, I won't forget anything....

  6. Thankfully, I only have to take my two Thyroxine pills each morning (maybe a tummy tablet if my colitis flares but thankfully, symptoms have abated for a while) but post-hysterectomy, my bathroom cabinet was full of prescribed meds.I was popping pills like Smarties!!Hopefully, I never have to go back to that.The other month, I had to practically beg my doc for more antibiotics for a UTI which stubbornly hung around. Apparently, you can now go to the pharmacy and get treated for things like that. Hands off our NHS, Mr. Trump!

  7. I had to smile when I read this. I won't tell you how many tablets I take, each day. Some in the morning, some in the evening, some at night. Most, I take one a day; one, I have to take twice a day. Another, I have to take 3 tablets, but, they may all be taken at the same time. They come in individual bottles and I keep them in their bottles. I keep all the prescriptions in my purse - that way, if anything happens to me while I am out and about, and unable to answer questions, all my medications and dosages are there for any medical personnel who might attend to me. Also, if there is an earthquake, the medications will be with me, as long as I have the purse near me and can grab it.

  8. I've got one of those boxes, we got it for Colin but he was always able to sort his own tablets right up to the end. I thought about taking it to a charity shop but decided to keep it Just In Case

  9. I always wonder how well those seven-day boxes work if you forget what day it is!

  10. I'm lucky in that I take two BP pills + a water pill in the morning - take a daily antibiotic (for a skin condition) plus my Vitamin D in the evening with food.
    And yes, I too used to make fun of my dad & stepmom (but to be fair they had a salad bowl full and did finally give in and use the boxes with days marked).


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!