Taking pills 10 times a day, literally

I wrote once about how much time I spend on health stuff. I wrote about lawyers and insurance and doctors… those are the things that you’d expect to be both time consuming and mentally consuming. As I was trying to work out a new pill schedule the other day, it occurred to me that most people probably have no idea just how time consuming, not to mention mentally consuming, it can be to take pills!

A “healthy” person might not take any pills. Or they swallow an occasional multivitamin or birth control pill. I’ve been trying to remember when I last had a day without pills and my guess is that it was probably around 1996 or so. Then for years my pills were simple: a birth control pill, then a BCP and a thyroid pill, then a BCP and the thyroid one and a multivitamin…. and then it got worse.

I miss the days of simply taking a pill or two with meals. Now, everything has to be timed out so carefully. There are the pills that must be taken with food. There are the pills that must be taken away from food. There are pills that must be taken away from each other. There are pills that need to be taken at specific times of day.

Oh, and when I say “pills,” that includes liquid meds as well.

It’s taken a lot of mental energy and help from my naturopath, but I finally have a working schedule (until the next addition or subtraction, that is):

  • 8am: thyroid pill – 1 pill
  • 8:30: adrenal support, dhea – 5 pills
  • after breakfast: a whole bunch – 9 pills and 8 sets of drops, and a cream
  • 2 hours after breakfast: fiber – 2 pills
  • after lunch: another bunch – 5 pills and 7 sets of drops
  • 2pm: adrenal support, dhea, calcium – 4 pills
  • 4pm: fiber – 2 pills
  • before dinner: calcium – 1 pill
  • after dinner: another bunch – 7 pills and 8 sets of drops
  • 9pm: bedtime stuff – 4 pills

Wow, this looks even worse written out than it did in my head. Actually, the original title for this post had “9 times a day” written, because that’s how I’d counted it. Then as I wrote it out, I realized I’d missed one. It’s a lot to keep track of. The thyroid pill has to be an hour before meals. The adrenal support has to be 15 minutes before eating and at specific times of day. The fiber has to be 2 hours after and 1/2 hour before eating. Some of the mealtime pills are taken then because they have to be taken with food. The multivitamin has extra iron, and the iron and calcium have to be taken at least 1/2 hour apart. In fact, I should be taking calcium 3 times per day but I’m only taking it 2 times per day because I can’t figure out where else to squeeze it in! The drops don’t have to be taken at specific times, but they’re hard to carry around, so I need to take them at home. That means that sometimes I only take them 2 times per day, but that’s ok, as long as I at least take the drops for vitamin D. Some of the pills, though, can’t be missed. Like, they really, seriously, can’t be missed. Like, if it’s really late and I don’t want to deal with driving and so my parents say I can just stay the night, I can’t. Because I have to get home. I have to get home to where the pills are. Because I really can’t skip those morning pills, or even take them late. Some don’t seem too important, but they are. I tried cutting the fiber back to 2 times per day instead of 3 and the effects were horrendous. I’m not about to try that again any time soon!

So you may be wondering what my point is? I have three points:

  1. For those who are in a similar situation, you’re not alone. I get it. Lots of us get it.
  2. For those who complain when they have to take a single pill for a cold, or even for something daily, tell it to someone else. I don’t want to listen.
  3. If you think that by not working I just sit around all day and have fun, and you haven’t figured out yet that that’s not how it works, just imagine trying to keep track of all of this. Imagine how long it takes me to fill my pill boxes each week. And since the drops can’t be prepared in batch in advance, I have to deal with those three times, every single day. Trust me, it would be easier to work a job.

And on that note, I’m off to get some sleep. I hope. Because there’s no more sleeping in for me – I have to be up early to take those pills!

4 Responses to Taking pills 10 times a day, literally

  1. I can relate. I don’t take as many pills, but I need a pill box and reminders set in my phone to keep track of when to take things. It’s not good to be out of the house without my anxiety meds and anxiety sets in. People think it’s nice not to work. Well, maybe if I was healthy. The reason I’m not working is because I can’t, and I’d much rather be healthy and working than sick. Taking a handful of meds is just no fun and not remembering if you take your sleeping pill until you realize it’s 3:00 in the morning is a disaster.

    • chronicrants says:

      I tell people the same thing – I would definitely rather be healthy and working! And what would we do without pill boxes and phone reminders? It’s the only way I can manage to keep track. Good luck remembering those sleeping pills! Maybe leave them on your pillow so you can’t possibly miss them?

  2. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  3. Raymond says:

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