Sunday, July 14, 2013

I Sigh With a Little Help From My Friends

Let's talk about drugs. The care and dosing of, specifically. Some people go to extremes. I'm sure you have already guessed that Val is the voice of reason. I swear, you must have some kind of psychic powers. It's the people around Val who don't know what they're doing, of course.

Hick is a bit lackadaisical in the drug dosage department. Just this week, his doctor called him out on some lab results. "Oh. That one. I take it. But I don't take it every time. Oh. The insurance says I haven't filled it in three months? Well. I still have some left." Yeah. The doctor wasn't buyin' Hick's excuses. He doesn't realize that Hick is one of those corner-cutters. A person who is not precise on certain things, but overly precise on others.

Take cough medicine, for example. The last time Hick was very sick and missed work and had some prescription cough medicine, he took it around the clock. "It says, 'Take every 4-6 hours.' So I take it every four hours. It says so. On the label. The doctor must want me to sleep, because it knocks me out. Am I coughing? No. I'm asleep. Because I take my medicine like it says."

Hick did not want to hear about the "as needed" part of the label. He was sure he was supposed to take it on schedule, 24/7, until it was gone. Unlike antibiotics, which he only takes until he feels better. Even though the label says to take them on schedule until gone. But getting back to that cough medicine...for one so strict on the dosage administration, Hick was a bit careless in the measuring department. Forget that little plastic cup the pharmacy puts in. The label said "teaspoons". So Hick was sure he had to take that medicine with a spoon. To Hick, any spoon is a teaspoon. Any spoon except a measuring teaspoon in the kitchen. It could be a silverware spoon from various sets, a serving spoon, a baby food spoon, or perhaps a big wooden decorative spoon off a kitchen wall-hanging arrangement. It's a spoon, by cracky! And the instructions said to use a spoon.

We have a veritable home pharmacy above the stove. Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen. You got a headache? We've got the remedy. Here's the problem with our over-the-counter, over-the-oven stash: the lids. Hick thinks the lids should be spun away from that line-up arrow thingy. Like the medicine will fall out of the bottle all willy-nilly, because that lid won't stay on. Either that, or he expects a roving band of headachy toddlers to invade our kitchen with the sole purpose of prying open medicine caps that are not set in the childproof mode. I don't know how many times I've gone to pop out a pill and ripped half the fingerprint off my thumb because the arrows were not lined up like I left them. I can't count them on two hands, because my fingers are too sore for counting, what with their ripped-off fingerprints.

My mom errs more on the side of caution. A while back, I had given her a couple of acetaminophen, and a couple of ibuprofen. That's because The Pony takes one kind for a headache, and Genius takes the other. Every now and then their noggin commences to throbbin' while they're soaking up Grandma's high-speed internet, and she had asked me for something to keep on hand. She's not one to pop pills, my mom.

So a month or two ago, Mom stuffed a Walmart sack with plastic containers that I had given her leftovers in, and some snacks for the boys, and those old pills. "I'm giving these back to you because I've had them for quite a while, and I'm pretty sure they're expired now." You know. Because she couldn't simply throw them away, or bury them in the backyard, or seal them hermetically in a jar with a Mr. Yuk sticker on the front. She had to return them to me.

Somewhere, there's got to be a happy medium between these extreme pharmaceutical habits.


  1. I think you need to take on the role as "nurse" with Hick to make sure he takes his antibiotics. Get the pill out of its bottle, put one at the back of his throat, close his mouth and tilt his chin up as you massage his throat.

  2. You must have taken a "Funny Pill" for this post!


    And when I say LOL, I mean you made me laugh out loud!
    I do not use LOL lightly.

  3. Glad to hear those roving bands of headachy toddlers are safe!

  4. Extremists are the ones who go out on both ends of the see-saw so I can stay balanced on my little spot in the middle. Keeps things comfortable for me while they take all the risks. I take all my prescriptions, but with a grain of salt.

  5. Sioux,
    Well, I'm willing to give that a try if it will keep his nose moist and his coat glossy.

    I assure you, Sir, that I am was not under the influence of funny pills, sweet, sweet Histinex, alcohol, or New Jersey dirty water when I wrote it.

    Yes, we all know there's nothing worse than roving bands of headachy toddlers on the prowl for some over-the-counter meds. Unless it's teachers running to the workroom because they detected a whiff of sugar on the breeze.

    You might want to cut back on that salt grain unless you wish to dance with hypertension.

  6. Mrs. Chatterbox is our family pharmacist. I take whatever pills she tels me to take. I guess it would be easy for her to bump me off.

  7. Stephen,
    Well, thank goodness she uses her powers for good instead of evil!