I’ve got to admit it: I HATE filling my pill minders each week.

The reasons for this are many, not the least of which is being reminded that I take enough meds to need the damned things in the first place. Then of course I had to buy color-coded boxes for the day and evening pills, because I got the clear ones confused a couple of times and took the nighttime meds in the morning. Ever fall asleep on the john? It’s happened to me.

But the main reason I hate this weekly chore is that it’s simply a time-consuming pain in the ass. Eleven prescriptions plus three over-the-counter supplements equal a lot of labels that need to be read with squinty eyes (why can’t they make these things in large print?!) and adult-proof bottles to be opened. Then, because I’m an anal-retentive nurse who doesn’t handle meds with her fingers, I pour them out into the caps one at a time…..which is quite a trick when they all decided to come rushing out in a flood.

Sometimes, of course, I end up having to touch the pills anyway, which means I also have to remind myself that it’s really OK since I’m not giving them to somebody else. But I’ve been known to swear horribly when they fall on the floor, because in my house, there IS no five-second rule. If it hits the floor, it goes in the trash. No exceptions. Except….

Actually, there are two specific meds that I will pick up and (ugh) use no matter where they land (well, other than the toilet). One is Geodon, which as I think I’ve mentioned before is a little less than $5 per capsule, and the other is Celexa….or rather, the half-dose of Celexa that I’m allowed. It’s cheap, but my doctor watches me like a hawk with that one because the standard dose once caused a wee bit of mania. Once. So he continues to let me have my baby dose, but doles it out to me in 30-day allotments, and I have to cut the tablets in half.

This has caused more consternation than any other aspect of my regimen. First of all, the tablets are tiny and oval-shaped, which makes dividing them evenly with the pill-cutter next to impossible. The generic Celexa also has this slick outer coating whose only function I can figure out is to assist in launching the tablet OUT of the pill-cutter at warp speed, whereupon I clutch frantically at the air trying to catch it before it goes into the bowl or disappears behind the vanity.

One time a few months ago I had the bad luck to knock over the uncapped bottle, and those slippery little suckers went EVERYWHERE. Not only did I have to overcome the “yuck” factor in retrieving them, wiping them off, and putting them back in the bottle, I now had to fish several out from under the sink and decide what to do with them.

My nurses’ training directed me to flush ‘em immediately, but my practical side knew I’d have some ‘splaining to do to get another refill, and I really didn’t want to do that. As it happened, I picked up one tablet that had somehow miraculously landed in my slipper, and it broke in half as I was dusting it off.


So I took another tab, did the same thing on purpose this time, got the same result. A third pill handled in this fashion also broke neatly in half.

And my first thought was, You mean to tell me I’ve been sweating over these @#*& things for the past year and I could’ve been doing it the easy way this whole time!? ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!

That realization caused a blue streak to issue from the bathroom that was so epic in scale that my husband hollered through the door to ask me if I was hurt. I hesitated before answering him; how do you tell your mate of 33 years that you’re a total ding-dong who can’t figure out how to divide a simple tablet?

“Only my pride,” I said. And we shall leave it at that.

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

3 thoughts on “@#*&%!!

  1. You crack me up, Marla. I, too, hate filling my weekly pill container. I put down a clean towel on the bed and commence to fill the thing. I have 8 or 9 pills but thankfully I don’t have to cut any. I am a chronic insomniac and take Ambien CR. I make sure I put Ambian in my pill box last and it gives me a sense of accomplishment that I am done for another week. I rarely drop anything on the floor but if I do, I use it anyway. Dirt or dust on my floor is mine so if any ends up on the pill, I use it anyway. Of course, if I lived as a bpnurse, I would have to change my ways.


    1. Yeah, it’s that nursing-school thing. And my grandmother was a nurse during World War I, and she drilled it into me long before I ever even THOUGHT about nursing school. I still get the shivers whenever I have to pick up a pill off the floor……ewwww


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