When my parents were in their last years, and I’d visit them in Arizona, I was appalled by how many pills they were taking. And this is before they were actually ill.
I remember making up little schedules for them, so that they would be sure to take the right pill in the right quantity at the right time.
Now I’m doing that for myself.
It all revolves around the ultra-expensive anti-seizure drug, nimodipine, which I have to take every four hours day and night through the full 21 days post-surgery. This is the risk period for vaso-spasms, the small vascular spasms that can lead to a stroke. The take-home portion of this drug alone put almost $1,900 on my insurance.
Just as important right now, though, are the pain meds. Percocet every four hours. And Valium every eight hours, as needed. Plus gabapentin, for muscle pain, as needed.
Then there’s bisacodyl and docusate for constipation, fludrocortisone to keep my blood pressure down (it’s fine, but they want to keep it there), ondansetron for nausea, and pravastatin to prevent any elevation in cholesterol. And meloxicam, an anti-inflammatory, for the lower back, plus my herbs that I use while I’m tapering off hormone replacement therapy.
All of them. Various times a day.
Normally I’d be screaming about even having to take one prescription medicine. But right now I’m pretty docile; I take all my pills like a good girl.
Tom made a schedule for me, of course, when I got home. However, I insisted on redoing it in a way that I understood, so that I could take control of it.
Trying to exert a little independence, in the midst of being helpless about so many things.
Today’s penny is a 1996, when I was in Arizona for my mother’s first colon cancer surgery.