Thinking Outside the Box…….

Those of my readers who are enjoying the “golden years” with me will certainly be able to identify with this particular weekly ritual that tests the limits of my somewhat well-used memory.

I’m talking about that time of the week when I have to refill my pill reminder box. Prescription medicines, vitamins and supplements abound. Forget the  Rubik’s Cubes. Forget the New York Times crosswords puzzles. This is the most daunting memory challenge I will face each week.

Perhaps it would be best if I let you inside my head for a moment as I take on this intimidating rite.

Here we go.


“OK, let’s see, I know that I have six pills to take in morning and seven pills for the evening ….wait… or is it seven morning and six evening?  Hmmmm.  Maybe if I start filling the morning cells it will come to me. Now which one did the doctor say would be more therapeutic to take in the morning? Oh yes, that little white one. That’s right and all the clear ones I take in the morning too. Except that one that works better taken in the evening, I think.”

“Now all the bigger ones I take only in the evening, not counting the one that I have to take both morning and night.  Oh yeah, don’t forget the brown one that absolutely must be taken in the evening to be effective. And remember not to drink grape juice for twelve hours after taking it.”

“The one that I take three times a day I’ll just have to put in a separate bottle by the pill-box and hope I remember. Thank goodness I only have to take that for five weeks….or is it six?”

“As I recall, I should not put the daily aspirin in with the green pill because it will offset the effect of that pill. Which reminds me, the two oblong pills need to be taken at separate times or they could damage my kidneys. Darn, just thought, I forgot to make an appointment for that blood test to see if the pink one is affecting my liver. Now which one is that pill that helps me remember to fill the pill box?……oh, here it is.”

“Good, almost done. I’ll just open this morning’s cell and turn it over to dispense the pills …….damn! Forgot to snap the other cells shut!”

“Honey, I’m going to be running late for our walk this morning, go ahead I’ll catch up.”

21 thoughts on “Thinking Outside the Box…….

  1. Not too long ago I looked at the pills left for evening and realized one of the morning pills was still there, and one of the evening pills was missing. Even if they go in right, one still must PAY ATTENTION!

    • This is the issue that tips the scales from independence to dependence, especially for the aging and those with cognitive issues, One of my sisters has inoperable brain cancer. She’s still able to live alone and so far has been able to manage her pills, but nearby family and a part-time care giver have to be extra-vigilant to watch if she’s taking the pills properly so they can catch her when the moment comes when she can’t.

      She’s only just turned 50 but that moment will tragically, inevitably come.

      • I’m sorry to hear this about your sister. We take a lot of things for granted when it comes to our health. This is certainly a wake-up call to make the most of every moment. Hugs.

      • Absolutely correct, Peg. Before we lost my brother to early onset Alzheimer’s, we had a service come in to set up his pills for the week and then check twice a day to be sure they were taken. I hurt for you and your sister and want you to know I will be thinking about you both.

    • Yes, and even though the cells are clearly marked AM and PM, I still occasionally take from the wrong one. They haven’t invented the idiot proof pill dispenser yet. I’m the poster boy for that.

  2. Don’t forget to take your memory pills. I actually only take 3 prescriptions too, and only sometimes take 4 supplements, unless I decide not to, or have run out, or don’t have any apple sauce to take with them (they’re so YUGE). Sometimes don’t even take the prescriptions. The only one for sure, is evening…for SLEEP!

  3. Sounds like my husband’s arsenal. They keep creeping onto the dining room table and I push them off to the side, crying, “we’re not OLD enough to resort to decorating the place in Early Pharmacy!”

    So far I take one vitamin, which I keep forgetting to take. I dumped them in a pretty vase and put in on the bathroom counter to remind myself in the morning.

    • Sounds like you are doing pretty well, Peg. I actually only take three prescriptions, but a lot of supplements. Guess all those people were right when they said “he’s a real pill.” If they ever stop making this stuff, I’ll melt like the wicked witch of the north!

  4. “One pill makes you bigger, One pill makes you small. And the pills your Mother gives you don’t do anything at all….”
    Some of my family get their medications blister packed at their pharmacy – no more guess work at all!

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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