The Pill Girl

Nothing like open heart surgery to increase your daily intake of pills. Before I had surgery (on Halloween, no less), I was taking six pills a day, of which two were prescription drugs and the rest over the counter.

Now I take at least 15 pills a day, spread over four time slots—breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. And I’m not counting the pain pill I take occasionally or the two Tylenol I took the other day to clear up a massive headache, which I now think was a cold. (It’s gone and I’m feeling much better.)

My real point in writing this is not to whine. I am grateful to be alive.
I am more grateful to my wife, Paulette, who continues to be my No. 1 nurse, although she’s been replaced (by me) as my chauffeur.

It is Paulette who oversees the pills, making sure that my pillboxes are filled correctly and reminding me to take the pills. She usually puts the appropriate pillbox next to my plate when I sit down to eat.

Frankly, I’m not sure which pill does what, but Paulette knows. In fact, when any one of my doctors asked me about pills, I point to Paulette and she answers the question. She knows the dosage and frequency much better than I.

We’ve started to give the pills names. For example, there are the P pills. I take a pill twice a day to make me pee a lot to get rid of excess fluid. When you pee, you lose potassium and so along with the pee pill, I take a potassium pill. We call those two the P bills.

We celebrated the other day when my cardiologist reduced the frequency of one of my pills. At some point, I should be back to my normal six and my pill girl can retire.


  1. We can empathize with you on the pill situation. Bill has 8 doctors (for different parts of the body..every one is a specialist..sure miss old Doc Baily!) and a pill count even higher than that. I am the pill keeper and dispenser, too. But we're still here unlike many of our old friends.

  2. Thanks, Joan. I guess there is an upside to taking a lot of pills and seeing a lot of doctors. Good thing we're retired and have the time.