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.
I am a freelance writer and photographer and retired journalism professor. In my first newspaper job more than 50 years ago I wrote a sports column titled The Spectator (Caslon typeface). I thought I'd resurrect the title, which was and is in honor of Addison and Steele.
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