This is my routine every Tuesday morning, I take an hour to organize my pills. OK, it doesn't take that long, it just feels that way. And when I started on this cancer journey, it probably did take a full hour to get a handle on all these pills. Now, I actually know what they are for (pretty much).
I have two pill organizers on the go. One is a seven-day organizer for the pills I take before getting out of bed. These include Dilaudid, both the long-acting and the fast-acting, to ease the pain of having been still, asleep for eight hours. You wouldn't believe how long it can take me to get my hands and knees working. I also take a Lyrica pill, the first of three I take during the day. The last "first thing" pill is Prevacid, an anti-acid pill to be taken a half hour before eating. There's not much more I could fit in this little container.
The second pill organizer has a pull-out section for each day and four compartments, for morning, noon, evening and bedtime. In the morning, I take a water pill for my still swollen feet. By the way, I can usually get into three or four pairs of my shoes now. I take some Vitamin D for my bones, which need all the help they can get. Then there is the first of four Naprosyn (Aleve) pills for the day. They help quite a bit with the pain from my spinal fractures. I also take one Maxerand, also for my stomach. I should take it a little before I eat, but that never quite works out. What else? Oh, for my chemo day and the following day, I take a Zofran in the morning. It helps to prevent chemo-related stomach trouble, but is terribly constipating. I recently stopped taking Metoprolol in the mornings. I was given it in the fall when my blood pressure was high, back when I was in the hospital. My blood pressure seems to have returned to it's normal low, so I was able to stop that pill.
My afternoon pills used to be lighter. The second Lyrica comes at two o'clock. But now I'm taking a Naprosyn with lunch. And, because of the constipating effects of the Dilaudid and Zofran, I take two stool softener and one senna laxative. Everyday. I don't like taking these pills everyday, but I have to admit that my body just doesn't function properly on its own anymore. This is one of the things you don't realize about cancer, and it probably happens with other chronic, life-threatening diseases: half the pills you take are to deal with the side effects of the other pills you take. Argh.
At suppertime, there is another Naprosyn, plus the long-acting Dilaudid.
Finally at bedtime, another Naprosyn (with a snack to protect my tummy), another Lyrica, and an Ativan to help me sleep. When I first started treatment, the steroids they were giving me were causing me to wake up every hour or so through the night. While I'm off them, I now have trouble falling asleep without the Ativan. That was never a problem before I got sick.
In addition to these, I take a Tums morning and evening as a calcium supplement. And I take the fast-acting Dilaudid as necessary during the day for pain. The dose I now take doesn't seem to affect me, beyond handling the pain. Nevertheless, I don't take the full dose if I'll be driving, just in case I might get a little loopy.
So that's my pill regimen these days. At first, I needed a complex spreadsheet to sort it out. Now, sadly, it's easy for me.
You know, they tell you to drink a lot of water when you're in chemo. You pretty much have to, with all the pills to take!
P.S. Sweetie, if I suddenly get sick, you can use this blog post to make up my pills for me. Oh, I forgot that I've started talking like the nurses and referring to all these damn things by brand name though they usually come from the pharmacy with the generic name. I better do up another spreadsheet...
P.P.S. I find it odd that the blog software's spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "blog."