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Pill counting, getting hard to swallow

So, today I realized I was lower on one of my medications (taken as needed), than I thought. It's about time to refill, based on the way I calculated it, but the pillls are large, and it feels like there are more in the bottle than I have. There's also a bit of a time gap of when you're supposed to call and when they can fill the prescriptions, I.E., I call a bit before I'm actually going to run out. So, other than calling the pain center a day after being there (stupid Nickie), and being embarrassed, all I can really do is wait.

So, here's the issue. It would make sense, for a normal person to take their pills out, and count into the cap. However, the clutsy author of this blog dislikes that method because she's had pills fall on the floor. Dog-hair with your opioids? Yum! Not to mention the fear of Julio snapping it up if it does fall, which I'd assume could be very very dangerous. So, my question for anyone who is feeling creative, what technological methods or non-tech methods could I use? I don't really want to rely on a sighted person to count, because of germs and the obvious issue of choosing someone very carefully when dealing with these drugs which can unfortunately be stolen and abused.

So, dear readers, how would/do you handle such an issue? I'd thought just now of a few random ideas that have downfalls: First, there's keeping a running spreadsheet noting exactly when I take a pill and a formula that subtracts the day's counts from the total pills left, but that's not portable, I don't have pocket Excel on the Q, I don't think. Keeping a plain text file is problematic for similar reasons, I don't have a word processor there either. I don't always have my Braille PDA with me, either, so a file there has the problem of remembering to note that I took a pill at lunch after the pain jumped from a six to an eight due to a thunderstorm or something worse. Pill boxes usually come open inside my fanny pack, which is problematic. They also don't allow responders to an emergency to see the bottles with what I'm taking as needed/when it was filled, and getting a box full of unknown pills complicates things a bit.

So, yeah, not sure what to do to avoid this, but if anyone has a chance to comment with suggestions, they will be much appreciated.


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Jun. 6th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
I don't have any ideas for keeping track, since I don't take pills myself. But this occurred to me so I'll post it anyway: For just counting pills, perhaps you could pour them into a bowl, so you could ensure that none of them get brushed to the floor? Hopefully some one comes up with something better, but that's all I've got.
Jun. 6th, 2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
This is actually a very good idea, and I'll definitely try that one out. It's also easy on the budget (smile).
Jun. 6th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
What about counting pills into a ziploch instead of the medicine cap? Might be a bit more combursome, (sp?), but you should be able to do that without dropping the pills.
Perhaps the pharmacist would give you an extra medicine label if you explained what you were doing, and you could slip that label on the ziploch if you wanted to keep the pills in the fanny pack? I've never given this much thought, but these are my first thoughts. I hope you find a workable solution!
Jun. 6th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
The ziploc idea is good. I'd only need it for counting, and the corner can form a spout to pour back into the bottle. I already carry the pills in my fanny pack, so the main issue is counting. I know what my logic was for including that issuue, but since this is an as-needed drug, my logic was faulty, and I'm not sure I could explain it now... Sorry to have confused the issue.
Jun. 6th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Forgot to say thanks for the suggestion... I think it would work well.
Jun. 6th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
no problem...hope it works. Don't worry about explaining--no need.

If the ziploc method doesn't work, you might also try standing against a counter, dresser, table, or similar surface--putting the pill bottle back as far against an edge against a wall as necessary, and counting onto the counter...not the best, but might work in a pench.
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
Have you tried those seven days a week boxes that you can put your pills in and insert and divide them up so you have an idea how many are in there? I don't know the name of those things LOL! Just an idea... It does have Braille on those little boxes.
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
counting pills
Here's my idea, two options - one for those who use email and another for those who prefer RSS.

On the day you start a new bottle, go to your calendar (either one that will send you email notifications or one that will send you RSS notifications) and mark the day you need to order so you get a reminder and the day of the last pill in the bottle.

No counting by hand.

Jun. 7th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
Re: counting pills
Err that was me, Denise, with the calendar idea. I really must get an open id or something one of these days (I keep saying that don't I?)
Jun. 7th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Ok, seems to me and my muddled mind that you have two different issues. I was going to suggest pouring your pills into a bowl and then counting them back into the bottle, but someone beat me to it. A few additions to that suggestion though: First, You can use a cookie sheet, or cake pan as well, but I wouldn't suggest a glass bowl unless it has nice high sides. I found this out while working with a client with Parkinson's. The glass surface seemed to make the pills slide more. Also, if you have a bowl or surface bug enough to do it, put your pill bottle in there too in case you spill. You'd have to recount, but at least it should still all stay in the bowl.
The problem of knowing how much is left of a medicine, especially one you only take on as as-needed basis is a little harder. My first thought was to put, say, ten of the pills in a small zip lock bag and put that in the bottle. The only problem with that is that in trying to get around the bag to get at your pills, you'd maybe have more of a problem with spilled pills. Maybe you could keep a reserve of pills, in a spare bottle or in a zip lock bag. Then, when it gets to be time that you pour those into the bottle, you'd know you were getting down to the end. Hope this makes sense; I should have been in bed an hour ago. (smile)
Jun. 11th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
7 day a week pill boxes
hey there - well of course the ziplock baggies are a great idea. i wouldn't recommend the 7 day a week pill boxes; i've used them and they do tend to come open. and yes, the thought of julio swallowing some of these potent pills is disconcerting!
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