Friday, March 18, 2016

SOLSC - Gulp

It's March - Time for the month long Slice of Life challenge thanks to Two Writing Teachers.

After being diagnosed with epilepsy my daughter was put on medication (and has been seizure free ever since!) She is very motivated to take her medicine. She wants to go snorkeling. The only restriction put on her when she was diagnosed had to do with swimming in open bodies of water. When we met with the neurologist he told her that if she doesn't have any seizures, come spring she could probably go snorkeling. (We live on the edge of the Red Sea next to the reef that Jacques Cousteau says is second only to the Great Barrier Reef.) You don't have to ask her twice to take her medication. She she hears the timer goes off, she heads straight to the kitchen.

Carrying around a big, glass bottle of medicine everywhere we go takes some consideration. And, when we expect to be home by medicine time, and then aren't, well, let's just say it is not ideal.

Two weeks ago her medicine had to be refilled. Not one single pharmacy in town had any in. No joke. So my wonderful husband drove 300 kilometers down to Jeddah, spent several hours at the hospital trying to get all of the process taken care of (and this is after I emailed with the doctor and had everything in place), and then drove 300 kilometers home - all after a full day of work. 

Sigh. Having to do that every seven weeks was not high on his list of 'fun'. Thankfully he managed to come home with nearly a year's worth of medicine - some in the large glass bottles and some in pill form. Now we just have to teach her to swallow a pill.

(As far as I know my husband does not read my blog so I feel comfortable sharing the following, as he is the only one I promised I wouldn't tell.)

Daddy is away for work for five days. I thought we could try learning how to swallow the pill (half a pill, really). If it didn't work the suspension was available. If it did work I wouldn't have to carry that big, glass bottle around Sri Lanka over Spring Break nor worry about what temperature the bottle became.

Last night I asked her if she would like to try and learn how to swallow a pill and surprise Daddy when he gets back. She was all for it. I grabbed a bit of bread, a glass of water, and half a pill. We sat together at the table. I took a bit of bread, chewed it, and showed it to her just as I was ready to swallow it. She did the same.

With the bread chomped up and prepared for swallowing I had her place the medicine in the middle of the bread. She tried to swallow and laughed. I told her she could use the water to wash it down. I held my breath.

Back up several decades to when I first tried to take a pill. I tried this very same method and it did not go well. I ended up having to put crushed, nasty tasting bits of medicine in the jam on my toast and just deal with it. I remember spending 30 - 45 minutes to try and get down one tiny pill. I was crossing my fingers that she took to this more quickly than I did. (Now a handful of pills is no problem, but that didn't come until much later.)

When the giggling subsided I was expecting her to pull a pill out of her mouth, but it turns out she was giggling because it went down surprisingly easily! Yippee! I was so excited I danced about, which made her laugh more and we celebrated her milestone with hugs, and more laughter, and huge prideful grins.


  1. I was cheering all the way through, hoping the pill went down and cheering at the end as I celebrated the pill-swallowing success. And dad deserves a medal for the abundance of love he obviously has for his family.

  2. Yippee for her! I would think that the bread would make it harder to swallow the pill, but go with whatever works for you and her! As an adult my sister still has trouble with pills. What a nice surprise for dad!

  3. Yippee for her! I would think that the bread would make it harder to swallow the pill, but go with whatever works for you and her! As an adult my sister still has trouble with pills. What a nice surprise for dad!

  4. Great story. Well told! And I had a huge text-to-self connect with it. No one but someone who has trouble with pills can fully understand how major this is. I've told my daughter that when I'm old and have to take meds, make sure care providers give them to me in applesauce or jellied cranberry followed by liquid through a straw. We laugh, but I'm serious!

  5. What amazing motivation! Bravo to all of you!!!
    Bonnie K.