Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cautionary Tales from My Medicine Cabinet

"Pill Jar," photo by Flickr user deepwarren, used under a Creative Commons license.

I mentioned that I've had a miserable week with back pain. It's much improved since I posted on Tuesday, which was the last day I knowingly took half of a Vicodin. After that, I was getting by on ibuprofen (aka Advil or Motrin) but was bemused at how dizzy I still felt.

So I finally took a closer look at the little bottle that my pills were in - which I'd clumsily labeled "ibu" with a ballpoint pen - and scrutinized the pills themselves. They had a string of letters imprinted on each one that I didn't remember seeing on ibuprofen in the past. I googled the letters together with "pill."

And guess what? I'd been popping a Darvocet every six hours. No wonder I thought my back was getting better. No wonder I felt wobbly.

Lessons learned:
  1. If you repackage pills for traveling (the original container for the Darvocet was ginormous), at least label them!
  2. If you don't know what you're taking, google it! The intertubes will know.
  3. If your back is acting wonky, don't climb 285 steps up and 285 steps down (as I did Monday at the Siegessäule, aka the site of Obama's Berlin speech) just because your kids want to do it. I was proud not to be huffing and puffing like a lot of the other climbers - I guess my heart and lungs are in better shape than I thought - but I don't think it improved my back.
I really am feeling much better - just very sheepish at my own dipshittery. I've been repotting my pills for years (I think it must be a congenital trait, my brother does it too) but I've never mixed them up. Until now.

Usually I reserve the label "stupidity" for posts about other people's foolishness, but I think I earned it this week.


Anonymous said...

I followed you over from Open Salon, and I am glad I did. I immediately subscribed in google reader. I need the kittens. This is my other identity. You know me as redstocking grandma.

Sungold said...

Hey, I'm really glad you're here! I love your writing at Open Salon. In fact, just a few hours ago I looked at my mousy-gray roots in the mirror and thought of your essay on letting yourself go proudly gray. Or ambivalently gray. I'm afraid I'm still squarely in the second camp.

At any rate, I'm really enjoying your work, and I'm so pleased you followed me to Kittywampus. Do you blog elsewhere, too, or just at Open Salon?

Laura said...

scary! Glad you cracked the code.

Sungold said...

Heh. It wasn't really scary at any time - just stupid. Believe me, I won't make the same mistake anytime soon!