Pills are always a bone of contention for the taker and just about everyone else. My brilliant book will be called, “Sorting My Pills”, which is about the wrestlings of a mentally ill person and her treatments, family and everyone else in the world. I like to tease my dad about the number of pills I take and prescriptions that are a part of my life. He is uncomfortable with the joke, so I tell it to him every chance I get.
Inderal is a heart/cholesterol medicine. As you can guess, it lowers the heart rate. It also has the side effect of causing the shaking, caused by Lithium, to go away. It has anti-anxiety properties. I thought I was supposed to take the little blue tablets three times a day. I frequently forgot the midday dose, but ultimately got that taken care of by taking it at 11, when Small eats lunch. I went off it when I developed Serotonin syndrome about a year ago. As of December 16 – fourteen days ago – it was re-prescribed.
Yesterday evening I checked the pills I was about to take. I do a cursory pill counting glance every night, but for some reason zeroed in on the yellow tabled I had been gulping on morning and evenings for the last two weeks. I just followed the instructions without considering what they were. (This is not like me – usually I do a lot of research and have much discussion with my doctors before I add a drug to my regime.) I find a cool website that identifies pills and find out I was taking two sixty mgs of Propranolol. I didn’t know what it was so I go on the chat with a Walgreens Pharmacist. It turned out it was the trade name for Enderal. I was already taking Enderal. In fact, I was taking it almost three times a day, at 20 mgs a slug. Somehow the prescriptions overlapped. Let’s do some math here. 60 x 2 = 120. 20 x 3 = 60. I was taking 180 mgs, an abundance, of a drug that slowed heartbeat. I typed to the pharmacist such, “I am lucky.” She answered to me, the medical facade dropped, “You are lucky.”
I haven’t really cried yet. I have worked on processing this – I could have killed myself without the intention. It hasn’t scared me, yet. I looked at my child and my spouse with more shock than sadness. When I am seriously depressed I look at them and feel so sad and sorry they will have to go on without me. This sort of death is more of a spectacle. It honestly never occurred to me I could accidentally hurt myself. These drugs are safe, right? So long as a I follow their instructions, everything will be fine, right?
Not so much. I’m not sure how to prevent this from happening again. I have so many daily prescriptions, so many different prescriptions it’s hard to keep up with it all. This is true for the mental patient I am and for anyone who is emotionally connected to their illness. I don’t know if people who take statins have the kind of relationship with medicine that I do, maybe they do. If they don’t they can detachedly open a bottle and swallow a pill or two. They don’t need to think or resent their pills. They keep them alive longer than they would, and that’s that. I would do better if I was more detached. I don’t hate taking pills – I know they extend my life and my health, but there is still something emotional going on here. If i wasn’t would I be in the situation I was last night?