Saturday, January 03, 2009

My Wish For The New Year

Happy New Year!

We had a very quiet and early New Year celebration and then on New Year’s Days we slept in like we had party hard. Maybe my age is starting to catch up with me. You might expect this Ramble to be about the traditional wishes and resolutions made every New Year – but no – this Ramble is a recommendation to drug companies. Get sick and then invent a way of packaging your product!

You've been there. Sick, so sick everything hurts and with fever that causes chills. You haven't slept in days. And you are sure you are missing a lung or at least part of a lung you have coughed so much.

You stumble to the bathroom and grab a bottle of the night time wonder medicine. It has never been opened, but you are over the age of consent and can parallel park surely you can open a bottle.

You attempt to pull the plastic strip down the side to remove the plastic safety wrap. Only to have it tear half way down the side and no amount of pulling will tear it any further. There are no scissors to be found and you have to stop to cough and gag before going further. Next, teeth – after all they were invented before scissors. But alas, you cannot get your teeth on the snag because you have to breathe through your mouth and tilting your head, smashing your nose against the bottle, and closing your mouth long enough to tear the plastic is impossible. While considering the next option, a coughing spasm comes on leaving you light headed.

Looking around you see the same product in an easy-to-swallow tablet – at last, relief will soon be on the way. The box is opened and inside are sheets of medicine neatly sealed in the correct dosage. As you hold the package fever makes your hands tremble and your eyes are a little fuzzy trying to the read print that tells you where to tear. Oh well, here it goes. You grasp the sheet firmly in your shaking hands, tears drip down from your eyes, and you attempt to tear off one of the appropriate dosages. No luck and still no scissors. Your try to peal the backing off only to have a tiny sliver come off in your hand and a small jagged piece is slightly lifted to tempt you to try and pull it with your teeth, but then again it is the whole breathing thing that keeps you from attempting that.

You plop down on the toilet seat, wrap a towel around your trembling body, and wonder if there is sadist working at the drug companies. Whatever happened to twist open bottles that did not require an engineering degree to open? And as far as those sheets of medication, the defense department should look into them as a possible defense against enemy attack.

Wiping your dripping nose, you make one more attempt to open the bottle – it is a wasted effort to try to open the sheets of medicine that are now twisted and bent so far out of shape they will probably never be opened. You search through the drawers, there must be a sharp object you can use to cut or tear the plastic safety wrap. There they are – nail clippers, no nail file on them, but they do cut! Saved, you can almost feel sleep coming on.

With great agility and some swearing, you manage to tear the plastic wrap off. The measuring cup slips neatly off – success! Now if you can only manage enough strength, coordination, and pressure you can get the cap off. But before you can attempt the cap removal, the coughing starts, the towel falls to the floor, and you are definitely getting dizzy. After several minutes, the coughing quiets and you are ready to remove the cap. This act of dexterity takes several tries with pauses for coughing and shaking from the chills. Then almost like magic the cap is off! You nearly pass out from the anticipation of relief or maybe it is from the fever and limited supply of oxygen you are able to get from the breaths you are able to make.

As you set the measuring cup on the counter – your hands shaking way too much to hold it – you attempt to pour the medicine in the cup. This would be a whole lot easier if your eyes weren’t running so much. But you are determined, so pour away. You watch as the first drops of medicine land on the bathroom floor and spread onto the rug. You make an adjustment in your aim and now the medicine is running into the sink. The cup, however, is still empty and standing just where you left it. Due to your slow reactions and ability to see what is happening, most of the medicine is now in the sink, on the floor, and somehow some of it ended up on your foot. With mounting frustration and fever you decided to drink whatever is left in the bottle from the bottle and stumble to bed.

As the medicine begins to do its magic and you are starting to slip into a peaceful sleep, you wonder how much did I really drink?

Stay well this coming year!
Elaine H.


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