Friday, May 10, 2013

What a pill!

You'd think that as much of a potassium junkie as I am (bananas, avocados, spinach, edamame, etc.) that I'd never get a potassium deficiency - but that's what this week's mini-chemo blood results showed.  So while my first reaction was "Whee! more banana smoothies!" I was quickly brought down to earth with a prescription for potassium pills.

My first clue that these weren't going to be fun was the wince and apologetic expression of the nurse when she told me.  "I'm afraid they're the size of horse pills," she said. 

Apparently the horse she was referring to was the Trojan horse.  These things are mammoth!  When I picked them up from the pharmacy and looked at one, I wasn't sure whether to get a hot dog bun for it, or give it a name, register it for school and get a college fund started.

I'm not really good with pills anyway;  they always seem to stick in my throat.  I've developed a little system for getting the pill exactly in the right spot, taking a huge swig of water, and gulping madly.  According to my husband's reactions, this is apparently an endlessly entertaining spectacle. 

I've added a new wrinkle over the last few months, as one of the pills I take was clearly designed to stick in your mouth as long as possible so you can enjoy the absolutely horrid taste to its fullest.  I've tested all kinds of methods of getting this one down, including all the tricks we use for our black Lab (warning:  the peanut butter approach works great for dogs, but is definitely not recommended as it glues the pill to the roof of your mouth and prolongs the torture).   The winning approach was to embed the worst pill in a spoonful of Jello Sugar-Free pudding, which hides the taste and is slippery enough to slide right down.  The Dulce de Leche flavor seems to mask the taste the most.

But nope, the pudding approach didn't work with these pills;  you can put a grape in pudding and it's still too big to swallow whole.  Then I cut it in two.  Still too big to get down easily.  Finally I discovered that they didn't taste that terrible and just treated them like chewables.  But three guesses what I'm loading up on this week:  bananas, avocadoes, and spinach!  I want my potassium levels up high enough by next Wednesday that we can put these pills back out to pasture. 

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