Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Today was my weekly duty day with Mom as my sister works a job out of town.  I'm responsible for both lunch for me and Mom and dinner for Mom, my nephew and I.  Which includes cleaning up the kitchen.  Two things added to the angst of the day--Mom has laryngitis and I had an extra task to fit into the day.

Every three weeks or so it is my task to sort out Mom's Rx and supplements into daily pockets, bottles or cups for the next 21-26 days.  There are only 26 of the little glass bottles for the AM pills and often a few of t hem can't be accounted for at the time of the sort.  This time there was one missing but I found it on the counter after it was all done.

The three pill boxes are her PM pills as are the plastic cups I use to bring the PM total to match the AM total.  Those are also used when she spends the weekend at my brother's.

I set up on the breadboard with the box on a stool to extend workspace.  I compacted it here for the picture as I usually use the breadboard to set the pill bottles down on.  The pill boxes are lined up on that orange ledge in back.  That little blue pill box is for a med she takes in the middle of the night.  It's kept in the bathroom and get's refilled once a week.

The pill bottles are arranged alphabetically on the carousel in the cupboard above the counter to my right and stuck by magnets to the stove hood is the list in alphabetical order showing how many of which go into AM and/or PM.  This was my sister's system so I don't get credit for the set up.  She taught me how to do it last spring and I committed to it as one of my duties.

It takes between 55 and 115 minutes depending on how many snags occur:

  • running out of pills from the small bottles on the carousel and having to refill it from the big bottles in the pantry cupboard across the room
  • opening new big or small bottles
  • having to note where shortfalls start when even the big bottle hasn't enough pills
  • having to note when supplies of something are too low to accommodate the next sort
  • dropping pills and having to hunt for them--on the floor, board, box or counter, inside the red box in or between the bottles or in that box of lids, in the wrong pocket in the PM boxes
  • putting a PM pill in all or some of the AM bottles and having to sort them out one by one and move to the box pockets
  • forgetting where I left off when resupplying hand from pill bottle and starting in wrong place either missing a few bottles or pockets or doubling up
  • forgetting to replace one or more bottles back on carousel and finding the spot usurped by the next in line and having to slide the line right to make room.  note: bottles to not slide smoothly in a circle especially when that circle spins if you don't hold it with the other hand.
  • having cats underfoot begging or mock fighting
Last night took me 95 minutes due to refilling small bottles, opening new bottles, putting a PM pill in all of the AM bottles, forgetting where I left off in the middle section of the AM bottles and then doubling up on four and then removing wrong pill with similar appearance from several and in the midst of this dropping one pill out of my handful into a random bottle then having to pull out eight bottles and compare their contents until I was sure each one was right and I'd found the dropped pill and then carefully sift through the pills in my hand to be sure none of the wrong ones got mixed in before I put them back in their bottle, and more than once dropping a single pill on the floor, and my Merlin winding around my legs as I traversed back and forth to the pantry cupboard.  All of which is always an adventure for the visually impaired.

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