It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pill Swallowing Techniques

I have always known that if I attempt to take most medications before I am fully awake I will aspirate on them. I knew this even before I had ever heard the term aspiration or knew I had a problem aspirating on thin liquids. My parents never picked up on it and neither did any professionals, but they generally weren't around to see me drink. I also have never had pneumonia. Aspiration is common with CP because of compromised muscle coordination. I learned that I aspirate on thin liquids quite often while I lived with 2 speech pathology grad students, one of whom now does feeding therapy with adults for a living.

This lead to unintentional med non-compliance years ago (which later lead to intentional med non-compliance) because I couldn't take them first thing and then would be rushing to get out the door and forget about them until I was a few blocks from home. So at the time I was forced to use a purse in addition to coat pockets/my backpack so that I could keep my pills in there with me at all times. For awhile because I was not used to the extra bag I would leave my purse places and have to run back and grab it.

Even though my keys are always in my purse (thus what's the difference between attaching your pills to your keychain or just throwing a container in your purse) I have become very fond of the blue pill keychain to the right. A friend of mine got one for himself several years ago and I fell in love with it. I'm on my second, as I lost my first on the DC metro coming back from my day at the fall 08 national ADAPT action. So that solved that problem (the problem of not having them with me). Even when I have been out and my purse has been soaked through my pills are still dry. It's great.

But that of course does not fix the fact that I aspirate. It does not prevent me from every so often not being able to swallow one or both of my pills. Saturday I took them right after lunch, as I do most often, and had a slight gag as soon the 2nd one hit my tongue (not so unusual for me depending on my level of alertness). This time, although the gag reflex was not that big, I threw up part of my lunch when coupled with attempting to swallow fruit punch. I have not done that in about 5 years or so, and that time I had really over eaten. I don't know what happened because a few minutes later I took another one out of the bottle and I was fine. No gag.

So I am looking for ideas on how to make pill taking easier. I once tried burying one in a spoon full of pudding, but that didn't seem to jive with my swallowing muscles. Neither would coating them in olive oil I think, but I've never tried that. I've been thinking on and off of purchasing an oralflo cup, but now that I think of it, when I am doing well, when I am leaving my apt, I mostly don't take my pills at home. The whole rushing out the door thing. I'm not going to carry an oralflo around.


Emma said...

Have you tried tipping your head back as you swallow them? That's what I do.

Adelaide Dupont said...

I am recommended to take pills with or after meals.

There might be a counting or controlling breathing method, but if throat muscles can't/won't cooperate!

Cheryl said...

Emma, I'd heard you're supposed to tuck your chin...

Martha said...

I have trouble with pills too. I tilt my head forward. Have you ever had liquoise or some other kind of flavored club soda? I take my meds with that because the carbination bubbles help them go down easier.

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