Trouble taking Pills - Perhaps just a Mental Problem?
Just recently I've had to get antibiotics due to a respiratory tract infection I caught over the holidays. I have been choking down the pills, but will shamefully admit I cut each pill up into 3 pieces so I can swallow them. One issue that has plagued me my whole life is my inability or difficulty with swallowing pills.
The first time I tried to take a pill when younger, I was about 14 years old, and remembered thinking the feat was impossible. I gave it a good shot too, but the pill would just seem to want to stick either to the sides of my mouth or bounce around on my tongue as I would swallow glass after glass of water. As soon as the pill would get near the back of my throat, my gag reflex would push it back up front, and the whole experience was terrible. The pills would get all mushy, taste terrible in my mouth, and my mom eventually ended up just crushing them up due to how much I would spit them back out after drinking a whole glass of water.
Needless to say, any medicine I needed during my teens growing up, I would shamefully ask for liquid medicine, but fortunately 95% of the time my requests were able to be granted, and I didn't have to worry about taking pills anymore. My next run in with pills was when I had an allergic reaction on my face to hair gel when I was 17. It was quite nasty actually, with my face swelling up and getting hundreds of bumps on it so I had to take an antihistimine pill. Fortunately, the pill was only the size of a pea, but even with this, I struggled to swallow it.... Eventually though, after struggling to take the first two, I was able to swallow the rest, but it was very difficult every time. I still wanted liquid medicine no matter what.
After I turned 18 and converted from a pediatrician to a family physician was when things got worse with this. I remember going to the doctor when I was 20 needing antibiotics, and telling the doctor if I could get liquid medicine and he looked at me and said "What are you, a big baby?" Very unprofessional since I know others have similar difficulty in swallowing pills, but I went on to explain to him how I had a really tough time taking pills. He then told me that liquid medicine was very ineffective and that all adults take pills and I better learn how. He also said how food I swallow is probably 5 times bigger then the biggest of pills, and that I needed to get over this. I really did want to, but unfortunately, it was easier said then done.
Fortunately, the pills he prescribed were tablets, so after one valiant attempt to swallow the pill and gagging it up again, I resorted to crushing them with a spoon and either mixing them with a glass of water or taking with applesauce. The medication said not to crush, but I did anyway since I could not take it otherwise and I had read online and it said it was ok to do. Unfortunately, it seemed like liquid medicine was becoming a crutch I could no longer ask for.
It got to the point where I just stopped even asking for liquid medicine, since other doctors gave similar "wtf?" responses. Plus, I was getting along just fine crushing my pills and taking them that way. I was in for a surprise though when I first got prescribed capsules.... The first time I got capsules, (plastic shell with powder inside) I was absolutely appalled. The pill felt extremely scratchy, (like where the two shells interconnect) and it was even bigger then most tablets I got prescribed. I tried once again to swallow but once again gagged it up. I talked to my mom and researched online and found some of these medications could be opened and the powder taken with water or applesauce. It tasted horrible, but it got me by. I wondered though what I would do with medication that I could not break open.
I found out the next year when my doctor prescribed time released gel capsules. It said these could not be broken up due to the way they would release slowly. I tried to take one, but failed as usual. So what did I do? I didn't take the medication. Fortunately, the prescription was for something supplementary, so it was not a matter of life or death if I took them, but it would have helped if I did. My inability to take pills was really becoming an issue.
Last year I was prescribed more powder capsules, of which I once again would break open and take with applesauce.... and now I'm back this year with tablets, and still breaking them up. On the plus side, I do feel like I am slowly getting better with it, as I have just been cutting the pills into 3 pieces rather then crushing it into powder, but it still is something I struggle with immensely and can't seem to get over. It just seems like if a pill is any bigger then a tic-tac, I cannot swallow it. I have been able to swallow pills smaller then a tic-tac really easily actually, but over that size and I just gag it up constantly and it refuses to go down without a fight... and unfortunately, most medication is much larger then a tic-tac.
I really do want to be able to do it, and get over this inability so taking medication stops becoming such a battle in my life. Even though more and more I am seeing more medications coming out with liquid variants which I appreciate, and will probably always take over a pill, I still need to be able to take a pill if I have too.... I just can't seem to do it though. I have tried so many times to swallow large pills, and no matter what, they just tend to want to stay in my mouth and if I try to swallow, I gag it up.... I wonder if my problems are just all mental, since when I was younger I got a large hard tack candy (quarter size about) stuck in my throat, and that was a terrible experience. I had immense pain and trouble breathing for about 30 minutes until it melted, and then afterwards had pain when I would swallow for about 6 hours afterward even though it was not lodged anymore.... I wonder if that experience has affected my psychologically somehow in regards to swallowing pills.
Regardless, just thought about blogging this since I am currently taking pills again, and once again resorting to methods to make the pills smaller so I could take them. Does anyone else have trouble taking pills or know any tips to make the process easier? Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts.
|Comments (Total Comments: 4)|
|Wolfkin - 01-20-2011, 07:43 AM|
|hostyl1 - 01-20-2011, 08:50 AM|
|dv8mad - 01-20-2011, 09:34 AM|
|Wolfkin - 01-20-2011, 03:03 PM|
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