Saturday, October 06, 2018

When medications get mixed up

i haven’t been sleeping well for a few nights due to a cough caused by an otherwise mild cold.  It happens to the best of us once or twice a year, but it certainly gets tiresome at the time.  Nyquil, cough meds, Alka-Seltzer cold tabs... I’ve tried them all.  Each evening I’m so tired I could drop and go to sleep in my chair.  I get up, go to bed, and sleep a couple hours before I wake up coughing.  So I’m not good company for anybody.  I’m tired.

But for a couple weeks we’ve been planning a trip to Weston, Missouri with our next-door grandson and his wife; yesterday was the day.  Cliff and I had gone there after taking in the Platte City tractor show and spent a couple hours, eating lunch at the Tin Kitchen and checking out a cigar shop to buy a cigar for the grandson.  There are plenty of things to see and do there.  It occurred to me that the grandson and Heather might enjoy the place; I thought maybe we’d make it a foursome, since we never do anything together socially.

I awoke coughing, realized I wasn’t going to sleep any longer. and got up around three AM, which is two hours later than I got up today.  But I digress.  I didn’t feel bad, just tired.  Around five o’clock I decided to have some cereal and take my pills, only one of which is a prescription: Hydrochlorothiazide, a water pill for high blood pressure.  I take two daily.  Cliff takes two prescription medications for heart issues and one for age-related issues so he doesn’t have to get up so often at night.  I keep both our meds in a plastic tub, but Cliff’s are in a gallon plastic bag; mine, which include some vitamin supplements, are loose in the tub.  There’s only the one prescription bottle among mine.  So I picked up the prescription bottle atop the other loose bottles  and took two capsules, along with my supplements.  Two hours later Cliff was up looking through his meds and said, “One of my prescriptions isn’t in the bag!”  He checked the rest of the tub and there they were.  Instantly I wondered it I had taken the wrong pills, and checked the contents of that bottle.  They were capsules, like my blood pressure pills, and they had been right on top of all my other pills.  No doubt I had taken his pills.  So then I took my water pills.

I felt fine, except for being tired.  We had a big day planned at Weston.  I wasn’t terribly concerned about the pills; Cliff has taken them for years and they haven’t harmed him, although the doctor just last week increased the dosage to two pills, telling him they might make him dizzy at first.  Shortly after nine Arick and Heather pulled up to our house to get us, and we were on our way.  It was raining, but the forecast said it was going to be a great day once the shower passed.

Our first adventure was a tour of the Holladay Distillary.  One stop on the tour was the barrel house.  We ascended a flight of stairs and looked down at the barrels as the guide explained the process to us.  Although the weather was cool, I started getting hot and broke out in a sweat.  Then I felt dizzy.  I’ve had lots of dizzy spells before, so I leaned against whatever was behind me (like a half-wall) and waited for it to pass, only it didn’t pass.  It got worse.  I hated to embarrass myself, but I slid down on the floor, telling Cliff I was dizzy.  This, of course, got our guide’s attention... and everybody else's.  He asked if he should send for a wheel chair.  I said no, I’ll be OK, I'm just dizzy.  Grandson said I actually checked out a couple of times.  Heather, who is a nurse at a walk-in clinic, tried to quiet down one lady who was demanding they call an ambulance.  I have no sense of the time passing, but I think it was maybe five minutes before Cliff and Arick helped me to my feet at my request.  My head was still swimming, but with my guys on either side of me, I couldn’t fall.  The guide asked if I’d like to step outside and sit in a golf cart since there was no place to sit in the barn, and I gratefully accepted his offer.  Cliff assisted me out and sat with me.  Nausea hit me as the dizziness subsided so we sat until that passed.  Then I felt I could walk, with Cliff and Arick to hold me steady, and continued the tour.  At the end, samples of some McCormick products are available in the tasting room.  I told the guide I needed to sit down and was going to go to the next room where there was a chair.  He enlisted one of the men in our group and they brought the chair into the tasting room for me.  Heather had suggested I drink water earlier, right after my "incident"; now that I had my wits about me, I thought perhaps drinking some water might dilute the stuff in my system so I could enjoy the rest of our day.  
Here I am sitting in a chair drinking water in a plastic McCormick glass while everybody got their free samples.  I certainly wasn't in the mood for any sort of spirits!  I apologized to the guide and the others for messing up their tour, and explained to them I'd accidentally taken the wrong pills that morning.  Looking at the bright side, I don't think any of them will forget this particular tour of the McCormick Distillery with the old lady who almost died (ha!  Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated).  

By the time we ate lunch at O'Malley's Pub, I was past the dizziness.  Heather and Arick spent their honeymoon in Ireland, so I thought this might bring back happy memories for them.  My sandwich was so good I even brought home the half I didn't eat and had it for supper.  From there on, our day was pretty normal.  I'll tell you about the things we did in another entry.  

From now on, when I grab my prescription bottle, I will look at the label before taking the pills therein.

Yours truly, Donna


  1. I'm glad you are ok and it wasn't any worse. Yes you do have to be careful when it comes to taking meds. I'm glad I'm by my self and don't have anyone else's to worry about. I started using one of those daily pill keepers just so I would remember whether or not I've taken mine.

  2. Hi, it can be upsetting when something like that happens in public. I have had problems with racing heartbeat, dizziness and fainting while hiking sometimes. When I'm with others it is a little embarrassing because I literally have to lay down on the ground!

  3. I'm glad that you didn't get dizzy enough to fall and hurt yourself. It's good that your family was there to help too. I hate feeling dizzy or nauseated when I'm alone.

  4. My word! That could have been a disaster! Be very careful from now on.

  5. I no longer take care of Robert’s medication, but I can imagine how easily that could happen. You did well and have my heartfelt applause.

  6. it could have been much worse. you are lucky indeed.

  7. Oh my goodness, that could have been so much worse for you. Thank goodness the dizziness and nausea passed for you and you could end the day on a good note.

  8. I am glad you are okay. Maybe one of the pill containers with the day of the week might be good for you to keep your pills in.


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