Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Pill-phobia

To me, taking pills--especially big chalky ones--is like running downstairs two at a time--if you think about it, you will screw up.

But there is a large contingent of people who just cannot take a pill. Unless this is a physically-caused dysphagia (swallowing difficulty), this can come from a fear of gagging or a past difficulty getting a pill down. The throat muscles clench--and it goes wrong.

This was covered in the WSJ, Sept 24, 2013.

Swallowing takes place in three steps--the moistening of food, the closure of the larynx, and then the contractions of the esophagus pushing the item down.

But you don't chew a pill--and this interrupts the three-part cycle.

Do not dissolve a pill or cut it up. Sometimes there is a time-release element and you don't know it.

If you stop dead with a pill in your mouth, practice with Gummi bears--when you feel calm.

Tell yourself--this is way smaller than the last piece of steak I ate.

Sometimes you can put the whole pill in applesauce and it will just go down without a to-do about the chewing thing.

Or turn your head to the side.

I had a med reaction once that led to swallowing problems--horrible. You overthink the act and then it becomes a real issue. I had to eat radioactive goo and get x-rayed to see what was going on.

Jeez, even little kids can swallow.

Hope this story does not create any problems for you...


1 comment:

Star Lawrence said...

There is a product called alternaVites--for adults and a special formulation for kids. It is sort of like Lick-a-Made, the tube of powder we used to down as kids. It's for people who can't swallow a pill. Go to www.altnernavites.com. They sent me some and. ever faithful, I tried it. It was not exactly a candy treat, but could be useful for people with issues.