I exhausted a ration of one of my maintenance medications this morning. Not a fold in the landscape however, since I am organized enough to make sure I exercise the refill renewal process adequately in advance. But what is marginally significant is the transition activity itself.
First, I have to find the new ration and determine if the bottle the medications are in is suitable to the contents and where I place the bottle in the medicine cabinet. For some reason in the last year or so my pharmacy has begun to exercise what looks like poor judgment in selecting containers. Occasionally they put the ration in a bottle that is too small. This is a difficulty because it leads to spillage and if the pills end up on floor, possible wastage which is an acute rectal pain given insurance scheduling. For these it is usually simply a matter of transferring to a larger bottle and migrating the label.
More commonly, they put the ration in a bottle that is too large, which necessitates transferring to a smaller bottle. And migrating the label, of course. Needless to say all this transferring and migrating irritates the medicalists who make this silly demand that I bring all of my medications to appointments rather than take a list. They seem amazed that anyone would ever change containers. I sometimes think they have veterinarian envy and wish for patients who cannot use language.
But the major effort involved is when the bottle is appropriately sized and, as it invariable is, is capped with a ‘child proof’ top. Despite the fact that I loudly enunciate to the pharmacists that I neither need nor want these tops, they seem to take vicious delight in using them.
So the next thing I have to do is get out one of the most important tools in my path to senility and discorporation, a small pair of flush cutters. These are wire cutters that look like the ordinary ones but only have edge on one side so that you can cut wires off flush. These are more normally found on a soldering workbench than in a medicine cabinet but because of the ‘child proof’ caps they are a necessity. I use them to nibble off the plastic tabs or flanges that engage the restraints on the cap.
This process is relatively rapid in completion, about the same amount of time as needed to migrate a label from one bottle to another, but for smooth operation much more important. After all, one only consults the label once a week or so but removes the cap once or twice a day and the time, effort, and frustration saved are significant. But as FD SCP has been known to opine, ‘only a nerd would have flush cutters in his medicine cabinet’, usually just before she hands me one of her bottles to nibble into utility.
Because the tabs on the bottles/caps – the design varies somewhat – are plastic, light weight flush cutters work quite well. Care needs be taken, despite the greater cost and difficulty of finding – I got mine at the local auction outlet in Guntersville, the millfoil capitol of Nawth Alibam, but given its nature stockage is stochastic – to avoid the more common diagonal cutters that are edged on both sides of the blades. These leave werf behind that may engage the locking mechanism.
One of my acquaintances, who is rather too frugal for his own good, tried to make do with an Xacto knife. His partial finger amputation is healing nicely and the fervor of his vituperation has subsided since we presented him with a pair of flush cutters as a get well inducement.