The Elephant in the ePod (continued): The pill drill

It’s not all tours and beaches, folks.

Four times a day, I take a little plastic pill-box of supplements from a vintage ‘train case’ that hold 6 days’ worth of pills for breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime. These supplements keep the worst of my Lyme disease at bay.

Esthetics in the pill storage routine do count, and this pretty case, sitting on a large ‘antique’ atlas (actually a storage box holding other, occasionally needed supplements) is something even Martha Stewart would admire!

On days when we won’t be ‘home’, (or we’re pulling our home behind us) I transfer the ‘lunch’ and ‘dinner’ pill-box contents into small plastic bags, for swallowing with meals on the road.

On the seventh day, I replace these now empty 24 pill-boxes, with 24 full pill-boxes from a month’s worth of little pill-boxes stored in a second, larger, bin beneath the sofa.

Every thirty days, it’s pill-tray day. I line up all 120 of these now emptied little pill-boxes on trays wherever there’s an available horizontal surface. These little pill-boxes (found them at a dollar store) are a bit larger than I really need, but I’ve found them to be better than the largest standard pillboxes from the drugstore. I tried them all, but meticulously fitting all the pills in was like packaging a Whitman’s Sampler. With the larger, dollar-store boxes, I can drop all pills in without having to line them up so they’ll fit: cuts this packaging routine from 4 hours down to 2.5 on a good day.

You might ask, why do you load these in advance at all? Storing and opening 28 different pill bottles 4 times a day would be insane. I may be sick, but I do have a life.

I spread the 120 opened boxes out, then I drag out another large bin from deeper beneath the sofa, which holds the bottles of the 28 different supplements that have helped me get my life back. I carefully dole these out into their respective little pill-boxes, mindful that some pills interfere with others so must be taken at a different times.

Humidity is a problem in RVs, so once the 120 boxes are filled, snapped shut and properly stacked in their storage bin, I place several large desiccants in the bin with the boxes. Of course, the desiccants must be dried out monthly in the oven.

‘Pill-tray day’ is always an anxious time. I may be short some vital bottle, or a bottle may only have 10 day’s left. In that case, I break into the much larger bin of supplements in the truck and hope that I still have back-up there. If not, I’m out of luck. Once 120 boxes yawn open before me like baby birds, it’s not a good idea to leave them partly filled while I go search for a pharmacy. Even if I could, some of the more obscure herbals can’t be found at Rite-Aid, Walgreen’s, or CVS.

About 50% of what’s needed I order online, and then, when we’re on the road, the dilemma is: where can they be sent? That’s why the back-up trunk in the truck. Yes, pill-tray-filling day is always a bit anxious.

I’m a Lyme-brain-fogged amateur quartermaster whose ongoing health depends on my getting it right. Some months, I may go without something to find out whether it’s truly essential. Usually, I find it is. Last month, the total pills per day was 90, down from 130 a few months ago. This pill-tray day, the number will go up; some things I left out last month did make a difference.


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One Comment on “The Elephant in the ePod (continued): The pill drill”

  1. Troy Says:

    HI Léna. I’m on several Yahoo groups with you. I’m mostly a reader, though, as opposed to a participant.

    I like your system. I have been suffering with Lyme for almost seven years. I’m 20 days in working with Stephen Buhner’s book (and some others’ advice from the lists, etc,) and I might be inclined to use a system like yours. I like the thought of glass apothecary jars in an oak cabinet, but that’s hardly very transportable!

    Would you mind telling more about your desiccants?

    Troy, Glenwood, FL

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