It’s another one of those anomalies: the most popular 4 wheeled vehicle in the world is the ubiquitous shopping-cart; the main ingredient of a Golden Ager’s diet is the pill. I got myself a cup of coffee in the lounge this morning, sat down among a circle of residents and found myself in the midst of an animated discussion on medications, most of which turn out to be pills.
“I take 4 in the morning and 7 at night,” said Rachel from the third floor.
“I take 7 in the morning and 4 at night,” said her neighbor Bessie.
“I take a handful every morning,” said Rosie. “I just swallow the whole lot, I think its about 12, with my morning coffee. They must be working, I’m still here!”
“I take 5 in the morning,” said Sid. “One is to make me pee, one is to stop me from peeing, one for cholesterol, one for blood pressure and one for…, um, I’ve forgotten, but I take it anyway. And I take another lot at night. No sleeping pills, though. I have to get up to pee.”
The discussion raged on, quantities, causes, results and finally manufacturers were compared. There seems to be no standard, no one really understands what it’s all about, but everyone agrees that the medicines work and they obey the doctor’s instructions to the last pill.
The retirement home offers a pill delivery service; you hand in your prescriptions at the clinic and the medications arrive the next day.
“I refuse to use the system,” said Jessica. “I used it once and the pharmacist sent back pills in strange looking boxes. I think they were generics or copies or something. I want to see the manufacturers’ names on every box. I don’t trust those pharmacists!”
“I use the system every month,” said Joan. “It’s great. Saves me going across town to my HMO.”