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Monday, February 17, 2014

Sometimes I Just Refuse to Swallow!

“Pinky! What’s this?” yelled my mother furiously, as she stood in the toilet pointing down into the bowl. 

I peered in nervously; half knowing what would be there. And sure enough there it was… a brown, multivitamin capsule bobbing around in the water like a tiny, stubborn cork.

Mum worried about how thin my sister and I were as kids and was always forcing appalling thick, dark green, iron tonics upon us. I could tolerate those by holding my nose as it slithered down, but I had a pathological fear of having to swallow a pill. 

I’d pretend to take it by hiding it in the side of my mouth then make a speedy detour into the toilet where I’d spit it out. This particular capsule had declined the invitation of a river cruise through the sewer system out to sea and I’d been sprung.

There seems to be an art in swallowing tablets without carrying on like a pork chop but I’m afraid I’ve never mastered it. 

Usually, I stand at the sink for at least three minutes with a full mouth of water and the tablet swishing around inside… daring myself to just do it. 

Eventually the swallow reflex kicks in but my throat closes up in terror causing the tablet to become stuck halfway. Panicked gagging ensues and the tablet is inevitably sicked up like a cat regurgitating a hair ball. 

It’s not a very nice thing to hear... or witness. The family’s anxious enquiries died off long ago on hearing the awful retching, recognising it’s only Pinky in the kitchen attempting to pop a Panadol.

Imagine my horror when I picked up my prescribed medication on Saturday and espied these monsters, which appear to have been designed to be ingested by some type of equine animal.

                      I put one against the car for perspective.

So far I’ve managed to get one out of six down the cake hole. The first was by crushing it up and unsuccessfully mixing it with a half glass of milk. The crunchy, bitter remnants stuck in my teeth and repeated on me for the next few hours.

I tried mixing a crushed tablet with some crunchy peanut butter in order to disguise the lumps. It was a putrid and abortive exercise.

“Maybe I could stick it down the back of your throat and hold your snout shut until you lick your nose?” suggested an unhelpful Scotto (who has the responsibility of giving the dogs their worm tablets).

I found this site How to Swallow Pills in Twelve Steps which provides swallowing strategies and I intend working my way through them all until I find a solution.

In the meantime, do any of you have any suggestions?