|Chocolate. My current medication.|
My mom's regimen of a dozen prescriptions was a bit more complicated. After she moved in with me in August of 2009, it took me at least a month to get acquainted with her routine. She filled her own pillboxes in those early days of living together, but confusion would ensue when the pharmacy re-filled a prescription with a different brand of drug than the one she was used to. When I cleaned her room, I often found pills on the floor or in her bed. More and more frequently she asked me questions that made me worry she didn't quite know what she was doing. Eventually, I became the dispenser of meds, filling three weeks worth of pillboxes at time from a giant plastic box of bottles divided into sections labelled A.M., P.M., and 2X PER DAY.
Now that she's in a nursing home, I'm relieved of all that. But I've been left with a gallon zip-lock bag of meds. My mom moved out in October and I still have the bag of drugs. No class-one narcotics, mind you, just heart meds and blood pressure pills. Pills to help the sinuses, the digestion, drops for the eyes and the ears, and god only knows what else. Burping, farting, itching, swallowing--name your problem and there's a drug for it. I know drugs are not to be disposed of casually by flushing or in a landfill, but the pharmacy (Vons) that filled the prescriptions won't take them back. The DEA hotline had me on hold today for eleven minutes. The Internet has steered me wrong--Walgreens does not take back meds and they don't know who does. I called 211. Nope. They have nothing in their database.
But I'm a late-night Google-er and I found a note I'd tucked into the bag that I'd forgotten about. It was the name of a pharmacy in the neighboring town. I called them, and they say they will take back the meds. I hope it turns out to be true.
Caregiving is hard enough. When it's over you want it to be over. Not that it is if you are still handling the mail and the banking, etc. I think all pharmacies should take back what they fill. And yes, I know I could have gone to the Sheriff's office. I did that after Dan died and dropped off the morphine and the Oxythis and the Oxythat into a secure bin, but I didn't especially want to retrace those steps. And by the way, I still have a tub of needles from Dan. The Sheriff's office does not take those, and they're not supposed to go in a landfill either, and I tried taking them to a toxic waste site. That was a no-go. I could, however, send away for a special mailer that costs 20-some dollars, and yes, I have the 20 bucks, but really, this is the shit that just wears you down.
Thanks for listening.
Any artists out their who make things out of pills? I have a bag full.