amber rahim

Chronic illness: the parts we don't talk about


Stupid insurance company, now I need to do press ups for my fingers

It’s 9pm and it’s medicine time again and another opportunity for me to practice patience and letting go of anger.

You see, the 9pm medicine is a tablet.  It comes in tablets of 5mg and I need to give a dose of 2.5mg.  Now, the tablet has a groove down the middle so that you can break it in half and voila!  Correct dose.

We used to get these great tablets that you could just snap in half.  They are only 5mm long but just a small amount of pressure and there you go, two equally sized parts.

Recently our health insurance company changed the list of approved meds and have moved us to a generic.  Nothing wrong with generics but I can’t break this tablet in half.  It is also 5mm but has been set in concrete and no matter what I do, I can’t break it in half.  I need to do press ups for my fingers to get them stronger!  I will conquer this tablet!

Breathe.  Sigh.

So I cut it with a knife.  All you tablet takers out there know what happens right?  Yep.  One large bit.  One small bit. Lots of dust.

So again I pick up the knife to shave down the large bit to the right size and then I throw away the dust and the small bit.

Insurance company take note: this is your cost cutting in practice.  I now use twice as many tablets as before.

Well done.

While I’m at it, Pharmaceutical companies also note: if you say a tablet can be broken in half, then actually make sure that it can be done by normal hands.  Don’t just rely on the freakishly strong fingers of people like my husband.  Test it with normal people.  If you’re making medicine, you are in it for the good of the people right?  Why do only consumer goods companies focus on the end user experience?

Ironically, it’s a tablet meant to reduce blood pressure.