12/28/08

Actonel advent calendar

You wouldn't expect that a once-a-week medication could ruin your life. Then again, you might not think your life was ruined because your mom made you take fourth-year French in high school [see YRMLM].

For two and a half years Actonel has been ruining my dad's life every Thursday morning. Actonel is a prescription medication for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. It's taken with 8 ounces of plain water when you first get up for the day, before any other food, drink, vitamins, or medicine. Then you have to stay sitting up or walking around for half an hour. No rolling over and going back to sleep. You can read the newspaper, watch birds in the backyard, argue with a teen about why he should take that fourth year French class, wash your face, get dressed, make coffee, do the Sudoku, surf the cable tv channels, and cook breakfast during that half hour. Just don't recline.

Trouble is, for two and a half years, every Thursday morning, Dad does it backwards. He gets up, washes his face, gets dressed, makes the coffee, looks in his pill organizer, and then takes the Actonel pill with 8 ounces of plain water. He spends the next half hour thinking that Actonel has ruined his life. He keeps thinking along that line the rest of Thursday.

At least Dad remembers to take the Actonel and the calcium supplements for his osteoporosis. For this we thank the Ezy-Dose Four-A-Day Weekly Practidose Medication Organizer #91350 from CVS, the best $9.99 I ever spent. The pill organizer is $14.99 online now. It's pretty sturdy, having survived a couple years of heavy use. We call it the "Advent Calendar."

There's a note in the Thursday morning compartment of the Advent Calendar that reminds Dad to take the despised Actonel. The only thing Dad despises more than his Thursday morning Actonel is the Boniva tv commercial with Sally Field. Boniva is a once-a-month osteoporosis medicine, so it probably has four times the life-ruining potency of Actonel. Dad is not alone in his life-ruining opinion of Actonel. His rehab roommate, Melvin, carried on at lenghth on the same subject.

Every few months I make the bold suggestion that Dad set his Actonel pill beside his bed on Wednesday night. He could take it when he gets up on Thursday morning before he even washes his face. What I really need is for Santa's elves to put a new note in the Wednesday evening slot of the Advent calendar. It just needs to say, "Set the Actonel by your bed and take it when you get up tomorrow." The note does not need to be written in French.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

If that's the worst medical treatment he has to dread every week he's lucky -- but I know it doesn't seem that way to him. I've always thought I would prefer a once-a-day pill to once-a-week or once-a-month. I'd probably hate Actonel too.

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