Pills in Public – Easier Now

Part of what’s so funny/awkward about taking meds in a public venue is that I don’t usually take my pills in front of anyone.  Maybe it’s part of trying to keep RA from taking over every aspect of my life.  My family eats together at the dinner table, then when everyone is excused I slip into the kitchen and stand at the sink to swallow all my pills while people leave the room.

Since I don’t usually take my pills in front of people, when unusual situations occur and I do take my meds in front of others, it feels weird.  I’m getting better at it, though.

Just before Christmas, I was highly stressed about having to swallow all those pills in front of everyone at a company Christmas party.  What would people say?  One option I considered – briefly – is foregoing the meds for one night.  Just leave the pills at home and not worry about the occasional missed dose.  I decided that although that would certainly be convenient, it might result in rationalizing all sorts of reasons to skip other doses, too.  Bad long-term strategy.


I’m thankful that the Christmas party turned out so well, because I’ve had to do it again.  We recently attended a RMEF banquet.  It was very easy to slip my pill sorter for the day into my pocket to make it possible to take everything along inconspicuously.  Obviously it wouldn’t be possible to remain invisible if I had to line up a zillion prescription bottles and wrestle their lids off.

At mealtime I slipped my pill box out of my pocket and into my lap, then dumped the contents into my hand (in my lap).  With my left hand I’d shove a pill into my mouth, and with my right hand I’d take a drink of water.  Repeat.  Repeat 

Our table was the closest one to the buffet tables.  That means we were among the first to get our food, then sat down to eat with lines of hungry people jostling our chairs.  Even though our table was surrounded by people, I don’t think anyone noticed me taking all those pills.  I’m finding that often people are involved in their own little world and don’t pay a whole lot of attention to what anyone else is doing.  Sometimes that’s pretty nice!

More Practice

We’ve also had company over a couple times.  I love to entertain, but the first time was a little apprehensive about the whole situation since we don’t know this couple very well.  Despite my attempts to remain unobserved, my invisibility cloak failed.  Nobody said anything, though, so it worked out okay.

A week later we had other people over for supper, and again my invisibility cloak failed.  And again, it wasn’t a big deal.

A few days later we attended a potluck.  I handled that like the banquet – pills box in my lap right at the table.  Nobody noticed.  I think the more people there are in a room, the less attention people pay to what’s going on.

One last note on the banquet.  The entire evening was fun.  I now have earrings and necklace to match the belt buckle I got last year.  I wanted a watch, too, but the bidding got too high.  Maybe next year.

Thanks for reading.
I have a busy week planned and probably won’t post much.


2 thoughts on “Pills in Public – Easier Now

  1. Beautiful jewelery!

    Yes, taking pills in front of strangers or people you aren’t close with can be difficult. Sometimes I just make a joke of it and that seems to make everyone feel more comfortable. When I was in Toronto for work a couple of weeks ago, I got them out at the hotel breakfast table (some of them have an awful aftertaste, so I’d rather take them with juice if I can). One of the coworkers I’m quite close with said, “Helen, you brought your pharmacy!” It made me laugh and made me feel much less awkward about the whole thing.

    I think you’re right that people are often in their own worlds. If we don’t make a big deal of it, in most cases, neither will they.

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