Friday, February 15, 2019

I Am Sick (And Tired)

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Don't you think they should make things easier for sick people? Yes, they should. But, they don't. They definitely don't. (Who are the "they" that I'm speaking of? I'm not really sure, but I think "they" know who "they" are.)

I'll tell you what I'm talking about. I got sick a couple of weeks ago. It was the usual cold symptoms: runny nose, cough, fatigue, sore throat, general feeling of "blah." So, I did what millions of Americans do when they get sick: I whined to my wife.

But then, it was time to do something about it. So, it was off to the store to get some cold medicine. My main go-to medicine when I get sick is DayQuil. Almost. Because I am a cheapskate, instead of purchasing DayQuil, I bought the store brand generic equivalent.

DayQuil (and its store brand generic equivalent) comes in two forms: pill or liquid. I buy the liquid. The Wife makes fun of me because I won't try the pill form, but have you seen the size of those things? They say "size doesn't matter," but I tend to disagree. Those pills are huge! I've already got a sore throat, and they want me to force that giant orange pill down my gullet? That pill is the size of a Twinkie! My kids have toy footballs that are smaller than that pill!

Sticky orange goo.
No, I choose the liquid. I can at least get that down past my sore throat. Eventually.

Eventually? Yes, because first I have to get the package open. I attempted to open the store brand generic equivalent of DayQuil, but there was a plastic safety seal around the top of the bottle. I tried to take it off. There were perforations where I was supposed to be able to tear it off. I still couldn't. (Remember, at this point I am a sick and feeble person. The plastic was winning.)

So, I had to grab some fingernail clippers and use the file part to rip at the perforation until I was finally able to get the plastic safety seal off. I took the plastic dosage cup off of the top, then removed the lid to get to my liquid elixir, but, of course, there was another safety seal on the top of the bottle.

Sometimes the safety seals on the top of bottles have a large flap on top to make it easier to remove the seal. This one did not. Sometimes the safety seals on the top of bottles have three small flaps on the edge that make it slightly easier to remove the seal. This one did not.

So, I was left to use the file from my fingernail clippers again, this time to puncture the safety seal. Of course, then I had to dig into the bottle to grasp the seal so I could remove it from the top of the bottle. In order to get the seal out, I had to submerge my finger a bit into the medicine. (I don't think they recommend that.)

The only time I ever have trouble with the squeezy lid is when I'm sick--you know, when I actually need to get the darn thing open!

Finally, I could pour my store brand generic equivalent of DayQuil into the dosage cup that comes on the top of the bottle! So that's what I did. And that's when I learned why sometimes it's better to pay a bit more for the actual brand name. The dosage cup had a hole in the bottom of it, so as I poured out the medicine, sticky orange goop oozed all over my bathroom countertop. (I realize now that I probably cracked the dosage cup while struggling to get the first plastic seal off.)

And yes, while I was attempting to get some actual medicine in me, I was sick, tired and more than a bit cranky. And by the time I did get some medicine in me, I was sicker, more tired, and a whole lot crankier.

Unfortunately, two weeks later I was still sick, so I eventually ended up going to the doctor. He diagnosed bronchitis, and gave me a subscription prescription for an inhaler to use when I am having a coughing fit. So, I went to the pharmacy, picked up my subscription prescription, and brought it home. (And why is the pharmacy always at the back of the store? Just to make sure the sick people have to walk as far as possible?)

I had never used an inhaler before, so I needed to look at the instructions. I pulled the little paper with the instructions on it out of the box, unfolded it, and this is what I saw:

Yes, it is all in English! And so is the other side!

The "small" folded paper that came with the medicine was eight folds high and three folds wide. (That's 24 fold sections.) And, the other side was just as full of "important information." (That's 48 total fold sections!) And yes, it's all in English. I counted the words in one of the average fold sections, and there were 200 words. Multiply those 200 words by the 48 fold sections, and that's 9,600 total words!

My gosh, that's as many words as a Tom Clancy novel!!! Do they actually expect a sick person to read all of that before taking the medicine? Really!?! I'm sick, dagnabbit!!! I'm having coughing fits! I can barely focus, and they want me to read The Da Vinci Code?

I just wanted to figure out how to use the inhaler. And drink my sticky orange medicine goop. Why must they make it so hard?

Maybe it's a ploy by the pharmaceutical industry. They already have you sick, so they are trying to keep you sick so you will continue to purchase their medicines that you are unable to open and/or confused as to how to use properly. The longer they keep you sick, the more of their products you will buy.

It seems to be working. Because I'm still sick and tired. And I'm still sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Edited from a post originally published on 3/2/2015.

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