Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Do Liquid Medications Have To Taste SO Bad?

Today I am preparing to have both a colonoscopy and endoscopy tomorrow morning.  I don't really mind the procedures (after all, I am sleeping during them), but I absolutely detest the preparation.  After taking four teeny-tiny little pills that always make me terribly sick, having to also drink a gallon of vile-tasting liquid seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me.

When I was a little girl the pediatrician prescribed Cod Liver Oil for my older sister.  Just the smell from the open bottle was foul, and I remember my mother saying she was thankful that it was my sister who had to take it and not me.  My sister was cooperative and did not fight taking it.  As for me, I would and still will take the biggest pill but even a scant teaspoon of liquid medication makes me want to bolt.  When I was a child my mom would have to catch me to give me cough medicine for my annual bouts of bronchitis in the cold Chicago winters.  Sometimes it would take both my father and my mother to accomplish it (one to catch me and hold me still while the other one squeezed my jaws to open my mouth to get the dreaded spoonful of medicine down my throat). 

To this day my own children remember having to take cough medicine during their childhoods in Dallas.
My son is the oldest and he, like my sister, was cooperative and would take it without any problem even though he detested it.  My daughter was always very petite but very strong, and she and I both laugh when we remember the way she would try to escape taking the medicine.  Since her dad traveled much of the time it fell to me to devise a way to hold on to her AND get the medicine in her mouth.  Because she was petite, I would be able to catch her, put her down on the carpeted floor on her back, straddle her to keep her arms and legs from flailing, and then with one hand squeeze her jaws to open her mouth while inserting the spoon with the other hand.  It was always an ordeal, and I knew how awful the medication tasted so I felt terrible for having to force her to take it.  She has long since forgiven me for those episodes which were necessary but never enjoyable.

Now my children are adults with one living on the opposite side of the country and one living on the other side of the world.  They both have visited me recently, and I love them beyond words, but I must admit that I am glad they are not here to see me today as I make myself go through the process of
preparing for tomorrow's tests.............although perhaps they might enjoy a little revenge if together they could catch me and hold me down while pouring that nasty liquid down my throat.  As it is, I must just do what I have to do, like it or not, and know that by this time tomorrow I will be sound asleep on a gurney as my doctor performs both procedures.  I am hopeful I won't require these tests again for another five years and that perhaps in the interim some genius will invent a new prep medication that tastes like a delicious milkshake.  One can only hope...............

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