If you’re like me (delightful, fierce, and bothered by various physical ailments), then you have a ton of pills. Let’s take a look at what I consume on a daily basis:
- Tramadol (50 mg every 4-6 hours as needed)
- Cymbalta (80 mg, 20 mg in the morning, 60 mg at night)
- Valium (5 mg, as needed)
- Zyrtec (every night for my Eosinophilic Esophagitis)
- Prilosec (40 mg per day)
- Carafate (two teaspoons 4 times a day)
- Calcium (RX-strength)
- Vitamin D3 (RX-strength)
- Vitamin K2 (RX-strength)
…I’m honestly losing track. Here’s the nonsense I deal with each morning (and these are only the morning, I didn’t get a picture of the nightly regimen):
I can organize the hoard pretty easily using one of these sweet babies:
Those pill cases can be difficult when going somewhere overnight or for a few days. At this point I’m an expert at telling pills apart (and if I’m only 99 percent sure, I’ll Google it to be responsible), but it’s hard to say, “Okay, this group is for the morning, this group is for the evening… And let’s repeat this for the next few days I’m away from my medicine cabinet.” I do realize that the above pill organizer is labeled as A.M. and P.M., though I never use it that way. Those are all morning pills. Evening pills are kept upstairs.
So, I tried the Pill Suite.
NECESSARY DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post. I was given the Pill Suite through my membership in the Chronic Illness Bloggers‘ network in exchange for my thoughts and opinions regarding the device. All opinions are my own, and besides the gift of the Pill Suite system, I have not been influenced by the company in any way.
Okay, now that’s out of the way. Let’s get back to the story. The Pill Suite aims to fill the vacuum that exists with any patient’s eternal question: “Which pills are these?” Stores do sell pill cases with AM/PM slots (see Exhibit A, above), but they’re large, bulky, and difficult to take on trips. If the compartment opens, pills fall everywhere. If airport officials want to see an official script, you have to produce it. (The Pill Suite doesn’t necessarily solve this problem, but I usually deal with that by taking pictures of the pill bottles on my phone for insurance purposes. So far I haven’t been questioned in that regard.)
My biggest complaint with the pill compartment I use every morning is that the slots fall open when it’s thrown in a suitcase. That leads to pills inside clothes, pills falling into dark crevices, and the scary possibility that I might be short some medication while I’m away from home. But I don’t want to have to duct-tape it shut!
How Does the Pill Suite Work?
It’s pretty smart, actually. Here’s the box:
Sorry for the glare, I’m not a professional photographer. Anyway, the idea is that you load the pills into the orange carousel, fill the plastic bags with said pills, seal the bags shut, and clearly label them for what they are: “Tuesday A.M. pills.” “Saturday P.M. pills.” “Grandma’s Horse Tranquilizer.” Stuff like that. The bags are even biodegradable. I have to admit that the green aspect of this machine was actually my first concern (how much waste would I be generating with those little plastic bags?), but it was immediately addressed.
How Easy is the Pill Suite to Use?
So easy. Here’s the process:
Again, I’m not a professional photographer. The above process took fewer than five minutes. You load the carousel’s designated pill slot, pour them into the baggie, seal it shut with the green apparatus, and then you’ve got a sealed, protected case for specific pills that has to be torn open. How cool is that?
My only problem with the Pill Suite is that I take a lot of pills, so many that some got crushed when sticking them into the loading chamber. Filling all the baggies for daily use is tedious. However, there are plenty of times when I venture out of the house and use a tiny Altoid container as a pill box. I have no idea what’s what unless I Google it or know the pill by heart. I even used to put pills in my pockets if I knew I would only be gone a few hours — that’s not safe or hygienic. What if the pill fell through a hole in my pocket? What if some little animal snarfed it down? That’d be awful!
My Final Thoughts
The Pill Suite is great for trips, vacations, and changes in a normal schedule. Sometimes if my daily schedule is different, I’ll forget to take certain pills because my normal triggers aren’t activated (e.g., usually I’m in the kitchen by noon and remember to take a pill because of my surroundings). If I’m going out with friends, the pills will be safe in a labeled bag that has to be torn open. If I go away on vacation, I can fill daily baggies and separate the morning from the evening. Most importantly, I can also pack extras in case something terrible happens.
So yes, I do recommend the Pill Suite, for whatever my opinion is worth. It’s a great complement to any pill regimen, its plastic bags are biodegradable, and it’s safe. I think it’s definitely the next-safest way to keep pills out of the hands of kids and animals besides keeping the medication in its designated child-proof bottle, but who wants to carry bottles everywhere? It can also help if some medications mess up your short-term memory (“Did I already take these? I should take another one to be sure”). With this system, everything is clearly labeled. You can’t mess it up. You can’t overdose. And that’s worth a lot.