Found! Daily Pillbox

A while ago when I first started using hypertension meds, I went shopping for a “daily pillbox” — you know, those plastic thingies with a compartment for each day of the week, into which you can put the day’s pills so you don’t forget to take them.

I searched for the damned thing, but the three or four pharmacies I tried all had the same answer: “Nope, never heard of that.” Finally, I just figured it was not something I could buy in Korea, and I’d have to just wait until I got to North America to buy one.

(Or, rather, in a rare flash of optimism, I imagined I might be off the pills by then and not need one.)

Well, the other day my neighbours invited me along to Homeplus, where they were going for groceries, and since I felt like getting anyway, I happened to go along. And what do you know but…

… Yup. Homeplus has ’em. I bought one, though I probably got the wrong kind for my needs. (They have two styles — a long strip, or a compact little heptagon. The heptagon is better for travel, so I figure I’ll get it for my trip this summer, and then give away the strip-styled one to the first person who mentions going onto a medicine long-term.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t live here, that’s pretty normal for Korea: when you want to buy something, it’s usually not in the place you’d think, and often not even in the places where you decide to try next. A lot of stuff is available, but tracking it down is the tricky part, and sometimes you have to just sort of relax and let yourself stumble onto things.

That “just relax” part is tough for some of us, but I figure that’s also part of the lesson I can learn from this whole “hypertension” thing. Because I could look at the condition as an emblem of failure, of bodily neglect, and so on — initially I did — but now I figure it’s more worthwhile to just learn something from it.

A wake-up call, then.

(Incidentally, that’s how I’m looking at the injury that put me out of exercising last week, and the cold that’s stopping me from doing much this week: it’s teaching me that my exercise routine — which was approaching 3-4 hours a day, 4-5 days a week — was simply too much, unbalanced, and unhealthy. More is not always better, my body says, even for the healthy stuff.

Yeah, I got it, I reply. Cough, cough. Now can you defeat this bloody cough? I’d like to go for a walk…

13 thoughts on “Found! Daily Pillbox

  1. I have one of those strip-type pill boxes too! It’s one of those things you see older people have when you’re young, and you can’t imagine ever needing one yourself… until you do. “Surely,” you think, “I won’t ever be on medication, and if I am, I can certainly keep track of when I need to take the next dose or remember if I already have.” Sigh. It is not so. Fortunately, my pillbox was readily available at the first drugstore I went to, although I did have to hunt around a bit for them.

  2. Ha, yeah, it’s totally a mental comfort thing for me. I pause and think, “Did I take my medication this morning?” Now I can look at the box and say, “Uh huh.” If it clears up my mind for other things, I embrace it as a positive thing, but I surely do remember the few weeks I spent working in a private nursing home, and marveling at the daily pillboxes. They had seriously big ones, there — three slots per day, for pills that went with breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  3. *Shakes head* Of course they do.

    I am sometimes amazed that clothing shops don’t stock barbecued chicken off to the side, the way some product/store-type associations work here. It’s just baffling…

    (It’d also be nice if someone had bothered to offer that information. Nobody I asked bothered, though I presume all of them had some idea where I could get the thing I needed. Must start asking prying questions again, I guess…)

    Wait, don’t tell me some clothing shops do stock BBQ chicken… I don’t wanna know.

  4. Those things are really good for storing earrings in, and packing them for a trip.

    We have several of the twice-a-day ones, with 2 rows of 7 compartments each, and 2 of them are holding earrings. I carefully select up to 14 pair every time I travel….

  5. Oh, what I’ve done a number of times is just wander around stores, get a feel for what they do and do not have, and then when the need arises, I know where to go. Target doesn’t always have what you’d think they would, and the grocery store will have it instead.

    (Speaking of which, maybe I need to try the grocery store tomorrow for livable pool sandals for my daughter — damned if I’m going to pay for Disney Princess on anything that’s going to be visible when she’s out and about, and if I get her Spider-Man, we’ll always be mixing up hers with her twin brother’s.)

  6. Julia,

    LOL I never thought of someone using one of those for earrings. Weirdly, though, my question is: they don’t make travel kits for storing earrings?

    As for wandering around, yeah, I’ve done that too, it’s just that some of the things are so… I don’t know. There’s consistency, but the associations/logic just seem so bizarre sometimes. (To me, as an outsider… but, wait, no, to some Koreans too. I’ve heard people complain about how hard it is to find things in shops. I think it’s another reason online shopping has exploded here.)

    Disney Princess? Ha!

  7. They make travel kits for jewelry. And they assume you have less than 10 pairs of earrings and really need help with transporting necklaces so they won’t get tangled. If you never wear necklaces, those travel kits just aren’t all that good. And the things I’ve seen that were made to store just earrings, that have a lid that would make them not unreasonable to travel with, cost a lot more per compartment than the weekly pillcases. (Plus, with the pillcase, you can just open the compartment with the one pair you actually want, if the translucent plastic and the printing thereon doesn’t obscure that too badly.)

    I’m just kinda down on Disney Princess because it’s the “girl branding” that gets put on products the most, and I’m not a big fan of branding like that. Of course, I’m more than happy to make an exception for Spider-Man; I’m going to blame that on the children’s TV show “The Electric Company” that I watched a lot in the 1970s, and be fine with it in any case.

  8. Julia,

    That’s all really interesting. I wonder how many women’s feedback was taken on the jewelry kits.

    As for being down on Disney Princess — I don’t know what I think about gendered branding on kids’ stuff. I understand in an abstract sense what academic feminists have to say about it, but to some degree I find something vaguely puritanical about it, considering how often the kids themselves are the ones who want the stuff so ardently.

    I too have a soft spot for Spider Man. (Were there Spider Man segments on TEC? I never saw that show: up in Northern Saskatchewan, we had Sesame Street and The Muppet Show but never TEC…)

  9. Most women who are taking several pairs of earrings are actually going to wear necklaces with most of them. I’m odd in that respect. But I’ve found a solution that works for me. (If I wear something as heavy as a little laminated con badge on ball chain around my neck, I have a headache within 5 minutes from the pressure on the back of my neck. That’s just weird.)

    I wouldn’t mind some of the gendered branding if it were decent stuff the gender branding were referring to. Mulan, fine. Sleeping Beauty? Not so much. IMO. (Lilo, not at all a princess, would be absolutely fine with me.) There’s inherent sexism in the older princess stories that I don’t want polluting my daughter’s mind.

    There *were* Spider-Man segments on TEC, at least in the later years. I think that was the first place I encountered the phrase, “taking candy from a baby”.
    Maybe http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1650C5F16749FF9F will help you….

  10. Wow, that IS sensitive. I wonder why your neck is so sensitive to weight?

    I see. I can understand objecting to Princess stories’ sexism. That Princess thing is weird: when I hear young Korean women (ie. age 22-ish) use the word to refer to themselves, I am shocked. They’re always the least interesting individuals in a given room, predictably.

    Ha, that first video: Morgan Freeman (is it really?) is “takin’ his main squeeze to the library.” That friggin’ rocks!

  11. Heh, you want Morgan Freeman, go do a YouTube search on “Electric Company Easy Reader”.

    I don’t know what it is with my neck, but there are more impressive ways my body got messed up with my pregnancies, and I’m wondering if that has anything to do with it. (It’s not like I was wearing necklaces much for awhile there, with little fingers wanting to grab things all the time….)

  12. Y’know, I think I ran across Morgan Freeman in some TEC video in the past, actually… makes sense now.

    As for the neck — well, who knows. It’s unusual, though! Ever talk to a doctor about it?

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