I don’t like taking pills.
A new cardiologist I saw yesterday suggested that I take two new pills, as a possible way to relieve effects of my leaky heart valve and to postpone — or even avoid! — heart surgery.
Pills are a lot easier to take than heart surgery, right?
So why would I NOT want to take a pill?
Maybe it’s because
- pill = illness, in my mind,
- before I got my first cardiac pacemaker at age 10, the doctors gave me a terrible, horrible-tasting pill to speed up my heart, and
- the word “pill” means, among other things, “a tedious or unpleasant person.”
I don’t want to be a pill about pills, but it does seem like pills are often used as a quick fix for a variety of ailments that, perhaps, could be relieved by other means.
For example, yesterday morning I did lots of exercise at cardio rehab and I felt great, without the use of any pills. I — along with many patients I see for individual and group psychotherapy — believe that exercise can be fabulous medicine for the heart, mind, and soul.
When I bragged to the cardiologist yesterday about how great I felt doing exercise, he replied that my feeling that good exerting myself does NOT necessarily correlate to my heart being as healthy as we’d like. If I didn’t think he was such a nice and competent doctor, I might say about that cardiologist:
What a pill!
… for giving me that kind of a reality pill when I was feeling so much hope.
Does that sound like I took a mean pill?
Maybe it’s time for a chill pill.
I found that chill pill here. I wonder if I’ll get into trouble for using that photo? I might need another chill pill about that fear, now. But if I use another stock photo of a pill, will I be afraid of the consequences of that, needing yet another pill?
Is this an endless feedback loop?
(I found that image here.)
Speaking of endless feedback loops, I was talking to somebody in a therapy session, yesterday morning, about breaking the seemingly endless negative feedback loops of self-criticism, fear, and anxiety. How? By doing one small thing differently.
Maybe, just maybe, my taking the different, new action of swallowing an extremely small pill today will help my very unusual heart (despite my negative thoughts about taking pills).
Another thought about pills: yesterday, right before I left work for that doctor’s appointment, I suggested to another patient in a therapy session that she use a helpful thought as if it were a pill. I prescribed her the phrase “good enough,” to take frequently as an antidote to perfectionism.
I like telling people to take non-medicinal items (like exercise, helpful phrases, the company of animals, the company of kind human beings, etc.) as if they were pills. I often say, “You can take that as often as you like, without side effects.” If you’d like to take some (I hope) easy-to-swallow previous posts about non-medicinal antidotes, you can find them in my blogging medicine cabinet here, here, here, and here.
Take those and call (or comment) me in the morning (or whenever you like) about how they work, including any side effects.
Speaking of side effects, the new pills prescribed to me today may cause some side effects, including light-headedness.
As if my head weren’t light enough already.
To lighten the mood around here, I’m going to show you some photos I took yesterday, as medicine for myself:
Now, perhaps to cure what ails you, I prescribe the following song:
What else is in store for me in the days ahead, besides popping new pills? Seeing my old pill-jockey,* Dr. Salem. We’ll see how much of a pill he is (and I am), on Wednesday.
Thanks to all pills and non-pills out there, especially you (of course!) for taking any medicine you could find here, today.
* That’s new slang I just made up, for doctor. Do you have any particularly medicinal ways of describing the doctors in your life?