So the medication Mikey takes usually arrives in my hands as peach-colored discs (or “peach cookies” per Mikey). The other day, I had this stroke of brilliance that I was going to combine grocery shopping with medicine pickup. So I went to the grocery store pharmacy instead of my regular, neighborhood pharmacy where, literally, everybody knows my name.
Not in any remote place in my brain did I ever imagine pills of the same type came in different colors, shapes and sizes, so I didn’t even glance at the medication. I took home the bottle, feeling smug that I’d done two errands in one store.
Next morning, I popped open the lid, went to hand Mikey his pills, and shit my pants. Because the medication was shaped like enormous, yellow logs. “Barrels” our pediatrician called the new pills. I read the label, verified that it was all the same contents, and proceeded to die, because I knew my son would not agree to ingest this. No.
My son with an autism diagnosis who can’t bear it when people put away their Halloween decorations was not going to just roll with a massive change in his medication’s physical appearance.
He. Would. Not. Take the pill. I approached the situation super cheerfully: “Mikey, isn’t this interesting?! Your pill is the same exact thing, but it just looks different! Like how sometimes we check out The Wizard of Oz with pictures and sometimes it doesn’t have pictures–from the library? It’s just like that?!!?!?!?!”
To be fair, he did at least appear to be making an effort to swallow the pill.
This was a Thursday, a school day for him. He spent the morning as per usual, naked and dashing through the house as if I lit his farts on fire. You can imagine my surprise and frustration when school called shortly after dropoff to report that he was claiming to feel ill and was sitting, nay–moping–around the classroom.
I happened to be in the middle of some bloodwork when I received the call and said I’d call back at 11am, the earliest I could possibly come get him. Two more calls in that time span, to emphasize the gravity of the situation. I began to feel concerned and rushed to school, where he was indeed moping.
Of course, by the time we were home, his farts were on fire again. We spent the long weekend with an unmedicated Mikey, whom even the pediatrician could not persuade to swallow the yellow log. The irony is that if he were medicated, Mikey would be totally game for swallowing something in a new color/shape.
Since his medication is such a controlled narcotic, we can’t just waltz in there and get replacement pills. Our ped needed approval from the insurance company and the pharmacy and who knows who else. It was a process, one he told us would take from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon to complete.
I have never in my life made such a hasty trip to Rite Aid as I did when I got the green light call to go and pick up Mikey’s peach cookie-shaped pills. I even took a picture of the pills with my phone, one that I won’t share because it also has all our personal information on it. But trust me, dear reader, I feel excited about handing him the medicine come morning.
So, I’m hoping that’s our Mikey crisis of the week and we’ll get a respite from dealing with “things that go wrong” for him. Meanwhile, I’ve got 25 spare yellow log pills I have no idea how to dispose of.