Back when Little Dude was first learning to take his Bactrim, I’d have to budget lots of time for his pill-swallowing.
And I do mean LOTS: one hour in the morning. And another hour at night. That’s the equivalent of two whole episodes of “Orange Is The New Black” that I could have watched. Yes, I am obsessed with that show, but that is currently how I measure my valuable time.
At first, we tried the liquid Bactrim, which was supposed to be a grape flavor.
According to Little Dude, it tasted like crap.
“Mom, this is going to make me throw up!”
And sure enough, he was right.
Then, the pediatrician suggested we try a different flavor. She sent us to a pharmacy that could make the Bactrim taste like almost anything: banana, cherry, bubble gum, popcorn, soda, you name it!
After forking over $40 for a second supply of liquid Bactrim (because it was so not worth the effort to try to get insurance to cover it again), I had high hopes for the cherry flavor.
My dreams went ‘poof’ as soon as he smelled it.
“Uch! I am so not going near this medicine!”
“Okay then, you are going to have to learn to swallow it in pill form,” I said, hoping he’d just chug the friggin’ liquid.
“Fine, I can swallow a pill,” he said confidently.
As soon as I showed him the pill, his confidence went down the drain, along with his puked up Bactrium liquid.
The pill was huge. And chalky.
I cut it in half and told him that half a pill would be much easier to swallow.
Except I was wrong.
We endured episodes of gagging, spitting it up, screaming (that would be me), and scraping it off his tongue.
Until finally, success.
Only one more half to go!
I forgot to mention that the Bactrim is prescribed for him to take it TWICE A DAY for THREE DAYS IN A ROW — and here’s the clincher: EVERY WEEK until his treatments are finished. That’s 46 weeks of torture, people.
I never would have predicted that taking the Bactrim pill would be more stressful and upsetting to Little Dude than the actual treatments, which consist of constant needles, occasional nausea, and incessant waiting in the hospital.
Luckily, our adventures in downing the Bactrim have evolved from a long drawn-out, stress-induced sit-down, to a more calm and efficient approach, although even that took a little while more.
We went from me placing it on his tongue, to counting backwards from 10, and now we’ve perfected it to this:
I turn my back and he takes both halves of the pill while I’m not looking.
Although this can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 20, it works for him. And me.
Unless of course his brothers happen to be nearby making noise. If that is the case, we are doomed because Little Dude needs complete and total silence when ingesting his Bactrim.
Only 29 more weeks of pill-taking to go.