Thursday, October 28, 2010


Yes, that is what I said.  I have a very sensitive gag-reflex.  Therefore, taking pills larger than an M&M usually presents a problem for me.  Especially when my tummy is feeling yucky.  Gotta ration the water to pill ratio so I'm not filling my belly with sloshy water.  It is quite the process.  And if you know anything about pills, just about ALL of them are larger than an M&M.

Seeing as my life right now is pretty much ALL about swallowing pills, I've just had to deal with it.  So far I haven't lost my stomach but I've got some silly tricks to let the pills go down when I feel like I'm about to gag.

My tried and true method is to take a sip of water, pop the pill and then recite in my head - "This is a red Skittle, this is a red Skittle...."  imagining that it's something I like and that it's sweet and tiny makes it easier to swallow I think.

Do you ever get a pill in your mouth and start to taste it and begin to gag but you know you just HAVE to swallow it.  I panic; my brain goes crazy trying to convince my mouth, stomach, and gag reflex that everything will be fine if I just SWALLOW the darn thing quickly.  But I get paralyzed all the more making the taste and feel of a large pill bumping against the back of my throat worse.  I try the "Skittle" trick to no avail.  This morning I frantically searched the heavens (as my head is usually tilted up and back so that the pill is in prime position to slide down my gullet) trying to find SOMETHING to psych myself into thinking.  My eye landed on a Wii remote sleeve -- these are opaque white things that cover the Wii remote.  And immediately I thought, "Okay - this pill in my mouth is a tasty, white sugar cube".  I had to repeat it a few times before I had the courage to swallow the pill but I safely got it down.


Am I the only one who has trouble swallowing pills?


  1. um, no, you're not the only one. i hate swallowing pills in front of people because i tilt my head back and shake it slightly to get the pill into just the right place, and still sometimes choke on it. i've always had problems swallowing pills. maybe it goes hand in hand with the vomit phobia? :)

  2. oh, and i hate tasting it too. it's usually in my mouth long enough to dissolve to the point of taste. actually, the best way for me to take pills is with a little bit of OJ. for some reason, i don't have as much trouble that way. can you do that?

  3. Totally!!!! I've been taking the especially difficult ones with thick chocolate milk. If I choke on one pill I can't take the rest so I start with the small ones first. lol

  4. you're not the only one, feath! ;/ if it's not advil (which is coated with something sweet and pleasant), it's hard for me to swallow. the worst is mucinex, which tastes like the smell of a flea collar. no matter how quickly you try to swallow it, you still get the taste.

    i second having something pleasant to taste handy right after you swallow the pill(s). it's helpful to mask the taste and also a little reward.

    you're in our prayers!

  5. (Just discovered your blog today, and found I really identify with it -- I'm a Christian struggling to maintain an attitude of gratitude for my diagnosis and treatment opportunities and thankfulness for the herxes because they mean the medicine is working....also I have a similar growing-up-with-Lyme-disease-and-diagnosis-story and am being treated by JSC as well :) -- so I've been reading through your old entries. hope you don't mind!)

    Isn't the heightened gag reflex / difficulty swallowing a Lyme symptom itself? I definitely have a hard time swallowing pills and have to give myself similar pep talks every day!