Meet Frank and Louise Wilmot
Frank, 72, is a retired engineer who enjoys gardening, fishing, and shouting at the television. Louise, 68, is a retired middle school teacher who likes to travel, read, and ignore Frank’s shouting at the television. They share their New England home with a happy little wheaten terrier named Bailey.
Louise woke to the sound of Bailey, her wheaten terrier, whining to go outside, so she stepped into slippers and a robe and headed to the kitchen.
She let Bailey out into the backyard, then reached into the cabinet for a glass and her thyroid pills. “Only four left,” she noted as she swallowed the blue pill with a sip of water, “I’ll have to call for a refill.”
Suddenly an eruption of barking came from the backyard: her neighbor Angela’s cat had Bailey cornered against the hedge separating the yards again. “Grand,” thought Louise as she placed her glass in the sink and hurried out to rescue Bailey, “he’ll wake the entire neighborhood.”
“Satan, you leave him alone and go back to your own yard!” Louise stage whispered, flapping her bathrobe at the fat feline.
“Her name is Satin, not Satan,” snapped Angela, responding to the racket from her own back door, “I don’t know why your dog can’t leave her be!”
The cat waddled victoriously home through the hedge. Louise retrieved her dog, not bothering to point out who had been the instigator.
Once back in the kitchen she reached into the cabinet for a glass and her thyroid pills. She swallowed the blue pill with a sip of water and as she placed the glass in the sink, she noticed another glass there. With a sinking feeling, she looked at the two glasses and realized her mistake. A quick recount of the pills in the bottle confirmed it: she had taken her medicine twice.
“Just toast and coffee for me” her husband replied from the bedroom.
“No, Frank, come here, I think I’ve got a problem!”
“Knew that when I married you” he muttered, entering the kitchen. “What’s up?”
“I think I took my thyroid pill twice. I got distracted by the chaos outside, and I took it twice!”
“All right, let’s not panic. We can call the pharmacy. How do you feel?”
“I feel fine right now, but the pharmacy isn’t open yet,” she replied.
“Where’s that magnet from the poison center? Don’t they handle these types of things?” Frank said, looking among the photos and notes on the fridge. “Here it is!”
A quick call to the Northern New England Poison Center allayed their fears. The poison specialist reviewed the medication and dosage, asked whether Louise usually had any side effects from the medication, went over Louise’s medication list, and reassured her that it was not an emergency. She even offered to send them a pair of pill minders to sort medications for each day.
“Crisis averted,” Frank said, “how’s about that coffee?”
Medication errors happen! If you think you’ve taken too much or the wrong medication, you can call the Northern New England Poison Center 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222 for free, confidential advice.