Medication Adherence.

You’re taking your medications every day, right?” the doctor asked.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said.

“Good. Here are prescriptions with three refills each.”

“What’s the green pill for again?”

“The green pill?”

“Yeah, the green pill, the one kind of shaped like an egg?”

“Uh, I’m not sure. You can ask the pharmacist when you pick up your medications. But if you’re taking all of them, then you’re doing the right thing.”

“Okay, doc. Thanks.”

When he got home from the pharmacy, he placed the white paper bag on the table. Dropping himself into a chair, he tore through the stapled top of the bag and pulled out the plastic orange vials. He arranged them in a row on the table.

“One, two, three, four…” he counted as he tapped the white caps. “… ten, and eleven.”

Glancing up, he reached for the shallow candy dish near the middle of the table. A few colored specks were caught within the spaces created by the etchings in the glass.

His eyes passed over the labels on the vials:

  • Take one tablet by mouth twice daily.
  • Take one tablet by mouth every day.
  • Take one tablet by mouth every night.
  • Take…

He quickly removed the twist-off caps. His fingers fished out the wads of cotton, which he left on the table. He poured all the pills into the candy dish. His right index finger stirred them into a colorful mixture.

Before going to bed that night, he picked up his toothbrush. His eyebrows suddenly lifted.

“Meds,” he mumbled.

He carried a drinking glass from the bathroom out to the kitchen. He scooped up a handful of medications and examined his hand to make sure he got at least one of every color and shape. He tossed them into his mouth and chased them down with water from the glass.

“You take your medications every day, right?” the doctor asked him the next month.

“Yeah, of course,” he said.