Hard to swallow

I don’t like swallowing pills. Does anyone else have this problem? I’m not sure if I’m afraid of choking, or what the issue is, but I can inhale a family-sized block of chocolate in one minute flat but it takes me half-an-hour to swallow a paracetamol tablet and by the time I’ve managed it, I’m sweating, the pill has mostly dissolved into foul-tasting mush on my tongue, and I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna survive the second tablet.

So this morning, afflicted with some killer period cramps, I staggered into my local supermarket and stared at the bafflingly large selection of pain relief options which all seemingly do the same thing in different forms. Tablets, caplets, gel-caps, minicaps… Wait, what was that last one? I’d never heard of “minicaps” before, but the word “mini” appealed to me because surely that meant it was smaller than the usual size of whatever size “caps” were. I looked at the picture on the box and they looked pretty “mini” to me. So I bought those. Of course I did.

I got them home, cursing my uterus all the way, and opened the box to discover… Wait, these are supposed to be “mini”! I took two out of the packet and compared them to the picture. The picture was definitely smaller. I read the back of the box. No mention of why they were called “mini”. I pulled out the product leaflet. Still no explanation of “mini”. So I did what any sane person would do and called the product hotline.

While my son ran around shouting “Cock-a-doodle-doooooooo!” at the top of his lungs (thanks, school holidays), I waited through the obligatory disclaimer message and then an ultra-cheery customer service rep answered and, long story short, the “minicaps” are the smallest in their product range. He took my name and number so I expect that my local supermarkets and chemists will receive a fax later today warning them about me and my quest for the smallest, easiest-to-swallow pain relief option on the market.

I thanked the very kind customer service rep, who probably deals with this sort of crap from hormonal crampy mums all day long and needs a few “minicaps” himself to get over us, and hung up in a hurry because now not only was my uterus trying to claw its way out of my body, but I also had a headache brought on by the featherless rooster my son was trying to morph into. Did I mention it’s the third day of school holidays? And my kids have moaned “I’m boooooooooored!” at least 17,000 times in the past three days? I think I’m gonna take two minicaps and have a lie-down.

Katherine Granich

Editor, Tots to Teens

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