Friday, January 20, 2012

Fear of disposing medicines - vindicated

The following is an excerpt from:

First, the expiration date, required by law in the United States, beginning in 1979, specifies only the date the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug -- it does not mean how long the drug is actually "good" or safe to use. Second, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take drugs past their expiration date -- no matter how "expired" the drugs purportedly are. Except for possibly the rarest of exceptions, you won't get hurt and you certainly won't get killed. A contested example of a rare exception is a case of renal tubular damage purportedly caused by expired tetracycline (reported by G. W. Frimpter and colleagues in JAMA, 1963;184:111). This outcome (disputed by other scientists) was supposedly caused by a chemical transformation of the active ingredient. Third, studies show that expired drugs may lose some of their potency over time, from as little as 5% or less to 50% or more (though usually much less than the latter). Even 10 years after the "expiration date," most drugs have a good deal of their original potency. So wisdom dictates that if your life does depend on an expired drug, and you must have 100% or so of its original strength, you should probably toss it and get a refill, in accordance with the cliché, "better safe than sorry." If your life does not depend on an expired drug -- such as that for headache, hay fever, or menstrual cramps -- take it and see what happens.

One of the largest studies ever conducted that supports the above points about "expired drug" labeling was done by the US military 15 years ago, according to a feature story in the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2000), reported by Laurie P. Cohen. The military was sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every 2 to 3 years, so it began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective as far as 15 years past their original expiration date.

I feel so vindicated in NOT tossing medications for all these years… I guess I will chuck them when they get close to 15 years old… nawh –maybe not.  Never know when the end of the world will happen, right?  Isn’t it supposed to end this December??  ( hahahahaha!

Update on Organization efforts and discussion on FEAR

First the fun (?) one… organization…

I’m doing well this week – well, not really, but I’m going to lie to myself and say I am.

Monday – Hair do-dads, sort, cull, get rid of any that you no longer use.  That one worked well for me, I was in my bottom drawer digging for something… and I started chucking hair things out.  I got to the bottom then moved onto the pull out rack under my sink and did the same thing.  Then I moved to the tilt out drawer in front of my sink and did the same thing.  I had a PILE of headbands and pony tail holders.  Why do I have them?  Eventually I get sick of going to the hair dressers and stop doing my hair and revert to letting it grow.  It gets to 12+ inches, just enough to donate and WHACK, it gets cut off again.  I’m going to fight that urge and get rid of all my hair “junk” and see if I can maintain the short do longer this time before apathy strikes and I let it go again!

Tuesday – Clean face products – cull expired items.  Bottom line?  I don’t USE face products.  Well, I do, I use Oil of Oley and have since I was something like 15.  I guess the last few days of this cull will tell all if I’m chucking things I didn’t know I had at the bottom of all the drawers J

Wednesday – Clean out medications – my downfall.  I don’t know what is with me, but I have an apocalyptic view of the world.  Could it be that mom would ALWAYS say “We’re living in the last days”?   (love you mom!)  Could be.  I just have a VERY hard time letting go of meds.  Why?  Well, you never know when the end of the world will come and you’re either very happy you have all those pain meds and antibiotics, or you use them to go out “happy” – ha!  Ok, really.  Yes, I know meds loose their potency with age, but at what point are they of NO use what-so-ever?  I guess I need a book that tells me the half life of the drugs in question – then I can decide if having 5 year old antibiotics will do ANY good when the zombie apocalypse happens.  I didn’t grow up in the depression, but I have a waste not – want not mentality when it comes to meds.  I did toss one thing – have not tackled the meds bin in the cupboard yet, this was from the drawer that had all the hair do-dads in it… it was Pepto that expired in 2006.  Would it still work?  I’m sure if you took two it would make a dent… it’s just not full strength.  I had a hard time releasing my grip over the garbage however!

Thursday – Saturday – clean out a drawer a day.  I guess that has been dented a bit by the bottom drawer and the hair stuff, however there is more to be gone through in that area – matching up razor fillers to razor bodies.  I’m sure they have a mate in there somewhere, just finding them could be a challenge as they could be in different areas of storage.  So, sometime this week/weekend I have to tackle the medicine bin and the drawers – can I count my bin as a drawer?  Ha!  I did the bin a while back in another de-clutter/organize effort.  It works better than the shoebox of the past…. Now take it a step further and get rid of meds that are outdated.  I have a feeling I won’t need a bin after that effort!


So maybe fear is really addressed in both of these subjects – fear of letting meds go and fear of going outside of my comfort zone.


I have never been shake in your shoes afraid of change.  I have been uncomfortable and a little afraid, but total fear to the point of vapor lock and not being able to DO what you want to do, what you need to do to make something happen?  Not typical for me.  What is my fear factor right now?  Travel.  Did I hear a collective gasp out there?  Yes, I said it, fear of travel.  I jumped on a plane with NO plans and “stopped off” in New Zealand on my way to Australia the first time I stepped foot outside of US Soil.  Yes, you’re reading correctly, not even a trip to Mexico or Canada.  I went to Australia, by myself and without a care in the world.  A few years later, I was off to Europe with my (lovely) cousin Suzanne – with very few plans and NO reservations.  We  just stopped in at youth hostels along the way and went where we wanted to go.  I jumped on weekend flights to Korea.  I even moved overseas without a care if the world too…. Now?  I’m freaked about committing to going to UAE, to going to Europe without plans.  I don’t know if this is just age, or the fact that I have not traveled in 15 years.  Yes, you read that correctly – no overseas trips since we moved back from Europe.  Sad but true.  I have done small trips with kids, with my folks and our biggest adventure in a long time – Alaska.  So, what is with the fear of going to a place I have ALWAYS wanted to go (Dubai – well, I’ll be close – in Abu Dhabi) ???  AND we’ve always said we would take Liz back to her birthplace.  Sigh.  What is WITH me?  Why so much fear over this?  Why so much trepidation?  Today I am facing this fear – fear of choosing incorrectly on mode of travel, fear of the SUPER long flight, fear of going somewhere I have never been, fear of getting off my butt and going.  Today, I’m booking my flight!


I’m going to look fear in the face and give it a friendly nod… and move ON…

And I have…. My flight is booked (breathe!!)

This flight arrives the next day



Wed 14 Mar

Departs: 3:28pm from Atlanta, GA(ATL)

DL 1195


Arrives: 5:20pm in Washington-Dulles, DC(IAD)

1h 52m

Layover in Washington-Dulles, DC(IAD)1h 50m



Wed 14 Mar

Departs: 7:10pm from Washington-Dulles, DC(IAD)

DL 93851

Thu 15 Mar

Arrives: 7:45am in Amsterdam, Netherlands(AMS)

7h 35m

Layover in Amsterdam, Netherlands(AMS)2h 50m



Thu 15 Mar

Departs: 10:35am from Amsterdam, Netherlands(AMS)

KL 449


Arrives: 8:05pm in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates(AUH)

6h 30m




Sat 24 Mar

Departs: 1:20am from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates(AUH)

DL 94021


Arrives: 5:45am in Amsterdam, Netherlands(AMS)

7h 25m

Layover in Amsterdam, Netherlands(AMS)5h 15m



Sat 24 Mar

Departs: 11:00am from Amsterdam, Netherlands(AMS)

DL 71


Arrives: 2:30pm in New York-Kennedy, NY(JFK)

8h 30m

Layover in New York-Kennedy, NY(JFK)2h 20m



Sat 24 Mar

Departs: 4:50pm from New York-Kennedy, NY(JFK)



Arrives: 7:35pm in Atlanta, GA(ATL)



Total flight time: 15 hours and 57 minutes – making this a 20 hour plus day to get there with layovers

I gave up calculating times coming back.. it’s too scary!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekly organization tasks

no picturesa this week. we had to do the following:
Clean night stand drawer - done
top of night stand - done
one bedroom self. I don't really have one. I have the TV console.. but that's alredy done I counted one of my closet shelves instead.
clean out your junk drawer. Ok, done
orgnize your junk drawer - also done..
So there you have it - all done for this week and movingo on to next week as of today