T + 77 Pick a Point to Pop your Pills

My latest antibiotic has been causing me a few stomach upsets especially the one I take first thing in the morning. I have to take it an hour before food, just like my penicillin tablet, but I found that for next twenty minutes or so I would have an upset stomach and slight feelings of nausea.

The morning is when I take the greatest variety of my pills: penicllin, ciclosporin, acciclovir, magnesium oxide, amlodipine and if it is a Monday, Wednesday or Friday I also take Septrin all as well as the new antibiotic flucloxacillin. I've tended to take them all in one go when I wake so I have an hour to get up and showered before I can have my breakfast.

It's only the penicillin and flucloxacillin that have to be taken before food so I decided to reduce the potential for drug interaction on an empty stomach and I have started just taking the two antibiotics and my blood pressure tablet amlodipine on waking and I have the other tablets with my breakfast. This has helped a lot and reduced the stomach upset considerably.

Tomorrow is my last day of the flucloxacillin and my spots have subsided a bit but I wouldn't say they have been completely cleared up by the new drug by any means. The doc did warn me that they can be rather ineffectual. I'll see what he says when I go to see him at the transplant clinic tomorrow.

Telling The Time

In the bottom left hand corner of my computer screen, as I suspect on yours, is a clock telling me the time in a precise and digital way such as 10:36. (Alright Mac users for you it will be in the top right corner). However I recently discovered an option to set this as a fuzzy clock. This spells out the time in words and rounds to the nearest five minutes, as you might actually say to a person who asked you in the street. Thus it displays "Tewenty-five to Eleven" when the "real" time is 10:36

This started out as novelty and I have rather grown to like having the time displayed in this way. There is something appealing about the fuzzy nature of it against the hard cold precision of the rest of my computer's display of information. Making it seem more human somehow.

One thing that this new clock has made me more aware of is how I actually picture the time internally. Reading the words twenty-five to eleven I then convert that into a picture of the hands on a clock face. I tend to do this when I read a digital time as well but the processing time to do that in my brain somehow seems quicker and therefore less noticeable. Perhaps that relates to how the parts of the brain that process words and numbers interact differently with the parts that generate mental images or perhaps I'm just less used to reading the time in that way.

The fact that I relate time to a picture of an alaogue clock is, I believe, because of the reason I actually wants to know the time. The reason is almost always because I want to know a duration of time, either how long I have before I have to do something else, such as catch the start of Eastenders ( well more likely the Archers in my case ) or how long I have been doing something. (Have I really spent that long playing Frozen Bubble ).

Knowing just what the time is now in and of itself is not very useful, it's just a number, but knowing the time now and the time I need to go do something enables me to see time as a distance. An analogue clock is an ideal way to visualise that distance. The clock face (real or imagined ) allows me not only to see the time now but also any other time as well, including the time I am interested in. I can see that half or quarter of an hour I have left as the distance between to two times on the clock face.

Is this analogue visualisation just a product of the fact that I was first taught to tell the time from a clock with hands? Digital clocks and watches being not at all common in the early seventies. ( Yes I really am that old). Or is it that this measuring of distance is actually the best way to judge the passage of time? Of course one can look at a digital time of 10:36 and think that's 24 minutes until 11:00 but how easy is it to convert that number, 24, into a useful concept of an amount of time.

As far as I know children are still taught to tell the time with the hands on a clock face as well as with digital time even though I bet nearly all the children will have digital watches. Is that because it's just a hang over from generations of analogue time tellers teaching others that way or is it because it's actually the most useful way to tell the time?

Ah look at that, it's ten past twelve and that means it's lunchtime.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Richard Clarke said…
Nice blog today mate!

Here's a thought; Maybe the conversion of the digital representaion of time into the analogue representation of time to facilitate the image of distance is so you can see how much futher you have to go and you want to know how much further you have to go becuase you're enduring something (like staying hungry for another 10 mins!). A visual representation of time (distance in this case) shows an ever closing gap from the starting point to the finishing point thus giving you a positive feeling that you are getting ever closing to your finishing point (or in this case your lunch :-)) which would counter act the negative feeling of enduring something, thus stabilising your state of mind. Therefore would it be fair to say that generally speaking, people will try to visualise something positive to counter act a negative feeling? And if so would the same apply to the opposite (visualise something negative to counter act a positive feeling)? Is this how the human psyche stays balanced / stable. :-D
raetsel said…
Some interesting points there Richard though I think when you are enjoying something I think you have to have a certain set of mind to be looking at your watch and think about how long before the fun ends. Time flies when you're having fun as they say.

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