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The origin of the Pillbags

Posted Jun 19 2013 8:00am
In the beginning, there was a Pillbox. A small, dainty, Parisian-inspired metal pillbox, just big enough for my mid-day doses of medication.

One of my best friends from college sent it to me upon hearing that I'd been diagnosed with lupus more than 12 years ago. It was one of the only things that kept me going during those first few months with the disease. Every morning before work, I'd count out the pills I needed to take with me - to be administered at 12 noon. This cherished little box has seen many pills over the years - including but not limited to plenty of Prednisone ,  Cellcept , and Plaquenil - all of which have worked in their own mysterious ways over the years.

I remember grasping onto this box, almost with a sense of pride. In the face of a disease that was robbing me of my vitality and mobility, this sweet little box somehow made me feel dignified, almost sophisticated. At the time, it was shiny and new, and the emblem on the top reminded me of my care-free days living in France during a semester in college.

Most importantly, carrying this pillbox made me feel loved. My good friend had sent it as a gesture of concern - for me, my health, and my well being. Upon its arrival, it appeared empty, but I knew it was filled with big doses of compassion, hopefulness, and love - just what I needed at the time.

Over the years, I've thought a lot about what this Pillbox meant to me, and how significant it was to have something that I considered lovely in my possession. As ugly as lupus made me feel inside and out, my beautiful Parisian pillbox did everything in its power to combat that.

And that is my hope with the Pillbags. Despite the dozens of pills they're meant to carry, despite all of the symptoms and side-effects, complications and limitations that may accompany its use, the bright, cheery fabrics, and shiny, chic hardware are meant to be a bright spot in the daily routines of the millions of medicine-dependent people in the world today.

A friend of mine framed it perfectly. I was telling him that I was stumped when a customer recently said to me, "This Pillbag would be perfect for my mother-in-law, but I guess it's not very fun to get her something for her pills." And my friend quipped back, "Well, isn't that the point? Taking something that's not much fun at all, and turning it into something that is."

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