Thursday, February 3, 2011

This Move Can't Happen Soon Enough...

If I told you I wasn't counting the days and hours until we can make this move, I'd be lying.  Last night, I phoned my grandmother to make sure she took her night-time medicine - Coreg for blood pressure, Synthroid for her thyroid, and Nexium to control acid reflux.  She assured me that yes, she had taken everything.  She was adamant.  We chatted about her day, and less than 10 minutes later, she asked, "Why didn't you put any medicine in my box?" 

I asked her what she meant, and she said, "My box was empty... you didn't put in any medicine for tonight."  "Yes, I did, Mam-ma - you just told me a few minutes ago that you already took it."  "NO I DIDN'T!" she argued.  We bantered back and forth several times, and she insisted that she had NOT taken any evening medicine.  "There wasn't anything in that box, and I didn't know what to do," she said.  I told her she always takes medicine... and if there isn't anything in the box, it must have fallen out.  I told her to go ahead and take Friday's medicine, and I would fix the compartments when I came over to her house again. 

I considered telling her to skip the medicine, and when I hung up, my husband said, "You do realize she has probably just taken two doses of her night-time medications, don't you?!"  I told him that was possible, but she was arguing with me that she had NOT taken any medication.

Less than an hour later, Mam-ma phoned me... "What will happen if I take two doses of that medicine at night?"  I asked, "Why?  Do you think that's what you did?"  "Yeah, I think I took that dose in the box before I ate my supper and just forgot."  My husband interjected, "Tell her to drink another glass of buttermilk."  She said she would.  I assured her I thought it would all be okay, and she said she would drink the buttermilk.

Today, with a forecast of snow, I stopped at the store and got fresh milk and buttermilk, bread and cookies for Mam-ma.  When I got to her house, she was dragging like she was on her last leg.  She said, "I feel terrible - all over."  I fixed all of her medicine and got it back in order.  I also showed her a quilt that my mother-in-law had made that we thought might work as a comforter on her bed at the ALF.  I asked, "What do you think?" as I spread it out across her bed.  "Y'all just do whatever you want," she replied curtly.  "I feel so bad, I don't care."  I left the quilt on the bed and suggested she look at it over the next few days and give it some thought.

When I got home, I talked with my sister and learned that yesterday Mam-ma inspected a couple of small chairs in her living room that she is considering taking with her to the ALF and deemed them to be "filthy," so she exhausted herself cleaning them.  I don't know exactly what she did, and my sister really scolded her for wearing herself out like that, but clearly this factored into her condition today.

I relayed to the ALF administrator about the medicine mix-up this afternoon when she let me know that a nurse has been contacted to evaluate my grandmother.  However, it will be early next week before the nurse can work Mam-ma into her schedule.  Snow and freezing rain are forecast for this weekend and again mid-week, so I know weather could change these plans, and I am not telling Mam-ma just yet when I think a nurse might be stopping by to see her.  If all goes perfectly, we could be moving in another 14 days or so.  My husband has cautioned me that this could end up being closer to three weeks, and I know he is right.

I left medicine on my grandmother's dining table for her to take tonight, but upon consulting my sister-in-law, who is a pharmacist, I decided to ask her not to take anything else for today... give her system a chance to rest and "re-set."  If the snow doesn't come, I will take Mam-ma to the beauty shop tomorrow and check on her once again.  I'm just going to have to keep fairly close tabs on her until we can get this move accomplished... and pray she stays safe and well enough to actually go - and enjoy herself when she gets there.  If you want to add your prayers to mine, they would be greatly appreciated!


Steph said...

I can SO relate to the issues of seniors taking (or not taking!) their meds.

One of the best things about Assisted Living is that they will control her meds and makes sure she takes them when she supposed to, and at the right dose. I am sure that alone will be such a sense of relief for you. Good luck!

Debbie Robus said...

Steph, this is so true. Last Friday, I dispensed my grandmother's meds for what will be the last time... and I found at least one dose still in the compartments, even though she assures my mother and me three times a day that "Yes I DID take my medicine." This will be such a relief for me, along with knowing she is not walking outside on slippery, wet or icy streets or trying to get to her mailbox in ice and snow, eating three nutritious meals a day that she did not cook, and having plenty of people to keep her company.

I feel certain I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of things that will be done for her that I now do second nature... and this will be a huge improvement - and perhaps relief - for both of us!

Thanks for your kind comments!