This caregiving business is a series of lessons on the run. I have an “ah ha” moment almost every day.
Every morning, I put our prescription meds into two shot glasses — Peter’s on the left of the coffeemaker, mine on the right. He takes an 81 mg aspirin, Losarten for blood pressure, Wellbutrin for mood, Livolo for cholesterol, and Vitamin D3 because dementia patients are thought to be lacking in the D vitamin. Oh, and Namenda, the well advertised medication thought to slow the effects of dementia-related diseases. How could I forget that one?
After dinner, I dole out Glucophage, the supposed answer to leveling his blood sugar levels since he won’t leave sweets and carbs alone no matter how often the doctor explains nor how often I nag. Just before bed, he takes Donepezil (Aricept), to treat confusion, possibly improve memory, awareness and the ability to function.
How well do these meds, particularly Nameda and Donepezil, perform? I have no idea. I do know that his taking pills from the wrong shot glass was an important lesson-in-waiting for me this morning.
I discovered the mistake when I poured my second cup of coffee. Peter was already watching West Ham beat Arsenal. “You haven’t taken your pills yet, Peter. No, wait! Mine are gone and I never take them until after my coffee!”
He had no idea what I was talking about. So much for awareness.
“Did you take my pills?” I asked, showing him the little empty glass. “Yes, you took mine.” I answered my own question.
“I don’t know…probably,” he said. “What will happen to me?”
“Hm, well, my super prescription vitamin may give you a boost. Maybe you’ll have the energy to mow the grass…” I laughed at my own joke as he made a face that said, “Not bloody likely…I’m watching soccer.”
I didn’t expect that he’d cut the grass, and he didn’t. But, lesson learned, from now on I’ll keep my medications in a secure container in my pocket.