Monday, February 21, 2011

Simultaneous Senior Moments.....

Runs In Family Pictures
Sometimes I scare myself!  And this aging, always being "scattered", business is driving me crazy!!  The latest episode happened last week.  Mama has a followup appointment with her doctor this week and it had been a while since I'd checked her medicine box and updated the medication spreadsheet, which we always take with us to appointments to make it easy to determine changes.  So, I printed the spreadsheet, got the box out and began to check it.  There was immediate panic when one of her heart medications was completely missing from the long had it been missing?  Why was there none in the storage box either?  What had happened?  We began to analyze her last appointment with the cardiologist in December, with very little success.....neither of us could remember s#*t!!  Somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind, it seemed like I very vaguely remembered him taking her off a medication - or more accurately, I vaguely remembered either saying or thinking to myself that "she thinks she's taking too much medicine, so that will be one less". However, the recollection was so dim that there was no certainty at all.  Finally, I looked in the third medicine box, the discarded medications.  There we found two bottles of the medication - one opened bottle from her "active" medicine box, and one unopened bottle, from the storage box.  Surely I would not have removed it from both boxes had she not been taken off the medication......but who knows?  So with embarrassment and apologies, I called the doctor's office to ask the nurse if she could check the notes of her last visit and let us know whether or not she had been taken off the medication.  Later in the day we were put out of our misery when she called to confirm that she had been taken off it. What a day!

We also thought we had my mother's esophagus/stomach problem resolved, but there has been a setback.  On the first visit to the gastroenterologist, he gave her some Dexilant samples to use for a few weeks between visits.  Neither of us realized that he wanted her to discontinue the 2 Omeprazoles per/day (another medication for the same problem, prescribed previously by her internist).  In any case, it seemed to be working so he prescribed the Dexilant when she went for her second visit.  As we were leaving, I asked about the Omeprazole and he said it should be discontinued.  Well, when she did that, the Dexilant alone made no improvement.  In the previous weeks, we've tried 1) Dexilant with one Omeparzole a change.  2) Dexilant, Omeprazole, and Pepcid before improvement.  So now, my mother is back where she started and we're waiting for Dexilant and Omeprazole to arrive.  It seems like a lot of medication (it IS a lot of medication!), but if something doesn't help with this problem, she will not be able to eat.......her throat and esophagus "burns" and she burps up her food as soon as it goes down  With this going on for a long time, eating becomes very difficult. She is to the point now of eating whatever she can get down, most of which works against her diabetes (starches and sugars).  So, one thing seems to work against the other and it's all too much for an 89 year old to cope with......and it's difficult for me to see and to know what to do.  Please keep us in your thoughts....we need it.

As if that isn't enough, she ran out of Cymbalta, which is for depression and helps hold it all together in spite of the other conditions. I order her meds online and a 3 month supply arrives each time.  How I let her run out of it, I have no idea. (do we see a pattern developing here)?  Whatever pain and discomfort she has been feeling has been amplified, and her ability to deal with it lessened. So, it's been a difficult week for her and I'm hoping we can get things in balance again soon.

Well, if this hasn't just added joy to your day, you must be expecting too much!  I didn't mean to go off on that tangent but, once started, it just kind of snowballed. There has been a bright spot - our beautiful, more typical, weather.  We've had some lovely days in the 70s and it's been fantastic.  On Saturday I met a friend from my Living Liberally group for a nice walk on the beach. She's a younger girl and it's an enjoyable change to spend time with someone who isn't stuck in a rut.  She is a free lance travel writer and has had an interesting year with her travels. So, I really enjoyed our chat/walk. Unfortunately, she, too, is moving soon (husband's job has taken them to NJ), so there goes another interesting friend.