Morning Meds and Breakfast Cookies

Cookies & Meds 2017-10-20 07.10.42

This past Monday morning, as I’m getting our cups of coffee, I hear the “click” of a pill hitting the floor. Did I miss seeing her drop one in her lap? I turn to find the dog nosing a yellow aspirin tablet and quickly move to pick it up. It’s damp. I guess the dog didn’t want it after all.

I put it on the table and start to get a replacement, but Mom waves me away.

“I don’t want that. It’s hard.”

The light bulb comes on. It’s not wet from the dog; it’s wet because she took it out of her mouth and threw it on the floor.

She had gotten up early, before our alarms, and had already been eating her breakfast cookie by the time I got her meds ready. She didn’t bother to finish chewing her cookie before taking her meds, I didn’t think about it, and the aspirin got cheeked with cookie bits, then mistaken for something hard in the cookie.

*sigh*

This morning, she’s up before our alarms again, and already tucking into her breakfast cookie. I move it out of her reach and tell her to finish what’s in her mouth before I put her meds down on the napkin.

“Okay, I’m finished.”

“You’re still chewing.”

She fishes a bothersome raisin out of her mouth and puts it on one of the four paper napkins spread out in front of her across the tablecloth. That’s one less for this morning’s paper napkin on the end table, I guess.

I lay her meds out on the cloth napkin. She takes all of them. The dogs start barking and I hurry to let them in, since it’s 6:15 am and many of our neighbors are retired.

The dogs run ahead of me, back into the kitchen.

“Are you going to give me my cookie back?”

I move the paper napkin holding the broken cookie back in front of her and take the three steps back to the kitchen counter. I pull her small coffee cup and my giant mug from the cabinet. I fill hers one-third full (the other one-third will be cream), hover the coffee pot above mine, just about to pour and…

“Are you going to get me my coffee?”

 

 

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Counting Pumpkins

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Our current tablecloth is an impressionistic melange of harvest colors suggesting autumn leaves. As Mother is unable to count an impressionistic melange, she has taken to repeating counting rhymes from her childhood.

This morning, during coffee, counting along the fingers of each hand:

“One, two, three, four, five – I caught a hare alive. Six, seven, eight, nine, ten – I let him go again!” And then a big smile, pleased with herself for remembering, and also just happy to be alive and enjoying her morning coffee.

It made me smile, too. I am also happy to be alive and that we can enjoy our morning coffee together.

Shortly, I’ll be putting out the new Halloween tablecloth, and she will have something new to count at dinner.

 

Grocery Freedom, But Not For Steve

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Getting ready for grocery shopping

On Sunday, Mom was anticipating our grocery trip.

Mom (to Vickie): Today’s our grocery shopping day.

Vickie: Yes, it is.

Mom: But Kay’s not going to let me go. She says I’m too slow.

Vickie: You are, and it’s dangerous in the grocery parking lot. If you practice, you can get faster. Do you want to walk to the mailbox with me?

Mom: No, I don’t want to. You can go.

***

Vickie and I tell Mom ‘bye and head out, but before we can get to the car, Vickie says, “She calling for Steve.”

We go back into the house.

“Grandma, what do you need?”

“I don’t need anything.”

“Why are you calling for Steve?”

“Because I want to tell him not to go outside until y’all get back.”

“Mom, Steve can go outside if he wants to.”

“But what if the phone rings?”

 

 

Bad Medicine

DC meds 10.2.17 2017-10-12 07.56.14

Mom had her semi-annual (or is it quarterly, now?) check-up at the PACE center last week. The doctor discontinued two of her meds, lisinopril and atorvostatin, both of which were prescribed immediately after her heart attack a couple of years ago. He also changed her cetirizine from daily to PRN. It seems that the thing all three of these meds have in common is the possibility of causing drowsiness, fatigue and confusion.

For the past two years, I thought her heart attack had been the cause of her significant step-down in cognitive capacity. Given how very much she has perked up in the last 10 days, though, I realize that a lot of it was the post-heart-attack cocktail of meds that were prescribed in knee-jerk fashion, and that I was too distressed to objectively research and question.

She’s more alert, more energetic, and is walking better, with a bit better balance. And she’s got the whole household hopping! Welcome back, Mom!

Grocery Freedom

Grocery bags 2017-10-11 07.48.28
Getting ready for grocery shopping

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got up the nerve to tell Mom that she wouldn’t be going grocery shopping with us anymore.

“Mom, you’re not going to the store with us anymore.”

“You’re not taking me?”

“No, Mom. It’s too hard for me when you go.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“It doesn’t matter if you believe it, you still won’t be going.”

“Well, thanks for nothing.”

“You’re welcome.”

 

This past Sunday, as she was having her lunch, she asked about grocery shopping.

“Y’all are going to the grocery store this afternoon?”

“Yes, we are.”

“But you’re not going to let me go with you, are you?”

“No, we’re not.”

“You’re mean.”

“Yes, I am.”

 

Later, when it was time to go:

“Mom, Vickie and I are going to the grocery, now.”

“You and Vickie?! No, take Steve and leave Vickie here. When Steve is here, he won’t stay in the house. He keeps going in and out the door, into the yard.”

“Vickie is going with me, Mom. You’ll be fine.”

“Well, thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

 

It was the most relaxing Sunday I’ve had in the past two years.