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!
In an attempt to keep Mother’s pills off her lap, off the floor, and for them to actually reach her mouth, I’ve switched from the small Dipping-Cup-As-Med-Cup, which worked fairly well for the past year or so, to Meds-On-A-Black-Napkin.
With the dipping cup, she would feel for the pills and get two or three at a time, and they didn’t all always get to her mouth. She couldn’t see if/where they dropped and didn’t much worry about it, either. I would try to stand by and monitor, insisting she pick up one pill at a time, but then the dogs would bark to come inside, or the phone would ring or who knows what. She would also swirl her finger around the bowl to check how many were left, and end up swirling one or more out onto the tablecloth without realizing it.
So, a new strategy. Pills spread out across a high-contrast background so that only one comes easily to hand at a time. I still have to stand there, but at least one of us can better see what’s going on.