Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Pill Box

Bob is 'movin on up' with his pill taking. He now takes pills twice a day rather than all at bedtime as he's done for years. This has thrown things into a crisis. He does not like change, and above all not when it involves his medications.

At first I kept the pills he takes in the morning because his diuretic was in that group and I didn't want him in charge of that. He was never happy with this arrangement and soon whisk those medications away to his bedroom. I decided it was time for a new pill box that allowed for pills twice a day.


This morning I introduced the new pill box. As my father used to say, he looked at it "like a calf looking at a new gate." It was down hill after that.

The a.m. & p.m. system did not compute with him. I haven't seen a pill box labeled 'morning & night.' Then he took a pink marker and colored the top of the lids for the pills he takes in the morning. To add to the confusion, he takes two of one pill in the morning, and only one pill in the morning of another but takes it again at night. It was totally too much for him. I typed sheets giving him guidance  but it was to no avail.

I went on to tidy up the house and left him to ponder the situation. After a while he asked me to check to see if he'd done it right. He had reversed the a.m. & p.m. Pills were all opposite where they should have been. I thought about just leaving it but was afraid later the a.m. & p.m. labels would click with him and he'd take the wrong meds. Perhaps we're going to have to go with blue and purple instead.

I could save him all that stress by filling the pill box myself but that is one task he is hanging onto come what may. He has no intention of letting me fill it.

Lately I dread to see him coming with his pill bottles because I know we're both going to be stressed before the task is finished.

19 comments:

  1. Oh I don't envy you Linda. He must have enough self-doubt about this task, since he is checking with you, so that is good. For Jim, I actually have two separate pill boxes. The evening pills are in the blue pill box and the day pills are in the clear one.

    Good luck, and let us know how this works out.

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    1. He was doubtful tonight. It may be two pill boxes would work better that one that contains morning and night. Might lesson the chance he would mix up the times.

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  2. Any chance Bob will let you fill the pill boxes as a joint venture? (Taking pills directly out of the bottle is not a good thing because no on can tell if they were taken or not.) If you can get him to go along with filling the boxes together, I'd suggest buying a second box so you only have to go through the process every other week instead of every week. I hate the job of "putting up pills."

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    1. I've tried doing it together but he's pretty resistant, and then turns around and doubts what he's done and asks for my help. I think he thinks he's still okay and in charge as long as he can still take care of his medications. I'm a threat to that. So far I have to get involved whether he likes it or not. At least he's not brave enough to do something he's not sure of.

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    2. Very sad it has to be the way it is.

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  3. But you know, us regular guys get pills screwed up. One has to be careful. Bob's meds are crucial.

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    1. My concern is always that he'll take something that causes his blood pressure to drop dangerously low.

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  4. Hopefully he will always let you check up on him before he takes his meds. Good luck, Linda. So many challenges.

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    1. Every day is full of challenges. Sometimes wish he would just sit in his recliner and let me wait on him. That would be easier on me but it would be deadly for him. He fights every day to keep living.

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  5. Louis Dean takes pills morning and night and I fill his boxes - and mine - three weeks at a time. It is so much easier if they let you do what you need to do!

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    1. Yes, I could fill that pill box in a fraction of the time it takes him. I suppose at his stage you hang on to everything as long as you can.

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  6. The two separate boxes does sound doable and hope it works for him. Incredible the mind games you must play to keep him safe but I can understand why he clings to at least a little control over his life.

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    1. Yes, I'm definitely going to try the two individual boxes. I'm sure that will work better.

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  7. I guess his niggling doubt is his savior at this point. Why does life have to be so complicated?

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    1. He has an incredibly strong desire to continue living. He feels he can't afford to give up anything. That would be evidence his health is failing.

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  8. Darn. I take every challenge with Bob as I know one day I will be walking in his shoes.

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    1. Yes, this is my third time around, both my parents and now Bob.

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  9. I guess it's hard to give up control as we lose independence. They're so few things left. I think Dad resented me at times because he needed me. He needed to act like he didn't. Caregiving when you're a relative has its pitfalls. As you well know, it isn't at all like doing an 8-hour shift, five days a week, and then going home to your family and your life. I used to fill Dad's pill box, but he knew how many pills he took in the morning and how many at night. He counted them each time I gave them to him. He was "checking" to make sure I hadn't made a mistake. :) You are a strong woman. I hope the two-pill box method will work. Anything to lessen the stress for both of you is good.

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    1. I totally agree being a relative caregiver is vastly different than a 8 hour shift, vastly different.

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