Sunday mornings mean getting up early to arrive at mom's apartment as close to 7:00 am as possible. As her prescription medication manager, my job is to keep her health in check by making sure she's receiving optimal results from meds. Her last lab results, and subsequent bone scan, indicated osteoporosis - when bones become weak and brittle.
Osteoporosis is just one of those conditions that an elderly person must have treated to relieve pain and weakness. In mom's case, emergency room visits for sudden severe flu like symptoms, fever, shakiness and pain, did not offer any clues. A fracture from a fall would have been one way osteoporosis would have been clearly diagnosed, but we've been lucky mom hasn't taken a bad fall.
Sorting out what was causing mom discomfort hasn't been easy. A problem we have is poor communication, or more aptly, comprehension. Mom leaves out important details that would be helpful to my sister and me during the times that she needs medical attention, emergency or otherwise. It's until late night that she thinks is when she has no option but to call one of us to let us know she isn't feeling well, even though onset of symptoms occur hours, or even days, earlier. There is also the serious issue with mom not recognizing the importance of self-care and need to follow doctor's advice. Throw in her thinking she can treat whatever symptoms and ailments on her own, first, with a good ol' home remedy, and dear lord, wish us all luck.
So, this is how it's been for me with mom since returning to California. A process... and not an easy one. We've arrived at a point where we must be physically present to make sure she takes the majority of daily prescribed medications. She's on her own with AM meds that must be taken on an empty stomach, and again at night, when we know we can trust her to take her bedtime meds, because she obsesses about needing to take her anxiety pill. This all leaves me to arrive in time to dispense morning mealtime meds, then return to dole out lunchtime meds, and finally, either my sister or I will drive over to mom's place give her dinnertime meds and leave bedtime and AM doses... Every. Day. Of. The. Week.
Which leads us to Saturday night, when I usually stay up past midnight. Tonight I'm tired; it's been a tough day. I'm more than ready to hit the sack, but I still have pans from dinner to scrub. It's also been the first full week in trial run of this new protocol for managing mom's care. I also do majority of monthly grocery shopping for mom first week each month, so that's another thing on my must-do list. But, back to osteoporosis. Mom has begun treatment for it, so last Sunday was her first time taking new meds. Which for me, means an early start.