CAREGIVING: It seems like another week has slipped by but maybe that’s a good thing. No major calamities but there is always stuff to work on. I installed another grab bar in the living room. And I put away the rest of the Christmas stuff. One important thing is I’ll be adjusting Kathy’s meds this week. I always keep a document on the computer with our medications and supplements. It saves trying to remember what you have been taking when you are freezing your butt off in the doctor’s office. (Why are examining rooms so cold?) At any rate, since getting Kathy out and going to pickup refills has been getting difficult I was thinking of trying the mail-order service offered by her insurance (Health New England). I emailed Robin, our nurse at UConn and Bonnie our social worker just to update them.
I told them that there have been several times that the pharmacy at Stop & Shop just has a partial quantity for the meds and we have to schlep all the way over there the next day or so. And they can’t seem to even get one of her meds (Remeron) in the right dose. I thought we should just revisit her medications before I buy three months worth of all her meds in case she thought anything should be adjusted. I said:
” Overall I guess the disease is what it is, and we are doing OK. Her legs are very stiff especially the left one. I haven’t been doing the physical therapy exercises with her, like I should. I guess I have too much going on or I don’t see it helping. I’m still managing to move her from sofa to transport chair to toilet etc. Every once in a while she can almost walk /shuffle pretty well. Then other times she is so tired and weak she can barely stand; let alone walk. I give her all of her showers and help her on the toilet and feed her most of the time. She has always had a lot of shaking in her hands and that continues. Sometimes her upper body shakes too.”
I let them know about Kathy’s chest congestion problems and coughing and told them about the Hampden County VNA ending services. Robin called Wednesday when we were expecting a new aide to show up to replace Su, so I thought it was the agency. (I’ll get to that tomorrow, I guess.) We talked about how things were going and about the medications. I decided instead of the mail-order method we would just switch to 90 day prescriptions. That way I wouldn’t have to get there so often. We are trying some different dosages of some meds. Zanaflex, the muscle relaxant, will go up. She was on a minimum dose anyway and maybe that will help with her stiff legs. We are eliminating the Remeron (the one that was hard to get anyway) once I wean her off of it. The Depakote stays the same but we will try going back to a regular tablet. We tried “Sprinkle Capsules” and she absolutely hated it. It adds a sand-like texture to your food. Nothing like crunchy applesauce. And when she has something like a dentist appointment, or a doctor’s appointment, I can give her an extra Depakote to help control some of the shaking and make her less nervous.
Tomorrow Kathy has a mammogram so that will be a first for me too. I’ve always been proud of the way she would make sure she got it done when she was supposed to. I’m a little worried whether she will be able to stand long enough. I called the radiology place to ask and they added some time to the appointment to accommodate her. But it still means getting her and her chair there. Tomorrow I need to call and complain about the aide that never showed up on Wednesday. I may just complain to Greater Springfield Seniors.