Dementia: The Tablet Tinderbox

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Maureen and I have never been a couple who have taken any medication willingly.  We are great believers in ‘physician heal thyself’ and won’t even take painkillers unless the discomfort becomes unbearable.  Considering Maureen has had a stroke and has suffered from high blood pressures for years the medication she has to take is minimal:  one tablet in the morning and another in the evening.  She has refused to take a statin and her G P and I have given up on this battle.

Despite being told on numerous occasions that she is on her current medication for life Maureen still wages a campaign to be tablet free.  She took up the mantel again last night and refused her early evening medication – questioning if I had the authority to give her tablets.  Four hours later she woke me up from my slumbers worried that she had missed her tablets.  When I offered them to her she refused them once again as I was not a chemist or a Doctor.  Two hours later I heard her crying for her mum via the baby alarm.  When I made it downstairs she was terrified that she had missed her tablets and had put her life at risk.

Earlier in the evening, there had been shenanigans over cleaning her teeth.  Neither of the toothbrushes I presented belonged to her and were being used by others.  This is not an unusual series of events.  It is possible that not cleaning her teeth and finding it unpalatable to use a mouthwash are contributing to having a sore mouth and tongue: a condition that has now become chronic.

This morning a new challenge presented itself –  how to get out of the bath quickly to attend to my distressed wife.  Soaking in an Epson salts the bath is great but it is not easy to get in or our since my hip replacements.  I slipped and cursed at my first attempt: perhaps doing more harm than the good of the bath.  When I eventually arrived at Maureen’s side she was ‘wanting to go home to Nottingham to be with her family’.  She cannot understand ‘why she is being imprisoned here as she has done nothing wrong’. Today is a good day for distraction and redirection as a trip to Freeman Street Market is a fixed feast.

My first scheduled long weekend seems a very long two weeks away at the moment.  My accommodation at the Buddhist Meditation Centre in Pocklington is booked, as it is for the remainder of the year but home-based care for Maureen is not yet in place.   Her challenging presentation shows no sign of letting up and leaves me wondering whether I should have stuck to my guns on Thursday.  My wavering on the need for the immediate respite continues to put me at risk of Carer Burnout and was certainly not in my Best Interest!


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