Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why on earth did it take me this long to do this????

I'm sure it has a lot to do with my denial of DH's mental illness.  Part of me is still hoping that he'll wake up one day and be "normal" again, just like he (pretty much) woke up one day and wasn't any more.  Intellectually, I know it's not realistic, but......I do the same thing with my mom, but that's another post.

When my mom lived in assisted living, for nearly two years I would go to her apartment on Sunday and set up her medications for her.  She had a purple pill container for her morning pills, and a blue container for her nighttime pills.  If a doctor prescribed a pill for noontime, we always had to request that it either be in the morning or at night, because my mom could only seem to remember those two pill times.  But it worked long past the time when she could no longer read anything, because she could differentiate between the colors of the pill containers.  Every Sunday I would religiously refill her pills for her.  It helped with keeping the prescriptions filled, too, as I was right on top of things.  I remember asking DH if he wanted me to do that for him, too (at the time he wasn't on as many medications as he is now), and he got offended and said "no, I'm an adult, I can do it myself."  And that was that.

I know he hasn't been taking his pills religiously.  And recently, since he's home more, I've asked him why he hasn't taken them at certain times.  Often his response is "I forgot to fill up my pill container."  or "I forgot to call in my refills."  And you're saying to yourself right about now, "Ok, Carol, this is obvious."

But it took me this long to do it.  I just didn't ask him.  I took over.  And once I did it, he didn't mind at all.  I had expected some kind of objection, but he didn't say anything about it.  And it feels good, because it's one less excuse he has to not take his pills.  I think he hasn't taken his full regimen for weeks.  I have an idea to track everything on paper, too, as sometimes his pdoc will make a change that isn't reflected on the prescription bottle and I don't always know/remember those.  Like "Your Depakote levels are a little high, let's drop down to three pills instead of four...." and if I can't remember what the right dose is, it's almost guaranteed that DH isn't going to remember either.  So my intention is to request that the pdoc's nurse write down what they have listed as what he should be taking, and that she write down any changes made at DH's appointments and send a written "change notice" home with DH, so we are on track.

So far, the results have been promising.  DH has been in a pretty good mood yesterday and today. (I started doing his meds last weekend).  At that time I observed that he had no Effexor (antidepressant) and could not remember if or when he had requested it to be refilled.  He hadn't taken it for at least 2 weeks.  Now, a week later, he is more cooperative, more friendly, less demanding, more appreciative.  It makes things so much more pleasant and comfortable for me.  I hope the improvement isn't just a fluke.

I wonder what other changes I could make that could improve things.  I'm amazed and embarrassed that it took me so long to do this one.  But better late than never, right?


Miz Kizzle said...

Oh Carol! I had such high hopes when I read the title of this post.
Now you've taken on more work. Your DH continues to smoke, guzzle soda, eat poorly and neglect his diabetes. Besides that, what does he DO all day while you're busting your butt working two jobs, caring for your animals, keeping an eye on your mother, cleaning the house and a host of other things?
Sure, he wants to be a millionaire but he won't take the garbage out properly so his chances of building a financial empire seem negligible.
Does he REALLY appreciate your heroic efforts or does he just like to wallow in self-pity by saying things like "I don't deserve you"?
I hope things improve for you soon.

In the Pink said...

I think you are an amazing woman Carol and I am so happy that have it in you to take on the task of keeping up with DH and his meds. I take a few meds so I know it can get overwhelming. But a part of also thinks Miz Kizzle makes a good point. I just hope that my man will stand by me in my darkest mentally ill hours like you have stood by DH. Much love for you woman.

Unknown said...

A note about effexor: it is well known for something called "SSRI withdrawal syndrome" and missing as few as ONE dose can cause very uncomfortable side-effects. These include feeling like you have a serious case of the flu. You'll find a lot of comments on the internet by people who believe it's a terrible drug. For many people, however,the benefits outweigh the side effects. It should not be missed, however, if a person does not want to feel sick.

I'd say it's a good thing you took over his meds!