Monday, August 23, 2010

Visit to the Doctor

I love my dad's doctor. She works one day a week in the Senior's Clinic at the University's hospital. The rest of her time is spent researching Alzheimer's and teaching. She is young. She is patient. She is compassionate. She is cute (and Dad notices that)!

Today she asked Dad how he was doing. She looked intently into his eyes as he talked. She never interrupted, even though he repeated things he had told her during the last visit, and the visit before. She talks directly to my dad and doesn't talk down to him. She validates what he says by paraphrasing his comments.The doctor did the normal 'doctor' things; listening to Dad's heart and lungs and taking his blood pressure. She reviewed his medications. Dad takes 2 prescription meds, calcium, vitamin D and 81 mg. aspirin.  The pills are confusing for my dad. He has quite a few bottles of Calcium and they are slightly different colors. That bothers him. He is also supposed to begin taking some Tylenol for arthritis. He had Tylenol gel tabs and tablets. That confused him. He thought Calcium and Vitamin C were the same thing. I helped him fill the cells in his monthly pill dispensary. We made a chart, taping each pill next to its name and dosage so that if he had a question about one pill or another he could check it on the chart.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grocery Shopping

I picked Dad up and took him to the grocery store since Jezebel was still out of town. I told him that I had a meeting with a friend later on, so he wouldn't think that I drove all the way up to run him to the store. Dad had a carefully constructed grocery list. He seems to be really pleased that he thought to write down what he needs:
  • hot dogs (Whole Foods or Boar's Head - not as good)
  • lettuce (with a drawing of what it should look like)
  • blueberries (check the bottom to be sure there aren't rotten berries)
  • Rainier cherries
  • tomatoes (not soft)
  • ginger snaps (Nabisco)
  • Arizona iced tea
  • frozen dinners (in green boxes)
  • V-8 fruit juices (not OJ - too sour)
  • yogurt
As we walked through the store we added a few things;
"Dad, do you need milk?" Yes.
"What about cereal?" Yes, let's find the 'good' granola.
What about some shrimp (my dad's favorite snack)? Yes. I want point 7.  (Last week the meat/fish guy couldn't figure out what he meant by .7 - I resisted the inclination to ask, "So, you had some problems with 6th grade math?!")
"The Salmon looks good, do you want to get a piece?" Yes. (Salmon is one thing that I know my dad can cook.)
In addition we pick up some frozen vegetables that he can steam in the microwave. We also get some more fruit and some cheese.

I worry that Dad won't cook and eat the salmon right away. He can't smell odors very well so he probably doesn't notice if the salmon or shrimp smell strange. It bothers me that 'convenient' foods are full of nitrates, other additives and salt. It makes me sad that Dad is alone. Even though Jezebel is a lousy cook, at least she is company for my dad. But, today Dad taught me a shortcut from his apartment to the grocery store.