Tylenol

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Tylenol

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pills_medicationA couple months (?) ago, when Mom was taking Tylenol for bladder pain, I ended up taking it upstairs because she couldn't keep track of when she'd last taken it or how many she was supposed to take. The regular meds that go in the pill caddy is still a functioning system, but I don't think she can self-medicate safely outside of that system.

Tonight I was out practicing music for a couple of hours. When I got home around 10:00, my son ran outside to say, "Grandma says she won't go to bed until she gets some Tylenol." So I grabbed a pill (arthritis strength, so just one) and hurried downstairs. She was angry. She said, "Why didn't you bring the bottle?" And I reminded her I'd taken it upstairs because she'd had trouble remembering when to take it. Almost, but not quite cursing (because she never curses), "I wanted to take two!" And I had to explain that she could only have one of the arthritis strength every six hours. She said she's going to go to the store and get her own bottle.

I apologized a LOT for not being there when she needed me. I promised we would figure out a system. But I understood her anger. She needed pain relief and it was being withheld from her. I would be angry too. I'm not sure how to make it work, how to give her both the control she wants and the protection she needs.

I'm thinking about putting one Tylenol in the bottle and taking it downstairs and checking it every morning and evening. But my son pointed out that if she doesn't remember what time of day she took it, I might end up giving her a new one to take too soon. I don't know. My husband suggested giving her a bottle of placebos - he said buy capsules, take them apart, and replace the insides with sugar or something. And if she is in a lot of pain, I can offer the extra-strength ones that I keep upstairs.

Another answer is to make sure somebody is with her at all times, but I want to put off that eventuality as long as possible. But I'm feeling sad and guilty tonight, thinking of her in pain and helpless because of me. Also, this pain issue is really frustrating! She has recurring pain in her lower belly - it feels like her bladder. It comes and goes and fluctuates in intensity, but the doctor couldn't find any explanation for it.

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Morgan

I don't know if you've considered this or might not be interested but there are pill reminder boxes out there that have a timer on them and the section does not open until it is time to take the pill. If the pill is not taken within the timeframe you set (1/2 hour, 1 hour, etc.) the section locks back up and the next section will unlock at your designated time. It has a little alarm on it to remind the senior to take the meds, like an alarm clock, as well. Just a thought!

LilMagill

Thanks, Wren. I was aware of the Tylenol/liver problem but it seems to be the best thing for her to take. She can't do aspirin because her stomach is too sensitive and Ibuprofen is worse for the kidneys - she does have kidney disease.

LilMagill

Thanks for the feedback, Sally. I think that's a good idea. For the moment, though, I'm planning to use up the ones we bought. Her pain has now subsided, so she's not using anything at the moment.

LilMagill

Thanks, Denise! \r\n\r\nAt her last doctor visit a few weeks ago, I asked about pain control and she said that Tylenol was probably the best bet, but that she had to be careful not to overdose. The other ones present even greater risks to kidney and liver function, apparently. Mark had also suggested putting one in the pill caddy, but that would mean she would take it whether she needs it or not, and she doesn't need it very often. I want her to be able to have it just when she needs it . She has another appointment in a couple of weeks - 3 weeks? - so I'll bring it up again.

Denise

Hi LM--First, your son is simply amazing. I love hearing stories about him and, honestly, my heart just swells when you share about him. \r\n\r\nI guess the concern is whether the pain is being controlled. Could you ask her doctor about switching to Aleve and giving her one each morning in her caddy?\r\n\r\nHow often does she take her other meds during the day?

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