How Many Steps Does it Take to Get Mom to Take Tylenol?

I received voice mail from mom’s AL community on September 5th. Here’s the rundown…

  • The care staff was concerned that mom isn’t using her cane safely, is limping more due to her arthritic knee, and perhaps should see Dr. O. Maybe more PT? She is also refusing Tylenol, offered by care staff when they see her struggling. She exclaims “I don’t need That!”
  • I left voicemail, same day, for the staff member who reached out to me (on her cell phone from which she called on), chronicling what the PT company’s nurse manager shared with me about mom’s PT receptiveness (the antithesis of positive), and suggested that we ask her doc to write orders to add Tylenol to her morning and evening meds.
  • I get no response.
  • On the 7th I left voicemail on the care staff’s general voicemail reiterating the above.
  • On the 9th a care staff member called back suggesting what I had suggested to them….
  • I email Dr. O on the 10th, giving him context, and asking if we can add extra strength Tylenol twice a day to mom’s meds.
  • On the 12th he wrote back to say that two regular doses, twice a day are warranted.
  • Today I show up at Costco at 9AM while on my way to work to procure the most affordable Tylenol bang-for-the-buck. Costco opens at 10AM.
  • I pause at a grocery a few miles away from work, and find aTylenol that houses all 650mg in one pill. I’m hoping adding only one pill to mom’s AM/PM med pass won’t rile her up. While mom has major memory loss/foibles, her psychiatric nurse practitioner had to take her off a sleep med because she suddenly refused to take it… A med she’d been taking for years! Why fight? We’ll see how it goes.
  • I left the office, and delivered the Tylenol to the care staff at the AL community this afternoon. They are still waiting for Dr. O’s orders, and will follow up with me if necessary.

For the rest of us, we simply walk to the cupboard, pick up the bottle of Tylenol, and dose ourselves. My mama is so reflexively recalcitrant that she must deny offers of help even as she retains barely enough self-awareness to evade outward signs of weakness.

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