“Slept in,” was the first thing the Old Man said when he answered the phone that morning. I asked whether he had any toast under the grill, and after some prevarication he said that he didn’t.
The Old Man put a dispersible aspirin into his cup, poured water on, and stirred. We moved on to his lansoprazole — and I heard the tinkling of spoon on glass.
“It floats in water,” he said of the lansoprazole capsule. I told him to take it out of the cup, and swallow it with water from his water-bottle. Then I sent him off to see to his toast.
It took a long time for him to get out his half tablet of gliclazide. Eventually he told me he had swallowed it. “With water?” I asked him.
Then it turned out that he hadn’t swallowed it.
When I phoned the Old Man that evening, I told him to turn the TV sound off. There was a single beep as he pressed a button on his phone.
“That do you?” he asked. I told him that he had pressed a button on the phone, and he immediately agreed.
On 28 March, by mistake I had left the bottle of Lactulose between the coffee-table and the sofa. The Old Man now kept looking for the bottle to the left of his chair, and on the telephone-table. I must have sounded impatient (“No!!”) when he asked me whether it was DiproBase he was looking for, and then whether it was cod-liver oil capsules.
“Stop shouting, BLEKE,” he told me.
On the phone to Mr & Mrs AR, I learnt that Mr AR’s father is marooned on the top floor of his care home, because the lift has been condemned. A replacement lift is due to be installed in April 2010. Mr AR’s father now eats on the first floor of the care home rather than the ground floor. Mrs AR’s mother is depressed.
[Original posting 29 March 2011]