The Old Man responded promptly when I phoned at 07:19. He hadn’t had breakfast yet — he had just got up.
When I asked him to find the dispersible aspirin, first he offered Normulen, then amlodipine.
He found the deep box, located the dispersible aspirin, dissolved one in water, and drank it.
He found the lansoprazole in the deep box [compare yesterday!] , and swallowed a capsule.
This phone-call ended at 07:36.
I rang back at 08:14, and told the Old Man to find the box with no dots.
“I don’t understand that,” he said.
He offered simvastatin.
“What do you mean, ‘docks’?”
I told him to look for the Normulen package.
“Why didn’t you say?” he asked — i.e. why hadn’t I said “Normulen”.
We moved on to bendroflumethiazide, but he had soon forgotten what he was supposed to be looking for. He didn’t find it.
“What do you want now?”
I got him to look for amlodipine, but he couldn’t find that either.
While looking for levothyroxine, he found co-codamol. I told him to take out two tablets of it.
He swallowed 2x co-codamol, plus a half-tablet of gliclazide. Then he coughed.
The Old Man searched again for levothyroxine, and found it. But before he swallowed it, he offered dispersible aspirin!
Having swallowed the levothyroxine, he searched for amlodipine.
“Right,” said the Old Man – but he hadn’t found the amlodipine.
He offered dispersible aspirin.
He said he’d found the amlodipine, then, a few minutes after I’d told him to swallow it, he said that he hadn’t found it.
Finally he asked whether he should go to St Griselda’s [i.e. the lunch club] that day. I said yes.
Our phone-call ended at 08:49.
I phoned the Old Man at 19:42.
He swallowed a cod-liver-oil capsule and a multivitamin.
“We could have done this at five o’clock.”
“No we couldn’t,” I said, and I told him to get out the evening box, and find the simvastatin.
“I don’t know where to get that,” he at once grumbled.
“In the box with the blue dots!” I replied.
He found the simvastatin, and said that he had two tablets in front of him. I told him to take the simvastatin only, but he said that he’d swallowed both of them.
“They’re quite good,” he said, of the other tablet.
I questioned him, and concluded that the other tablet was probably a ferrous sulphate.
We moved on to the co-codamol.
The Old Man had offered simvastatin three times. The fourth time, he insisted on reading out the label:
“40 milligrams, film-coated.” [These must have been the simvastatin.]
Of the co-codamol, he asked:
“Where will I get them, BLEKE?”
He started mumbling.
“Flexible?” — i.e. the bottle of cod-liver-oil capsules.
He found the co-codamol! I checked that they were big flat white tablets, and got him to swallow two.
I told him that what should be the better of the televised football matches (Cameroon versus Holland) would be on channel 115.
Our phone-call ended at 20:09.
I phoned again at 21:00. The Old Man didn’t have the TV on. I advised him to switch it on, and select channel 115. He couldn’t do it.
“I’m doing my best,” he said.
I suspected that he was using the analogue remote control, not the Sky remote control.
The football match could now have been over.
The Old Man admitted that the reason he didn’t watch TV any more was that he couldn’t tune in the channels.
There was a long pause.
I thought the Old Man had rung off, but when I rang back, his phone was engaged.
The time was now 21:21. Two minutes later, I phoned again, to say goodnight.
“Good,” replied the Old Man. Perhaps he was tired of my nagging about “TV Sky 115” [i.e. the buttons that he needed to press, in sequence].
The Old Man confirmed that he had been out to lunch. Earlier in the evening (when I phoned him at tea-time), I felt sure that he had been out, judging by the fluency of his speech.
[Original posting 24 June 2011]