Predictably, when I made contact with the Old Man at 07:33, I had to send him off to get some bread out of the freezer.
I rang again at 07:39. There was no reply.
When I rang at 07:54, the Old Man said that he’d got the bread out of the freezer.
He didn’t seem to understand the word “deep”, as in “deep box”. He mumbled some word or other. There was a long pause with noises off, then:
I told him, “No!”
“Don’t shout,” he responded. Then: “Square box.”
He found the lansoprazole, and swallowed a capsule. I then told him to find the dispersible aspirin — and there was a long pause.
It was 08:10 by the time he had found, dissolved, stirred and drunk a dispersible aspirin. We moved on to the sandwich-box.
There was a long pause while he looked for the Normulen package, and another long pause after he swallowed his half tablet of gliclazide.
The bendroflumethiazide was quickly found. He swallowed a tablet.
I wasn’t sure whether he had found the amlodipine, and asked him whether it was a medium-sized pill.
“I don’t know,” he replied. After some further exchanges:
“I haven’t got it yet.”
“I can’t find it.”
He offered lansoprazole, and then ferrous sulphate. On each occasion I redirected him to the sandwich-box.
“The one with no dots?”
“Amlodípipine [sic].” He didn’t find the amlodipine.
We moved on to the levothyroxine, but:
“I can’t find them, BLEKE.”
He offered lansoprazole again, and then dispersible aspirin. Each time, I redirected him.
“I can’t find them, honestly.” He didn’t find the levothyroxine.
He did find the co-codamol.
“Two of these?” He swallowed 2x co-codamol.
Our phone-call ended at 08:41.
When I phoned the Old Man at 19:43, this was our first contact of the evening. The Old Man answered the phone promptly. His voice was croaky, and he sounded vague. He hadn’t had tea.
He wanted to switch the light on, but I told him to open the curtains.
First I got him to look for the blue-top and red-top bottles. There was a long pause, then another.
“What shall I do with the blue and the red?”
He took out and swallowed a cod-liver-oil capsule and a multivitamin. The time was 19:54.
“It’s raining here now,” said the Old Man apropos of nothing.
I wanted him to move on to the evening box, but he twice offered “the square box”, i.e. the deep box.
He offered Normulen, then lansoprazole, then Normulen again.
He offered dispersible aspirin, then ferrous sulphate — I said yes to the ferrous sulphate. There was a pause, then:
“What do you want now?” The Old Man hadn’t got out a ferrous sulphate tablet. There was another pause.
“Ferrous sulphate?” — he still hadn’t got one out.
There was a pause — and still he hadn’t got one out. I went to rinse my face with cold water. When I returned:
“What’s next?” — he still hadn’t got a ferrous sulphate out.
Finally he got a ferrous sulphate tablet out, and swallowed it. The time was 20:13.
We moved on to the simvastatin. I heard the rattling of the multivitamin tablets in the red-top bottle, so I asked the Old Man whether he was looking in the box with the blue dots.
“Don’t be funny,” he retorted. I replied that it had been a serious question.
He found the simvastatin, and swallowed a tablet.
He found the co-codamol, and swallowed a tablet.
The Old Man told me that he had eaten a banana today, but that he hadn’t used the new toaster yet.
I signed off at 20:27.
[Original posting 21 July 2011]