10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Preparing Next Week's Medications

She watched him out of the corner of one eye as she worked, carefully removing the cap from each of her prescription bottles, measuring out seven or fourteen or twenty-one of each pill and depositing them carefully in her pill organizer. He was doing the same, brows furrowing every time he had to twist open another bottle. His arthritis had been so bad lately, despite the medication.

She waited patiently, and at last he raised his head to look at her. "Could you do the rest of mine, dear? My hands..." He flexed them, once, then winced.

"Of course," she answered calmly, reaching across the table to take the bottle from him. "Shall I do all the rest of them for you, too?" He nodded gratefully, and she busied herself with the task as he rose and padded to the fridge. She could have offered to help without waiting to be asked, of course, but it was better this way. He wasn't even paying attention to her, now; he was up to his shoulders in the refrigerator, looking for the milk that she had buried at the far back of the shelf.

She worked with unhurried efficiency, opening the bottle that had stymied him -- the big orange pills, prescribed by Doctor Farson for his blood pressure -- and carefully placed one pill into each of the seven compartments of his pill organizer. Next were the pills for his kidneys; two small green pills each day, tik-tik, tik-tik as she filled out the container. The last bottle was his arthritis medication, nondescript yellow things with numbers embossed into them far too small for his failing eyes to detect.

Without pausing, she uncapped this last bottle and measured out a week's dosage. Then her hand slipped quietly into her pocket, to emerge bearing seven nondescript yellow pills, which she distributed methodically into each compartment. No numbers showed on these pills; there were, in fact, no markings of any kind, but she needed none to know what would happen to him if he kept up this dosage. Very soon they would start doing more than simply fail to help with his arthritis. Perhaps even this time next week she would be preparing her medications alone.

She closed up the prescription bottle and set it back with his other pills on his side of the table. When he finally came back over, glass of milk clutched carefully in both gnarled hands, she was just finishing up with her own medications. She smiled briefly at him as he approached.

"Thanks, love," he said, reaching out to take the container of pills. She smiled again at the sight of it in his hand, seven little boxes in a row, each with its own little secret of a clever yellow pill that was not for arthritis.

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