Caregiving Journal - Planning for Absence (Part 2)

Back from New York - Ma is elated we are home, though I notice Ma did not finish the pre-bottled protein shakes I left in the fridge.

Protein - She insists she told me when we were in NY that she didn’t like them and wasn’t going to drink any more of them. I recall the conversation - that she didn’t like them but never the part that she wasn’t going to drink them. This is bad news because Ma hates meat, and those were her replacements for the meat I would not be preparing on the days I was gone. If I had heard her say that, I would have insisted that she did indeed need the protein. We discuss this, and I go over the fact that the body cannot make certain enzymes without the proper proteins. Although she did eat the eggs I boiled for her, the protein was insufficient without the shakes. We discuss this fact as well, and how important it is for her to get the proper protein in her diet. Because she is diabetic she cannot get her proteins from beans (too high glycemic) and so she must get her proteins from animal sources (eggs, meats, cheeses).

Vision – Ma didn’t eat the salad I left her, although it was clearly labeled. She also said it took her a couple days to locate the cucumbers (they were in plain sight). She didn’t notice water that was on the next table but instead found the bottled waters near her on the floor. I’m not sure if she’s unobservant or having memory issues or vision troubles. Will have to ask the Naturopathic Physician she sees at her appointment this Friday.

Blood Sugar – Even though we discussed before the trip that maintaining her blood sugar means that she cannot drink pre-sweetened coffees (cappuccino for the Keurig coffee maker), I find Ma had 3 of these coffees on 1 day with the high blood sugar readings to match. We discuss this, and again I reiterate that only one pre-sugared coffee is safest for her. I remind her of the pathology involved if her blood sugar remains too high, diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, and that avoiding the sugars helps maintain her own blood sugar and avoid those health problems. Even though Ma says nothing, I know she is listening.

Lesson Learned1) Even the best-laid plans can go awry. 2) If you leave your loved one home alone for a few days, have someone check on them to make sure they are eating & taking meds as planned.

Have you ever had a loved one not follow your instructions to their own detriment? How did you deal with it? Did it work?