Crystal Balling


My friend mentioned yesterday, with half a smile, that he never believed he’d be one of those persons. The ones with pills. The old ones with many, many pills.

I’m right with him. I see the pill boxes on the countertops; everybody has them, or everybody over 60, it seems. On the other hand, I’m over 60 and I take a vitamin. Once in a while an ibuprofen. I’m not going to become one of those old people, I say.

And you realize, or I hope you do, that I’m talking about regular ol’ medications. For hypertension, for gout, for arthritis, for diabetes. Supplements. A few placebos. After a while, all those bottles start to look like choices from the perspective of a snotty younger person. But sometimes, of course, it’s kind of important.

Medication lists are kept by careful people (my mom is great at this), and if you spy one it’s a little intimidating. That’s a lot of stuff to forget when it’s kind of important. I tend to specialize in forgetting things, too.

So I made a spreadsheet (of course) and that seems to work. He takes 12 different medications a total of 19 times over the course of the day. He’s joined the team, then. This is kind of specific, but he still is a little rueful. Be careful what you predict.

I realized today that I need to heed this, too. Not about the medications, although my eyes have been opened a bit. I do think that some older people tend to go to the doctor too much and insist on medication too often, when they’d be better off taking a walk and eating an apple, but I have no idea how much truth there is in that and everyone has a situation, anyway.

No, I mean predicting the future. I was joking with Julie last night on the phone, talking about trying to help my friend eat more, since he’s weak and losing weight, and who’s the perfect person to keep track of calories? You’re looking at him, baby. I can do this.

I can’t, though. People eat what they can eat, I should know that. Nothing worse than trying to shove food into a mouth that really doesn’t want any more. But we can try.

And it just occurred to me that I’ve been thinking this way all along, that I can try, that I can work harder, that I can focus on this until he gets better. Which is kind of short-sighted, I see now, and now I have something else to think about, because I realize there’s a very good chance he’s not going to get better.

There I go, predicting again. Sometimes I do OK.

Chuck SigarsComment