I was talking with a good friend yesterday who told me her biggest frustration with her mom is that she’ll go to the doctor, get advice and meds, and then completely ignore the advice and never take the medicine.
That hit a nerve with me. Compliance with doctor’s orders is probably one of the biggest health care challenges we face. I wonder if a study has ever been done to determine the percentage of people who simply ignore what the doctor suggests.
I monitor mom’s pill taking pretty closely. But with good reason. Years ago, she was diagnosed with thyroid disease and placed on medication. On her own, she decided to take half her pill in the morning and half at night. She gained weight, lacked energy. The doctor couldn’t figure it out. And then she mentioned cutting up her pill. Ah ha! The big no-no.
She also was told her body couldn’t absorb Vitamin B12. So she started getting Vitamin B12 shots. She felt so good that she thought she didn’t need them anymore. In a twist of fate, her doctor moved out of state. Her new doctor knew nothing about the B12 deficiency. She suffered memory loss (now permanent) and could have died.
At one point, she was talking about quitting her high blood pressure medicine because her blood pressure is improving. Do you see a pattern here?
If your aging parent is on meds, make sure they take their pills according to doctor’s instructions. Ask questions about their visit to the doctor. Be curious and proactive. It could save their life.