Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Aided Visit to the Doctor

It is officially fall now and I am taking a day off of work (my long-term substitute job with Educable Mentally Handicapped students) so that we can go to my husband's doctor. His poor walking recently has been probably due to arthritis.  So far Extra Strength Tylenol every six hours has worked fairly well until the rains came in the last several days. Kenny has arthritis and confirmed that his arthritis all over his body got worse with the rains.

Yesterday hubby only used the wheel chair to get around. We tried to use the walker to go to dinner last night, but he said that his knee was too painful.

This morning as usual I was asked many questions and as if hubby didn't comprehend/remember, the questions were repeated. I am used to this, but it seems to be increasing.

"Why are I going to the doctor?"

"So we can see about medicine for the pain in your leg."

"Pain in my leg?" hubby asks as he sits at the side of our bed getting ready. It's as if he doesn't comprehend the handicap he has had recently. I let him finish getting ready and leave the bedroom. Dog Ziggy greets Kenny who is here for the guys' morning routine.

Cheerfully hubby walks out to the den with his walker to assume his spot and greets Kenny for his usual weekday morning pill routine with Kenny. He jokes with Kenny, but respects and admires him as I do. Kenny is such a gift to me so I do not have to nag hubby to take pills, shave and shower. So I can still work, Kenny is there for us.

"I have more pills than you do," pronounces Kenny and successfully Kenny gets my husband to take his medicine.

An over-the-counter change in medicine in addition to Extra Strength Tylenol was recommended by a CVS pharmacist: Whole Body Joint Support by Finest Nutrition. The joint support tablets contain Rosemary, Turmeric (already taking that), Ginger, Holy Basil, Green Tea (gets that with Lipton), Hu Zhang, Chinese Goldthread, Barberry, Oregano, Chinese skullcap, Pine Bark Extract and Boswellia Serrata. It is the biggest pill my husband takes twice a day and a subject on conversation for the men.

Kenny gave hubby his biweekly shave before the three of us went off to the doctor this morning. Kenny physically lifted the wheel chair into our SUV in case we would need it. It turned out we only needed the walker.

I had put an Exelon Patch on my husband before he got dressed. One of the questions for the doctor is can we up UP the dosage of Exelon from 4.6 MG to 9.5 MG.  I have been trying that higher dosage, a gift from someone in the Alzheimer's Association Support Group because his wife no longer benefits from 9.5 MG Exelon. Today the doctor agreed to the higher dosage and said the joint support might not hurt. He asked about the coconut oil.

"Yes," I said. "He has taken that coconut oil for four years."

I have been reading up on arthritis and used to pride myself that my husband and I did not have this horrible condition--but now ARTHRITIS is here; it came in as innocently as my cold or allergies have come today.

At the doctor's office the pain meds are changed. Hubby will get 9.5 MG as an official prescription and the pain medicine is being changed to Tramadol HCL 50 MG three times a day which he will take at 4 AM, noon and 8 PM. He also got his flu shot and the doctor signed for a handicapped permit for our car.

The three of us then went to lunch at Olde Towne Pizzeria and Pasta Co. We each had a small salad and an individual pizza. The men both ordered a Caesar salad and a BBQ chicken pizza. I had a strawberry salad and a spinach pizza.  Then the three of us headed off for errands in Lakeland, but not before getting gas at Shells under $3.00 with my Winn Dixie card.

In the car while I drive the two men are so funny together. I am often in my own world, worried about the next stage of Alzheimer's, the next lesson plans, and what I have to do at home, but this was a very pleasant  day and I let myself enjoy their humor.

Questions remain on how mobile my husband will be with this new Tramadol medicine. If it helps him walk more, that will help his arthritis be not so painful and exercise walking will help the dementia. Stay tuned.

Back to lesson plans for tomorrow so I can go to bed early. Giving hubby that Tramadol now also.


  1. There are websites that let you know about the pressure degree of the weather. It definitely affects my husband's pain level when it rains.