Every night, I fill up my cup, grab my bag o’ medications, pet the puppies, and hike the hallway to the bedroom at the other end of the house.
After arriving, I put the bag where it belongs. Adjust the bed to its TV viewing angle. Turn on the television for Garry. He watches with headphones while I read or listen to an audiobook. I fire up my blue-tooth speaker.
I divide up the nighttime medications into two cups, his and mine. The cups are actually lids from medicine bottles, but I they are convenient. I put Garry’s antihistamines in one, all my stuff in the other. My stuff includes the rest of my blood pressure meds plus whatever I’m taking to keep my arthritis from solidifying.
I never remember everything. I forget to turn off the fans in the living room pretty much every night. I sit on the edge of the bed trying to remember what I should have done but didn’t. “Ah,” I think. “Fans.” I hike to the living room. Turn off the fans. Pet the dogs. Assure them they are not getting another biscuit no matter how cute they are.
Back down the hall. Brush teeth. Sit on the edge of the bed. Oh, right. I have to refill the antihistamine bottle. It’s empty. Back to the kitchen where the huge bottle is stored. Fending off the dogs, I amble back to the bedroom. I put the various medications in the little cups and get the nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something else. Like … I didn’t close the kitchen door. It’s a dutch door and we leave the top of it open during the day to catch the breeze. Tonight, it’s supposed to rain so I should close it.
Up the hall to the kitchen. Close door. Pet dogs. Back to bedroom.
Garry shows up, having done whatever it is he does for however long he does it in the bathroom. I hand him his two pills. He takes them and settles into watching highlights of the Sox game, followed by a movie or something. I turn on my book.
Forty-five minutes later, I’ve got a headache. I’m not sleepy and everything hurts. Why are my medications not working? There’s nothing more I can take. Panic is setting in.
Which is when I realize all the pills are still in the cup. What with all the hiking up and down the hall, I never took them. Probably explains why they aren’t working.
I laughed. Continued laughing for a while. Garry took off his headphones long enough for me to explain why. I got to the punchline, he looked at me and said: “You hadn’t taken it, right? Yup, that’s classic.” He smiled. Nodded. Put the headphones back in place.
As our memory — collectively and individually — gets less dependable, we have substituted routines and calendars. I take one of my medications only once a week, so I have a calendar reminder. All appointments are on that calendar, Garry’s and mine, because otherwise, we will forget. No maybe. Forgetting has become normal.
If we do everything the same way at the same time every day, we’re much less likely to forget. Still, it can be pretty funny.
Yesterday, we were watching a show that included a dog. Garry assumes I know every dog breed at a glance. He’s right. I know the breeds, but these days, I may not remember its name. I will usually remember the group — guarding, herding, hunting, hound, terrier, non-sporting (“other”), toy. If I can remember that, I can go to the AKC site, find the group, scroll the list and find the dog. But they’ve changed the AKC website, so it’s not as easy as it used to be. I wish they’d stop fixing stuff that isn’t broken.
I knew the dog that Garry was asking about was the same as the dog Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) had on his show. The dog’s name was Eddy. I remembered that. No problem. The breed name was on the edge of my brain, but not coming into focus. I gave up and Googled it.
Search for: “Breed of dog on Frasier TV show.”
Except I couldn’t remember the name of the TV show, either. So I first had to find the name of the show.
Search for: “long-running comedy on TV about psychiatrist.”
Up popped Frasier. Phew. I could have also found it by looking up that other long-running comedy, “Cheers,” in which Frasier first showed up as a character, but I couldn’t remember its name either.
One of these days, I’m going to have to Google my own name. I hope I find it.