Ch.83 Frustration! Pat Objects to Taking an Important Medicine

Ch.83 Frustration! Pat Objects to Taking an Important Medicine

          You probably know, if you are dealing with Lewy Body, that digestive problems are common. In Pat’s case this has meant frequent bouts of diarrhea (This is embarrassing to discuss and that’s probably why I seldom read about it in the Lewy Body literature). We thought these episodes might be connected to her diabetic medicines, or maybe loss of appetite and weight, or perhaps excess coffee drinking, or who knows what? It’s been a struggle.

          But then Pat had an appointment with a gastrointestinal specialist who suggested we try a powder, specifically cholestyramine, that reduces bile production from the gall bladder or improves reabsorption of the bile from the intestines. Bile acid malabsorption could be the source of Pat’s digestive problems, she suggested. Try the cholestyramine for a few days and you’ll find out very quickly if it works. So that’s what we did, and it worked! All I had to do was mix a small scoop of the powder into a glass of orange juice every day and give it to Pat to consume. Incredibly, her digestive issues disappeared. What a relief!

          All went well for a week or so. But then Pat began slowing down

over a period of several days. The orange juice didn’t care. It sat there patiently waiting. I cared. I sat there impatiently waiting. “Aren’t you going to drink your juice?” I asked. “Don’t tell me what to do!” she replied. From Pat’s perspective I was ordering her around again. And Pat does not like taking orders. She is very good at non-compliance. Yesterday she wouldn’t even let me pour the juice, much less drink it.

          So, here’s my problem. This medicine works. If Pat will keep taking it our lives will be better, much better. If the stakes weren’t so high, I would just drop the subject. But this is a significant quality of life issue for both of us.

          If I keep pushing, Pat will become more and more resistant. If I shut up, she will almost certainly suffer more and more bouts of diarrhea. Perhaps the best approach for now is to ask her if she wants to take the medicine/juice today and accept her answer, whatever it might be, without trying to convince her of its value.


Pat’s comments on Frustration! Pat Objects to Taking an Important Medicine.

          I don’t think that the compound of things makes my life more viable that I should go through with it.

Ron to Pat: Do you mean it’s not worth the trouble?

Pat: No, I meant that taking it or not taking it didn’t make a difference.