Adventures with
Mum and Aunty Norrie

A few weeks ago, I realized we hadn’t been to the Chemist for a while to top up Norrie’s tablets.

“Norrie,’ I asked, ‘did you have some packets of tablets stored somewhere else? You haven’t needed any replacements for a while.”

Norrie, a little bemused, replied, “I always keep my tablets on the table where I’ve kept them for years. I always take them to the plan the doctor has written out, as I have done for 40 years!” (I’d written the programme, based on the directions on the tablet packets.)

I took to phoning mid morning – “Did you take your tablets this morning?”

“Of course I did! Why do you ask? I take them every morning and lunch time and when I go to bed. I know what tablets I have to take.”

Next shopping day I plan to take scripts to the Chemist as Norrie will need replacements today. But as I check the tablets sitting in their packets on the living room table, I notice that the amounts in the packets don’t seem to have diminished.

“Norrie, are you sure you are taking your tablets? It seems as though there is the same amount here that there was last week?”

“What are you saying?! I’ve taken my tablets! I take them every morning and lunch time and when I go to bed.”

I think, how am I going to get round this? Ok – “Norrie, look, I think something is not working here – will you do something for me please? What if I count the tablets and write the number down, then you can check them off when you take them.”

“Don’t you believe me? – I take my tablets every-day just like I have for the last 40 years!”

I count the tablets left in the individual packets and ask her to check the number I have written down, together with the day’s date on post notes which I stick to the packets.

That night I receive a call from a distressed Norrie. “I know you don’t believe me, but I take my tablets, I know I do, I take them the same way I have for over 40 years. I have my system and I know what I am doing!”

I say that I am sure she does, but I just need to check something for the Chemist. This seems to calm her as she feels now that I am not blaming her and that I am doing a ‘job’ for the Chemist.

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