Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I jokingly asked my friend at her birthday party if she was able to drive home.  She looked at me with her droopy eyes and sleepy smile and said “sure, but you can drive if you want”.  Together, we had already planned that I was her designated driver and prearranged for a mutual friend to drive her car home.  At the time we made these plans, she was not drinking and she was thinking straight.  I have no doubt that if the plans were not previously made she wouldn’t want to “bother” me and may have insisted on driving.

A few days later I visited someone on pain killers for a shoulder injury.  His wife commented on how medicated he was and how he was not thinking straight.  I wondered how he might be when the time was to stop taking the pain pills.  Would he even bother stopping?  It was a chronic condition he had, after all.

I thought it would be a good idea if before he went on the pain medication, he and his wife made a decision that not unlike a designated driver, she would start to have some control over his pain medication or planning the pain management.  If the pain pills are working, and he feels in control, even if he isn’t, it is understandable why someone wouldn’t want to take the chance of being in pain all over again, unless of course there is a Designated Medication Manager in the home. 

The conversation may not be pleasant but at least it will not be a surprise when the DMM starts the conversation about getting off or reducing the amount of the pain killers a patient is taking . 

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