It's evening, and I ring Mum to tell her to take her second anti-biotic of the day.
"It's okay, I've taken them already."
"Them? What do you mean 'Them'?"
"All of them. I've taken all of my pills already."
I calculate quickly - that would mean that Mum's taken at least 8 strong anti-biotic tablets in one day. I don't know how your heart can sink while it's leaping into your mouth, but my heart has been showing off lately. I'm wondering who I should call about this, because I imagine it could have serious medical consequences, when it occurs to me what might have happened.
"Mum.... can you look at the strip of pills that you've taken, please?"
"It's gone. I've taken them all."
"Do you mean that the box is empty?"
"Is it possible that the strip is somewhere else in the flat?"
I get her to look. She finds the strip. The pills are not all taken. We take some 10 minutes to establish which ones are gone, despite my care to label each and every one by the day it should be taken. After I've listened to Mum swallow her 'Sat PM' pill, I say my goodnight.
"Are you ringing tomorrow morning, then?" Mum asks.
"Yes." I answer, thinking how we are on the fourth day of a week's pill-taking, and how each day's pills are a fresh new challenge.