I spent some time yesterday consulting with "T" the pharmacist at our local CVS, before picking up the package. It looks like this patch will kill two birds with one stone [that saying reminds me of the biblical slingshot]! It will deliver the medication Rivastigmine on a 24-hour release basis, and eliminate what has become an increasingly difficult part of Steve's morning: swallowing pills!
The pharmacist told me to begin tapering off Steve's Aricept and Namenda--glory to God, because these name-brand drugs are very expensive! Steve cannot take all three medications at once. Aricept and Namenda are no longer efficacious for Steve in late stage, because they are only known to effect behavioral changes in mild-to-moderate patients. And since the drug contained in the Excelon patch is also best known for benefitting mild-to-moderate stage sufferers, it's a straight-across trade.
But the choking and pills stuck in Steve's mouth (because he struggles with swallowing the steady flow of water necessary for swallowing) will be eliminated, and that's a big praise! I love the way God doesn't hesitate to try different methods and different approaches, even wildly contradictory new directions for His people and His terrain, as Isaiah 43:18-21 shows:
Do not remember the former
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the
And rivers in the desert.
The beast of the field will honor
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I give waters in the
and rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My
This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.
Just think--God is willing to completely change the course of nature and world history to come to the rescue of His people and establish a new, righteous order! As Oswald Chambers put it, God will tax the entire universe and the last grain of sand in behalf of just one of His saints! That is why believers can praise His name even in the valleys of loss and suffering, because "You are with me" (Psalm 23:4).
Even though I have no illusions of improvement for Steve, I am at least glad he suffered no side effects or skin irritation. He didn't even remember having the patch put on. Even though voicing a complaint would show more mental engagement in his own physical condition and life in general, I am relieved that he went about his day with calm enjoyment (and a few typical cat naps).
The Exelon patch is a provision from the Lord, not meant to stir up high expectations, but to stir up my vision of His daily presence in the large and small things; I can watch in amazement as God "makes a road in the wilderness."