"Hi, doctor. I don't mean to take up your time, but I was just wondering... I got my father's pills confused and I'm not sure which is the pink one and which is the white one. I was hoping you could tell me."
"Oh. That's really a better question for the pharmacist who dispensed the medication. I don't actually know what the pills look like. But if you call the pharmacist, he should have your records and be able to look at the actual pills and tell you which is which."
"The pink ones are bigger."
"Okay, that's great. But I don't know what the pills look like. So you'll need to call the pharmacist. If the pharmacist needs to get in touch with me, or you have trouble reaching him, you can give me a call back."
"Great. Oh, just one more quick thing while I have you on the phone."
"Do I need to put my father in a nursing home?"
"Well, I don't imagine his situation is going to get much better, and I'm having a rough time taking care of him."
"This is definitely a discussion you should have with the social worker you and your mother met with in the hospital-- there might be some services your father can qualify for. Or she may have some other ideas."
"No, but, just generally, is my father the kind of person who should be in a nursing home?"
"This might be a longer discussion than we should have on the phone right now--"
"No, I have time."
"Yes, but I think this should be something we look at over time, and we can talk at your father's next appointment about what services he might need, and what the best situation might be for him, now and in the future."
"Do you have any nursing home recommendations?"
"I don't, but the social worker would be the best person for you to talk to about this. You have her card, right?"
"Yes, could you transfer me to her?"
"I'm not in the hospital right now-- I'm calling you back from home. So if you call the number on the card, you should be able to reach her."
"I don't have the card in front of me right now-- it's in my purse downstairs. Could you give me the number again?"
"I actually don't have the number-- I'm at home. If you can't find the card, call again tomorrow during business hours and I can get that to you."
"I can't call during business hours. I'm at work."
"Okay, that's fine. I will call you tomorrow with that number."
"You can't just tell me now?"
"I don't have the number right now."
"And you can't transfer me?"
"I'm sorry, I'm not in the hospital right now."
"Wait, one more thing-- are you sure you don't know which is the pink pill and which is the white one? I'd hate to bother the pharmacist."