So it was as I thought.
I finally reached my mother's doctor and he told me she wasn't taking her medication correctly, that her memory has clearly deterioted even more since her last testing, and that she is otherwise relatively fit. Robustly fit, from my perspective, but I digress.
He: "You may want to speak to her about the medication and try to monitor it for her."
Me: "She won't let me."
He: "If you explain to her what I've said to you - and I already told her the same myself - and she still refuses your help, then your conscience can rest easy. While her memory is getting worse, which may indicate the very beginnings of Alzheimer's, she is still capable of making decisions and understanding the consequences."
So I understood that he was actually trying to help me and ease my mind. I love my mother's doctor. He's a nice man who works with grumpy, stubborn old people.
That night, I had Anthony pour me a stiff rum and coke, and then I broached the topic with Sally.
She reacted exactly as I'd expected.
Me: "So, your doctor called me and suggested you may need some help keeping track of your meds."
She: (nose jerking suddenly into the air) "Yes. He said that. But I told him he's mistaken. I've been taking my medication the same way for months now. And that's how the other doctor told me to take it."
Me: "Well. He did have your file right in front of him. He seems to think, for some reason (my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek as I said this), that you aren't taking the correct dosages, or even at the right times."
She: (nose almost impossible high now) "He's mistaken. I feel fine in any event."
It's true. Even though she's all over the map with the meds, she soldiers on with nary a problem. Her one night of recent (imaginary) back pain, for example, is all done with. I expect she got quite tired of walking about and moaning that night, all in an effort to show us how she suffers, and decided to abandon the pantomime.
And so we all soldier on.