When the Philippines was hit by Covid-19 and our president declared the National Capital Region to go on Community Quarantine, I was not worried. I knew that it would only be temporary and that the quarantine would be lifted as soon as it was deemed safe. I actually thought I could use the time to catch up on sleep, on work backlog, on cleaning, on learning new recipes, on writing, on gardening, etc.
But then we had to let go of our caregiver because circumstancial evidence kept pointing at her squirreling our food away. And all my plans disappeared in a puff of smoke.
But why did it have to be me? I never wanted to be the “favorite”, nor did I seek attention (on the contrary, I always hid when called to play the piano for guests), neither do I enjoy announcing my movements at every turn. It particularly irks me when her questions break my line of thought and I have to go back and rethink everything again. Or maybe I should just stop thinking?
In the last month and a half, my mom’s condition has worsened in terms of:
1. Cycle period – sometimes she repeats the first question just as soon as the last question has been answered;
2. Inability to sleep – she sleeps for about 5-10 minutes and when she wakes up, she thinks it’s been a long time already;
3. No sense of time passing – she asks for food every half hour or so, more often forgetting that she had just eaten
Of course, there are times when I believe the memory vitamins are helping:
A. She remembers more life episodes in her dreams such as get-togethers with her children and grandchildren, parties she used to host in our previous residence, friends she had long forgotten, her passion for folk dancing, her father who cheated on her mother with three other women..
B. Her strength has returned, allowing her to walk the halls of our house repeatedly and without tiring, looking for me, my husband and my siblings..
C. She has not forgotten some daily habits such as changing her panty every night before going to bed and hand-combing her hair before getting out of bed..
Since we are under General Community Quarantine and flights in and out of and around the country have been stopped to stem the transmission of the virus, I have no choice but to bear it all. I just hope that the light at the end of the tunnel brings relief in a way that I will have peace of mind without feeings of guilt or regret.