Seven months after my last post, this is how we are:
- Mama spends almost the whole day lying down on the sofa in the TV room. She doesn’t watch TV, though. We keep it on because she doesn’t seem to mind that neither I nor my husband are with her. If it suddenly goes off – because of brownouts or other reasons – that’s when she realizes she is alone and calls out to me.
- Mama wears a diaper 24 hours a day. She hardly ever takes it off (on her own) anymore, and for that I am grateful, because then I know that ‘accidents’ will get collected and not smear all over her clothes. There are, however, cases, usually late at night when we are fast asleep.
- I am much bigger than I was in January, regardless of the efforts to exercise and practice intermittent eating. I think it’s the smell of the ‘accidents’ and the task of cleaning her up, that I constantly need to have freshly-cooked food in front of me to distract me from it.
- Mama is also constantly eating. Does the disease make one forget that they ate or that they are no longer hungry? In the morning before I get up, she has a snack – a muffin. Then she has breakfast, which I feed her. Then she has dessert – another muffin. After about a half hour, she asks if she has eaten, so we give her another snack. By the time lunchtime comes around, she has eaten another muffin. Then lunch and dessert. Then she takes a nap, and when she wakes, she asks for food – a muffin, which becomes two if she gets hungry before dinner. Then dinner and dessert. She wants to go to bed at around 9:00PM, but has a muffin first. By midnight, she has had one more, and almost every hour through the night, she calls out to us asking if she has eaten or if we have food. It is not surprising that we now have, more or less, the same waistline.
- We have a new member of the family – Ember, a rescue kitten who came to us on October 6. So right after feeding Mama (breakfast, lunch and dinner), I feed Ember. He’s a really finnicky kitten. He doesn’t eat rice, nor likes soup. He likes his meat (fish or chicken) boiled in salt. He isn’t one for fried food. Every morning, I give Mama a wipe-bath (wiping her face and hands with wipes), and using the still semi-wet wipe, I give Ember his own wipe-bath. So then, he smells the same as Mama!
- Since the pandemic started, Mama hasn’t been anywhere except to my in-laws’ house – about five-minute drive away. Sometimes, we bring her along for the ride when I have a meeting or when we have family guests. She’s not really allowed to go out because she’s a senior Senior Citizen, but we feel bad if we leave her at home alone (with a carer). So come with us she does!
- Mama is turning 90 on December 5, 2021! Who wudda thought she would reach that age when neither of her parents did, nor her older siblings, one of whom was a doctor whose children are also doctors? Of course, it would have been more meaningful if she didn’t have the ‘forgetful’ disease, but I guess ‘beggars can’t be choosy’.
- Mama has lived through several life-altering events: World War II (1941-1945), Martial Law (1972-1985), The Turn of the Century (2000), and the Covid-19 Pandemic (2020-present).
- My sister’s daughter-in-law is pregnant and is due in May 2022! If Mama lives until then, she’ll meet her first ‘apo-sa-tuhod’ (great-grandson)!
- Right now, we’re just living day-to-day, being thankful for each and every day. Everyday, Mama takes a rollcall, and is always surprised to learn that none of her older children are living nearby. Every once in a while, she mistakes me for one of her other daughters, especially if I have make-up on. Even my husband – I feel that when she looks for him, she is really looking for her husband. Because I (G) am ‘too young’ to be married. Oh, well..
Author’s Note: If any of my readers relate to this post, it means it is happening. I am glad that I can be of assistance in any way possible.