Living with Alzheimer’s

Mama in November 2019

It’s all about my experiences caring for Mama.

Mama was diagnosed with mild dementia in 2019. It was decided by her five children – B, N, C, J and G (that’s me) – that she will live in Bukidnon, which is familiar to her. Now, they cannot come visit because of travel restrictions created by this global pandemic.

Living with Alzheimer’s 26 (a series)

TODAY IN MAMA’S LIFE Note: These are events that actually happened today, April 29, 2021. I thought it was just going to be any old day, but no, Mama was particularly finnicky – with eating, with looking for people, with her diaper; and so I decided to write it all out. I will start at…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 25 (a series)

My Worst Nightmare 27 January, 1:00am Ok, it happened. Mama pooped in bed. If it weren’t for covid, I would have brought her to the hospital and had her admitted last week already. She had been pooping (soft to watery) regularly every few days due to her soft diet and hot choco. The thing is,…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 24 (a series)

LIVING WITH DISTRACTION This is the reason why I didn’t want to start a blog. Because once I get distracted, and it is soo easy to distract me, I fail to come up with a post for periods of time. I think this time, it has been a little under two months, and I’m struggling…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 23 (a series)

LESSONS FROM MY MAMA (part 1) Patience is a virtue. If we were hungry, we had to wait for the food to be ready. If we wanted to go somewhere, we had to wait for everyone to be ready. If we were traveling, we had to wait until we got to our destination. If we…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 22 (a series)

MAMA ON EATING When we were growing up, Mama had some rules we needed to follow. Breakfast, on a school day, was at 6:00am and we had to be out of the house by 6:30 to get to school by 7:00. Yes, my school was only half an hour away by foot. On a weekend…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 21 (a series)

WHERE ARE WE GOING? That is the question. Of the day. At the start of the conversation. Right after I give an answer. The same question. Over and over and over again. No matter what answer I give. It is the wrong answer. All those who pass by the house are not spared. She asks…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 20 (a series)

Mama on Travelling Mama was the ultimate homebody and the perfect hostess. She could juggle cooking, baking, making ice cream, gardening, sewing, making quilts, crocheting, taking a nap and getting ready for an evening of hosting a party for my dad’s bosses.. with ease. Then on weekends, she was always ready with a picnic basket…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 19 (a series)

50 First Questions If the 50 First Dates was about a woman who forgot everything at the stroke of midnight, this post is all about my mom’s 50 most-asked questions every 2 to 5 minutes of every waking moment of the day. Sinong hindi maloloka niyan? Are we going somewhere? Are you going somewhere? Are we just…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 18 (a series)

Milestone! It has been portrayed several times in movies that patients suffering from dementia tend to have “episodes” of consciousness or lucidity and give us signs of hope that maybe their memories may still return. Like in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Steve is talking to Peggy and then she suddenly has a bout…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 17 (a series)

REPETITION If it were just preparing her food (osterizing her rice because she can’t chew anymore), bathing her, keeping her company while she slept, changing her clothes, assisting her to go to the bathroom or up and down the stairs, or even jogging her memory, I have no qualms about being her caregiver. It’s the…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 16 (a series)

The Past is the Present of the Future.. so don’t fight it! For as long as I could remember, there were several occupations I DID NOT WANT to end up doing, and they were: TEACHER, NURSE, and ARTIST. Ironically, I have worked as a TOUR GUIDE, which is actually “teaching”, in a way, because the…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 15 (a series)

Mental Health 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…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 14 (a series)

Mama is not so well. She is hard of hearing, and that when she hears a familiar word (or sounds like), she will ask about it after a few minutes pa, so by that time, I will have no idea what she’s referring to. Her most familiar word is “airport”. So whenever the speakers on…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 13 (a series)

Happy Easter, Mama Diaries Fans! Mama’s Daily Schedule: 5:00am – Mama starts waking up G and E, demanding breakfast 6:00am – E gets up and prepares Mama’s breakfast (lugaw) 7:00am – Mama is still eating breakfast reluctantly and lamenting that she wants to sleep. G administers her meds. after, Mama sleeps for about 10 minutes…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 12 (a series)

Mama Diaries in the Time of Covid-19 Because of Mama’s illness, she has mistaken me for Nen, and is constantly looking for Gina. When I point out that I am, in fact, Gina, she asks, “Where is Nene?” Because of Mama’s illness, she is constantly looking for food — food to eat now, food to…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 11 (A Series)

We went to a specialist and one of the questions she asked me was: What are the things your mom did before but doesn’t or can’t do anymore? There are quite a few and in the short time frame given to me to orally describe them, I’m afraid I may not have done a complete…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 10 (A Series)

It irks me. When she does not see me immediately, she thinks I am not in the house with her.. whether I’m in the kitchen cooking/baking or if I’m working at something on the computer in the family room or if I’m in the bathroom.. she will stand up from her lying down position so…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 9 (A Series)

Everyday is a new day.. And every time she wakes up — whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or night, and if it’s after 3 hours, 1 hour or 5 minutes — it is a new day. So she starts the day with, “Where are we? Tatlo/dalawa lang tayo dito ngayon? (Is it just the…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 8 (A Series)

So we went to Manila to attend my mother-in-law’s funeral. We were there for nine days. On the seventh day — five days after the funeral which my mom attended — my brother and I brought her to a doctor who specialises in Elderly Care. Since I was coming from Cavite, my husband’s home province,…

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Living with Alzheimer’s 7 (Series Side Trip B)

My other mom.. passed away last January 27, 2019. She was finally diagnosed with cancer of the lungs, but not before being treated for liver cirrhosis, pneumonia, an appetite enhancer and even the common cold. When the result was released three weeks ago, she was declared to be at stage 4, the final and most…

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