Mom has become super forgetful & confused, more so after she had her stroke. From her mobile phone, she called me in tears one day. She suddenly remembered that her favorite brother, my Uncle Caye, passed away. A late christmas card she received from my widowed aunt triggered the memory & it felt so fresh and raw for her, as if it happened that very same day. So she called me at once & asked if I was going anywhere that moment because she wanted to come & visit me at my house to tell me that my uncle passed away. She couldn’t stop crying.
I told her gently – Mom, we live together now. You stay with me don’t you remember? Come home any time you want I’m just here. And then I too was in tears after that call. I felt so bad for her, so sorry that she has to be this way now. From a proud, intelligent, independent woman, she is left at the mercy of people around her for clarity & guidance. Lucid one moment, confused the next. She has some good days & a lot of bad days. Which is why I don’t “allow” her to go out on her own even with her nurses save for her regular places of comfort. But in the mall or anywhere else where she can get very disoriented, I make it a point to always be with her. Or MIL accompanies her, like to church & the grocery if I can’t make it.
To distract her, the squad went to the mall after her return for a donut/coffee run, and some people watching while we’re at it. She can never stay put in the house now. Mom walks around all the time, goes out one door & comes in through the other. She turns on the light switches & turns them off again. Even her caregivers can’t keep up with her anymore & they force her to sleep, sleep, and sleep just so they can rest! Problem is, the naps keep her awake at night, and she keeps our home well-lighted in the wee hours. She has a thing with darkness now, ayaw nya ng madilim.
My strategy to combat this night-time waking & walking is to tire her out in the afternoons so she can sleep the whole night through. And so, we walked & scoured the mall buong maghapon, just bummin’ around & looking at things that interest us.
That same night when Ate came home from school & kissed her gramma, she asked her customary question – Hi Amah love what did you do today? Her lola replied – Oh I was just home, I didn’t go anywhere. Ate asked again – You didn’t go anywhere with mommy? She replied – Did I see your mommy today? I don’t think so. No I didn’t see her today.
This! After I spent the whole afternoon making her aliw & entertaining her so she doesn’t get bored or sad. Geez! But I don’t mind that she forgets our shenanigans. Our dates are more for my sake than hers anyway. She may forget our moments together, but these are times I will forever treasure in my heart when one day she leaves this earth. At least I can say I gave daughtering my best shot. <3
What is Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.
I am definitely bringing up my suspicion the next time we visit her neurologist. I hope & pray it’s just simple pagu-ulyanin. :'( Please God.
And! it’s my birthday tomorrow! \m/ All I wish for is good health & safety for the people I love. Yun lang po dear Lord -I already have everything (and everyone) I could possibly need or want. Thank you so much Lord, Amen. Thank you too, Mommy, for giving birth to me, for taking care of me & loving me the best you can. I am forever grateful. :-*