Friday, 17 March 2017

Remembering Sunday

The movie "Remembering Sunday" , stars Zachary Levi and Alexis Bledel (of Gilmore Girls) was about a brilliant scientist who lost his ability to remember.  He will wake up each morning unable to recall yesterday. But memories of his past was crystal clear.

His thoughtful sister created a folder which he was suppose to read each morning when he wakes up. The folder explains his condition and to anticipate problems he would face through the day.

I thought it was a smart move and on his part he took to recording what he did each day and  at times conversations.

I loved that movie and watched 8 re-runs.  Unknown to me then why I was so obsessed with this movie!!!

Just yesterday I plastered my mum's walls with same content as the ' folder'.   My mum does not have a habit to flip open books thus I had to make it pop out at her when she opens her eyes.

The minute the wakes she would see a print out of her family, names, address.  I would remind her that she is having a memory lapse condition and that the blanks would be filled. She needs to not panic, but relax, watch TV or sleep.

I found it to help pacify her fears and calm her for awhile.

I have kept my mum's condition from her cos I find it too cruel to tell her in this fragile state.  Deep set depression could create a whole new set of problems... I do not need them now.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Make more friends!

These past years I have gotten more paranoid and sensitive to everything people say and do.  Mind you I was rather sensitive when I was younger but now I feel less tolerant of careless words by insensitive or ignorant persons.

Peace, peace.. God,  I need your peace.

Did you know that if you are not a social butterfly. Have only a few friends! I was told ,you are likely to have dementia.

My mum's friend called to check on her status and concluded that because my mum does not like to socialise much that is why she is the way she is!!!

I felt hurt that  she was mocking my mother's character at a time like this.

Words fail me.   Pray for Peace.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Cry a little

These past weeks, my mother's memory has worsened.

Apart from her remembering who her enemy was and forgetting all else and it has happened more frequent.

She could remember so clearly that she has no memory... and that frightens her.
I was not able to pacify her and she cried. I seldom see my mum cry.  My usual practice would be to lighten the mood and tell her that her memory will all come back  in a few hours. And it often does. But how long will this last.

How long can I continue to lie to her?

Will it make any difference to an Alzheimer patient?  Can they tell that I am lying?

It breaks my heart to watch my mum cry.  Her mind is an empty slate and I fear that if at that moment filling in the blanks for her would make her more fearful. How could she not remember a single thing!!

I am not sure how I should feel... guilty perhaps.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Why this title for my blog?

I was asked why this title for my blog, it seemed so cruel!

At times I wish my mum could forget all her troubles.. forget the fact that she could not recall a thing. Her current predicament of  not having friends and relatives around made me feel so sorry for her.  My mum had always been an independent woman.  She had only a handful she calls friends but I feel they are mere  acquaintances.  She could remember names but when she sees them she has no memory of who they are.

One friend brought her hurriedly home before the lunch appointment, and simply dropped her off without saying a word.  Later I would call to ask how it went cos I was wondering why did she come home so quickly.  the friend asked "why her memory so bad.. she does not know who I am". Well it's bad because she has Alzheimer's and I did warn her that my mum might forget who she is.

My naive self thought that if she had gone out  with a friend, that friend would show more concern and empathy, despite the fact that it's hard to communicate with a person with dementia. Just small talk and jokes could help distract my mum from her fears. Just Try???

But it's the disgust on her face that shocked me.

Sometimes I would ask a friend or relation to accompany me to the mall with mum, a little get together time to help create a happy day for mum.  Though she might not remember who they are but at least spending time eating and laughing might be good!   Unfortunately relation and friends whom I have shared  my mum's condition with would say "She might get bored cos I will take a long while to decide when I shop",  "What if she does not know who I am, what to talk about?".

Those statements made me feel so obligated to ask for their help. I felt like I am intruding and for the most part now I have shared less or not at all.  These comments are not a one time thing. Sometimes I feel I might have misunderstood them, thus I will ask again and I will always give it a third try.

Disappointment after disappointment... I have decided to rely on myself and will try arrange Day Care for mum... strangers can prove to be better friends.

What irks me is they often talk about their desire to volunteer for the elderly. huh!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Keep your enemies closer!

Just the other night, mum looked odd and spoke to me in such sweet tones.  I then realised she had forgotten who I was. Indeed she had no idea  where she was and who I am! I then started with the other queries pertaining to her husband, son, grandson etc.  She could only remember my name and my son's.

Then the phone rang it was my aunty, mum asked who it was and I told her. Not only did she remember the name of that aunty she remembered the nick name given and was considered an enemy,
The trouble-maker in my mother's marriage.

I was astonished that the last person she would forget is her enemy.

There must be so much hatred and anger in her life.. more than LOVE!

Is that how we will  turn out if we could not find it in our heart to forgive?  The one who is suffering is the one who held the grudge.  Cos all my mum could remember was the trouble-maker?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Pride and Mum

As I spend time with mum each day, I realise I know my mum very well, but I don't know how to show her I love her.

We area very conservative family, the way we show how we care and love is through the things we do for them. No hugs and kisses if we can help it.  Though I remember receiving them when I was young.

I continue with the kisses and hugs for my boy cos I did not want him to feel what I had lacked.
However my ways with mum... I cannot change.. so uncomfortable and awkward to hug and kiss her.
But I will try to hold her more closely now.

Mum has lots of pride, though she knows she cannot hear or read well, or for that matter remember.
She will say "I know who it is" , "I can hear" or nod agreeably "yes" though she has no notion of what you said to her.

It upsets her if I try to test her!! I had to tread so carefully so as not to make her feel small.

As a caregiver, it takes a lot of my pride away. So much humility on my part.
I am not able to correct her when she forgets the time, forgets to bathe, to eat and when she forgets who I am (maybe the maid).

I feel the solitude as it is as good as living alone with no one to really talk to. I am no longer employed in order to spend all my time her.  Now that she realises  much more of her memory is gone, she  starts to shut down in order not to make a fool of herself.

I just let her believe what she is saying to be true, no point correcting her since she will forget it within half a day or the next day.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

Guess that is why I am so forgettable. :(

Friday, 10 February 2017

Mum and I

And that's exactly it... mum and I. 

Mum and dad seperated when I was young though my dad continued to live in the home to ensure that both my brother and I are well looked after.

However since young mum and I had been best friends, we did virtually everything together. Shopping, high tea, art and crafts and other girly stuff.  When I started dating, mum found her own pleasures.. bowling and hanging around with other ladies from the church and enjoyed herself thoroughly. I felt a sense of relieve that I was not totally abandoning her , she had her own cliques.

I spent time with mum to compensate the fact that my dad deserted her.

My life has gone one full circle, married, had a son, divorced and now back to spending time with my mum.

But this time she has little recollection of her past, her friends, the fun stuff she enjoyed doing and now at times, she could not recognise me.  Surprised, shocked and saddened that her daughter had grown so old (haha) and realised  she did not remember how that time had flown.

To be kind... I wish she could not remember a thing.  I wish she need not struggle to remember. I wish I did not have to refresh her memory and watch her smile and say "yes, yes I remember" when I know for a fact, her mind is totally blank.

I am the sole caregiver and lacking in support and having someone I can turn to to relieve my sore heart. I have decided to start a blog to share my inner feelings and in turn hope there will be blogger friends to be made.