2 Mar 2013


So much has been happening in my life these days I find it difficult to sit and blog anymore. First my mum in law who is 85 is back to stay. She is not sickly but thinks she's not well all the time. I guess reaching the ripe old age of 85 and having some aches and pains does make you think that you are unwell. We take her to the doctor regularly - mostly for her hypertension pills and regular checks. Otherwise she is perfectly all right except that she is suffering from mild dementia.She forgets things that has just occurred but remembers perfectly what happened when she was a child or a teenager. We have to check that she is taking the correct pills at the correct time and that she is eating nutritious meals. She loves eating junk food - crackers, sweets, dried fruits, sour plums and muruku. But ask her to have lunch or dinner she says she is still full and not hungry. So you have to practically cajole her to "come and eat". She misplaces her belongings all the time - her clock, her lotions and comb, sometimes her batik sarong or even her "baju" or blouse. Then she accuses my maid of taking it. So I have to be there all the time to make sure her things are not moved around (by her). We have had a number of crises since she came to stay. She has accused my poor long suffering and patient maid of taking her ring (which had been lost a long time ago and has never been found), her scarf, her toothpaste, her body lotion and scrub and so many other things. Her favourite past time is to go through her many bags and keep all her things in these bags which she then locks. When she wants to use something she has to unlock them, use what ever it is,  which she then puts in a different bag. So when next she wants to use the item she cannot remember where she has put it but claims she left the item on the bedside table right next to her bed. She refuses to believe she left it elsewhere and gets very upset when you tell her so. She will then shout loudly that her things have been stolen and even rocks herself on the bed saying " Why don't you have pity on a poor old soul like me? Don't steal my things - I'm old. Where is my ....( clock, scarf, sarong etc) ?" 
At first we try to explain to her that the items are in the bags but she just gets angrier and louder  so now I change the topic and distract her with something else. Five or 10 minutes later she has forgotten whatever it is she wanted and when she is out of her room I try and find whatever it is and put it in plain view. It can be quite tiring at times.

When she first came to stay permanently ( a few months ago) she was even worse. She would cry in the morning and ask where she was because she had been moved from house to house so often she feels displaced. I'd explain that she is here in my house in Malacca then she'd ask where is Repin, her son. My husband is still working in KL so does not come home every day. He comes home twice a week - most Wednesdays and the weekends. She never asks about her other sons , always Repin. In many ways she is like a child, waiting for her "father/ husband" ? to come back. She will also call him all the time on her handphone, which is always with her. Sometimes in one day she will call him 5-6 times and even in the middle of meetings. He then texts me and asks "anything?" Mostly she just wants to hear his voice. He is like her anchor. When I tell her that she has called him 5 times that day she will say - "Really? No I just called him once." Or "I didn't call him." Then she complains that her credit on her phone has mysteriously vanished - someone must have taken it. The first person to be accused is again my maid.  And so it goes on.

To complicate my life further I have taken on another responsibility- my niece who is 13 years old. She is  my younger brother's daughter and my brother had had a stroke last year. He also has 6 children ranging in age from 19 years to 7 years. I decided to care for my niece because she is always left alone in the house after school - her mother is working in a factory and works from 7- 5 every day except Sundays. The youngest is a boy (7 years) and he goes to the same school where his father works as a clerk. So he is always with the father. The older girls are all in college (3 of them). So to help him out and because I liked the girl, I decided to take her home with me. So now I send her to school every day, fetch her back home, oversee her studies and send her for tuition in Mathematics which she is weak in. So I now have two persons I'm responsible for. Life can't get more complicated than this!

And finally - good news. My daughter Sarah is getting married in November and we have to start preparing from now. Sarah is a houseman (or Medical intern in the US) so doesn't have much free time. Most of the preparation falls on me but I'm lucky to have a daughter in law who is prepared to do most of the organising! And life goes on.....

1 comment:

Naida said...

Hi Kat, it sounds like you are busy over there.
My grandma had dementia as well, and it was very tough. They do forget so much and are like children again in some ways. She's lucky she has such a great daughter to help care for her.
Congrats on your daughter getting married soon!
I wish you well...(hugs).