Saturday, March 21, 2015

Random thoughts: First day of care giving.

Today is the first day while the whole family went to the specialist clinic to hear what the doctor says about my mum's conditions.

Fortunately, the cancer cells have not spread to the other parts of the body, however, she is not suitable for surgery yet, because of low blood cells and high sugar levels in the blood, she is also very badly infected due to the lumps.

The doctor showed us how to clean and disinfect the wounds, lumps, and refer us to another diabetic specialist who would work with her to keep my mum diabetic under control.

I was shocked when my brother told me mum has been eating only bread for 3 meals for the past 2 weeks due to her loss of appetite. Hence the low blood cell count is partly due to poor nutrition and lack of iron.

It is shocking because whenever we returned home, my mum would easily wipe up 4-5 dishes and I remembered seeing ingredients in the fridge. I check the fridge again today, it is still well stocked.

If there is one thing that struck me as I do care giving today, is:

I always assume my parents are highly independent. They are, but they does not mean they do not need our care, although they do not want to burden us.

When I brought fresh food to prepare dinner for them, I ask where are the salt, oil are. I realized the wok has not been clean for days. The floor mat is soaking wet. There is no proper separation of knife or chopping board for vegetables, meat or the likes. There is no paper towel to clean and dry the cutlery.

I also realized how little I know about Chinese cooking, I need to call my MIL 2 times to ask how to store food, how to prepare food, what to do, what to add etc.  

But by 5 p.m. I still managed to do these.

I taste them myself, definitely not very tasty but at least I think I didn't spoil the food.  

There was plenty of planning to do, of which my wife gave the suggestion of getting a caterer for lunch and dinner, she mentioned there are healthy options. Anyone got any lobang? I got a number, but I think they do not work in the weekend.

Lets hope everything go smoothly according to plan. Fingers crossed. 


  1. You must not neglect your health during this difficult time. Take care.

    1. Money honey,

      I am aware I must take care of myself to take care of others and no add to the already stressful sitiation for my sister.

  2. Sillyinvestor,

    If you find writing your experiences therapeutic, do so.

    There will come a time when you will feel like shouting or scolding your mom - once you have done this care-giving for a longer period of time.

    It's a sign you may be getting burned-out....

    Could be good to make arrangements with your siblings in advance on rotation of duties.

    Pace yourself.

    1. Hi SMOL,

      Actually the main caregiver is still my sister. She lived with my parents. I rotate with my brother for the evening slot to cook dinner and change my mum dressing. Maybe see to some chores.

      I thank you for your advice. I find writing good for me to relax. I am constantly reminding myself to be efficient to maximising time yet find time to robo and recharged.

  3. HI SI,

    Adding onto SMOL's point, somedays you will find your mom so stubborn. She simply will not listen to you even it is for her own good. Taking care for olds can be much more diificult than caring for youngs. You can't discipline them and you can't buy toys/sweets for them.

    Be prepared, ready and pace yourself.


    1. Hi Farmer,

      My mum is more iron teeth with my sister. Maybe because my sister Insist on more ...

      Right now, everyone is focused on recovery, I can see she want to get well too.

  4. Hi SI

    Hope you can tide through this difficult period. At this juncture to the extent you can outsource functions, this is a time where it does make sense to whip out the wallet.. Instead of being overwhelmed and compromising on health etc. For catering you might want to check out foodpanda which helps deliver food from many restaurants?

    1. RT,

      I went online to research, but none are really suitable except

      But there is also some limitations. My sister wanted home cook food for the next 10 days until surgery first. I agreed with Her

  5. Take care.

    Stay strong

    Everything will be alright

  6. Thank you Paul.

    Appreciate your encouragement

  7. hi mike,
    it is good news that your mum cancer cell didn spread to other parts of body.

    good to hear this!

    as for low blood cell and high sugar level. think there is infection.

    high sugar level, then avoid to take flour and white rice...avoid bread also.

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