What is a Snack?


Mom lost a lot of weight earlier this year, when she was hospitalised for an infection. Of course once she got home, we made reparations. She had 3 square meals with morning and afternoon tea! We overdid ourselves, though, and she has become a bit too round. Especially since nowadays she mostly sits around not doing much.

In the last year or so, a lot has changed. Although she can still find her way around the house and brush her own teeth, she is getting increasingly more forgetful and confused. She brushes her teeth three four times in a row, because she forgets that she has just done so. Afternoons become mornings, and nights are times to toss and turn and change the bedsheets. A son becomes the husband, and a grand-daughter becomes a strange girl who stares at her. She’s also searching, searching; for what nobody knows.

One blessing is that she considers the live-in helper her own special friend. They get along so well, and the helper can always make Mom laugh and giggle. But sometimes nobody can help Mom settle down and sleep when it is time to sleep. If it gets worse, I will have to consider sleep aids.

When talking to Mom, one never knows what she will say next. One moment she is wise, and the next she struggles to understand our words. She can still read, she automatically reads signs and labels. But I think she can no longer fully grasp the meanings of words.

Mom, would you like a snack?

What is A Snack?

Well, something like a biscuit or some food. Are you hungry? Would you like to eat something?

Oh, I don’t mind if there is.

I feel she is going adrift. Losing her anchor, losing sense of time. What is this place? What shall I do? Who is there? Where is my friend? Is it time to eat? Is it time to shower? I want to lie down. Why wouldn’t they let me go to the room and lie down? Why must I wait? I need to find my thing. 

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7 thoughts on “What is a Snack?”

  1. My mother told me that my dad kept up his “habit” of reading, or having reading material, for quite a while into his Alzheimer’s. When he began to lose interest was probably when he lost the meaning of what he read.

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  2. I think you are a good judge of what is (or isn’t) going on inside your mother’s brain. It becomes an art to put together the pieces to make out what she wants or is trying to say. It can be heartbreaking, though, when you realize that she disappears with greater frequency. Hang in there, you are doing something wonderful for her.

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  3. Your love and patience and empathy and compassion shine brightly in your writing which leads me to believe that they are also present in your interactions with mom. It is a roller coaster but hang in there while you have her! My thoughts are with you.

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  4. I’m grateful for the simple, clear, intuitive writing you share with all of us. You paint a picture of life with your mom that gives me insights into my own mother. Thank you, and best wishes to you and your family.

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  5. This reminds me of my mom. She also reads signs out loud and most recently when she was in the hospital after suffering TIAs or mini strokes, she started to read the words on my t shirt. I think she is struggling to understand. Makes me sad. I feel for what you’re going through.

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