Last November, my mother complained of aching joints at her hip area. Unaware of the gravity of her pain, we just told her that it would just pass. She was able to attend a seminar in Baguio City but the cold weather made matters worse with her joint pains.
When she came back home, my father sent me a text message saying that in his opinion, my mother needed to see a doctor. I texted my mother and asked her to withdraw some money from my ATM account for her check up. My daughter accompanied her to the clinic. Since her phone is subscribed in a post paid account, I asked her to give me a call. She was crying on the other line because it was confirmed that she was diabetic.
I comforted her and told her that it’s gonna be alright. What triggered the increase in her blood sugar was probably the chocolates that my brother brought home from abroad. My mother has a sweet tooth and she loves salty foods, too. Bad combination, isn’t it? Her lifestyle is sedentary: work, home,work. She was overweight, too.
December 2008 and just a few days before Christmas, she was frequently dizzy and her weight dramatically went down. She was sleepy most of the time. It was at this time that her aching joints got worse. Osteo-arthritis, her rheumatologist said. Is there a link between diabetes and osteo-arthritis?
January 2009, her condition improved. Thanks to her medicine. But in February, her condition got even worse than what happened to her in December. Her blood sugar went up and there were bacteria found in her urine. She had no fever though. The pain, according to her, was much more sharper this time; she has been bedridden for five weeks now. We hired a professional Physical Therapist for her but her condition didn’t improve. She has been taking eight different kinds of medicine for her diabetes and osteo-arthritis but still, there is no improvement. As of this writing, she’s in the hospital for her blood transfusion since her hemoglobin dropped at 7.9. I think that the normal should be at 12.0.
I feel for her and I understand her emotional pain. She’s an independent lady, the type of Filipino mother who never demanded anything on her working children. I understand her worries that our youngest brother is still in college (my mother is the breadwinner)
My younger brother who also have his own family and I split the expenses for her medications and their family budget (my father, mother and youngest brother’s budget) I am getting married soon and I feel that the situation came at the very wrong time. My fiance’ is very understanding though; he doesn’t mind me helping my family. What triggers my worries is my current cash flow. “Cash out” is greater than “cash in.” What will happen to me and to us when my mother’s situation did not improve?
It’s one of the pains of a family member who supports a sick family member. We want the best medications but sometimes, we’re limited by the resources that we have.
Sometimes, at the back of my mind, I blame my mother for not taking care of herself when she was younger. I always remind her to watch her sugar intake, to get enough exercise and to slow down on foods that would cause harm on her. But maybe, eating was her pleasure and in eating, she found comfort.
I would still like to put my trust in the Lord that after this day, my mother would be on her road to recovery.