Taco night!

Day before yesterday was taco night for iftar at our place. Mummy loved it! Though she had some trouble folding the taco and eating it, with a little help from Anis, she ate it and thankfully devoured her food.

Her food habits are a little bit limited nowadays. For breakfast, she likes eating Hawaiian bread with melted Kraft singles cheese and soy milk. We started giving her soy milk when we suspected regular milk was upsetting her stomach. Soy milk has tons of protein, plus mummy loves the sweet, vanilla flavor.

Lunch, she usually either eats the same thing as breakfast, or if there are any good leftovers from the night before (namely rice and any form of chicken curry) she likes that too.

We try to structure her meals as much as possible because of her sedentary lifestyle. She spends most of the day sleeping/sitting/lying down, if she eats more than she needs just for the sake of eating, she will put on weight fast. Increased weight makes it harder for us to help her if she falls down, for example. When she fell down the other day and Anis had to lift her up, it was tough!

So between lunch and dinner if she does get hungry (which she usually does) we try not to give her another meal, but healthy snacks like fruit, or fruit yogurt. She has a major sweet tooth, so sometimes we give her coconut cookies (her favorite).

By the time dinner time rolls around, Mummy is ready to eat! She does not enjoy spicy food at all, so she actually likes American/Arab food because of the mild spice level. Usually, whatever we make for dinner, she eats. Only rarely do we have to make something separate for her. She eats with her eyes before she eats with her hands, so she likes things to look good and neat. So, for example, if there’s chicken and rice for dinner, she likes to see the chicken whole instead of one of us taking the meat off the bones and giving it to her like that.

She says she doesn’t like rice and likes bread better, but rice is easier to eat than bread for her. She normally has trouble making morsels of food to eat when she eats with bread, but with rice, she can eat on her own with no problems.

She’s not a big veggie person, there are only a few veggies that she will eat. Alot of veggies Anis does a pretty good job of convincing her that she likes it. She loves chicken and mutton. Beef tends to upset her digestive system, especially ground beef, so we don’t give it that often. She loves pasta! And cheese!

After dinner is Mummy’s medicine time. This sometimes confuses her. Papa puts the medicine in her hand, and she doesn’t know what to do after that. At this point, usually the 3 of us accidentally simultaneously instruct her to put the medication that is in her hand in her mouth. (We’re working on it). This confuses her even more. So Anis takes charge, tells us both (Papa and me) to calm down (lol), then tells Mummy how to get the medication from her hand into her mouth, then gives her water.

After dinner, it’s prayer time, chilling out for a little bit, and then bedtime. Before we convince Mummy that it is bedtime and she needs to sleep, she wants to be reassured about a pressing issue to her. She won’t sleep unless she is reassured about an important issue.

“Have I eaten dinner yet?”

  1. #1 by Jill on August 23, 2011 - 5:10 pm

    I read your comment on the Huffington Post and followed your link. My mother and father both have dimentia and it is heartbreaking. My mom has alzheimers and my dad has vascular dimentia which seems to be progressing slower than the alzheimers. Anyway, I thankyou for writing so beautifully about your experiences with this awful disease and will continue to follow your journey. It is a journey that I too, unfortunately, am on. Stay strong.

    • #2 by mymotherandi on August 23, 2011 - 8:48 pm

      Hi Jill,
      Thank you for your wonderful comment. One of the reasons why we started this blog was to get people who deal with similar diseases together. Mariam and I were just talking about your parents and we are here for you, if you ever need to share or talk. You and your parents are in our prayers and we wish you all the best. There is no other way of dealing with this other than being strong and keeping the faith. Mariam told my dad about you and his first reaction was to ask you to get all your blood work and genetic tests done with proper physical check up(he is a retired orthopedic surgeon). Make sure you are on top of your health. Good luck and best wishes.

  2. #3 by Salma on August 24, 2011 - 10:19 am

    Thanks so much for sharing. My mother has dementia, (she’s not even 60 yet) and it has been really hard to cope with it. With both of my brothers living and working far from home, and I am currently studying outside of the US, it is so mentally, emotionally, and physically stressful for my dad to take care of her on his own. even though he works 9-5 everyday. I was home for the summer for three months, so I tried my best to lift the burdens off of him and take care of her, but it was a lot for me to handle too. It is definately a test of patience and faith, but sometimes, I am not strong enough to face the day with a smiling face. Seeing your mother having difficulty eating, dressing, going to the bathroom, falling, confused, cognitively slow is very heartbreaking. May God heal all those who are sick and grant us all the patience and pure intentions. It is a blessing to take care of our parents. They changed our diapers, and were woken up in the middle of the night by our cries. The least we can do is share a nice taco meal with them 🙂

    • #4 by mymotherandi on August 24, 2011 - 6:24 pm

      Hi Salma,

      Thanks for your comments. It is certainly a tough situation to deal with and requires a lot of sacrifices. You can get help from the system and see if you can have someone be with her when you guys can’t. It is very important to do so because dementia patients are not safe alone. They need to be taken care of all the time especially if its in advanced stages. We are still working on getting my mom into the system but in the mean time Mariam and Papa stay at home with mom all the time.

  3. #5 by Priya on August 24, 2011 - 11:13 pm

    Hi Anis!!!!

    Hey, u might not be knowing me directly but we have met so many times…becoz ur mom n my Aunty(Lallytanshu mai my own Bua, u cn ask ur dad about my papa, Karmedera) both were in the same college…this is how we know each others family so well. I use to call ur mom Nuzhat Aunty…n she called me soni…ask her if she remembers me….My attention towards you n Aunty got diverted on my b’day (9th August) when early in d morning i received a call from Lalltanshu Aunty…(i call her lally Aunty, not Bua)…after wishing me she said “u know i had a voice with Nuzat’s son just now, he called me after so many years…Its was the same like urs “TODAY I AM HAPPY!!! Then she said about Nuzhat’s Aunty illness. ..heartbreaking…But yes we have to deal with it…. strongly…
    Just try to give all ur love, care and all the good things u can do!!! Don’t worry …God must have stored so many good things for u guys. It’s amazing to read how Mariam and Uncle doing such an excellent job…may god give Mariam all d energies so dat she can chanilize it in a constructive way…

    “Happiness depends on what u give, not what u get” After reading all ur posts somehow i feel very very happy about you guys…Keep it up!!!
    cheers Priya (Soni)

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