Friday, December 11, 2009

over 90 minutes

It took me well over an hour and a half to feed Mom her dinner tonight. We had leftover bulgogi, leftover rice, and a fresh cucumber-tomato-feta salad. Mom seems to have lost almost all of her ability to feed herself; if no one does it for her, she stares off into space or watches TV while her food just sits there, untouched.

Strangely enough, Mom appears to want us to feed her; when she's lucid and able to answer yes/no questions, she'll nod "yes" to the question, "Would you like me to feed you?" While this expression of dependence provokes tender feelings, it also stands in sad contrast to how Mom was a merely few weeks ago, when she would chow down her food all by herself, finishing in mere minutes if she was hungry.

I did my best to alternate bites: meat, rice, salad, all in sequence, in an effort to keep dinner pleasant for Mom. She nodded tiredly to some of the questions I asked her, though there was no way of knowing how well she understood what I was saying.

I've often wondered what it must be like to live in Mom's mental fog, to feel myself detached from everyday goings-on, to be so perceptually and conceptually blunted as to lose the ability to grasp the meaningfulness of this or that activity. I want to understand what Mom is going through, but I can't. There's no window into Mom's consciousness; there's only what I can see... and what I can guess.


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