|Wedding Pic in Mama's Room|
Larry texted me Tuesday night to expect a new caregiver Wednesday morning who would be taking care of mama on the day shift. Well, she never showed up or called to give a reason. I even prepared a few basic interview questions which I never got to use. Neneng, the night shift caregiver hadn’t had a day off since she was hired a few weeks before but never complained about it. She pulled me aside briefly and told me that the helper – Andrea, hadn’t been paid for the month. Well, Larry and I didn’t know her salary and Madie mentioned an amount. We decided to ask Mama, who of course gave us the correct amount. The helper got paid from money found by Madie in Mama’s handbags and other hiding spots in the apartment a few days before (more were found later).
Also on Tuesday evening, I sent a text message to Kuya Vic Pabellon saying that Mama had gone home. Well, gone home was ambiguous so he texted me back to clarify what I meant. I said Mama was back at her apartment.
When Mama was having so much pain on Wednesday, she told us to call Irene Hassan. Who was Irene Hassan? Mama never mentioned her to me in our telephone conversations and Madie didn’t remember meeting her either. We searched the Zamboanga telephone directory and a few of Mama’s address books but couldn’t find Irene’s name. It was Madie who found Irene’s number in another address book later. I gave her a call and it turns out Mama wanted her because she knew what to do with pain since she took care of her own mother who also had cancer. They were able to keep her painless to the end. Irene came to visit Mama the next day and gave us guidance about how to handle the pain and some spiritual advice as well.
When Larry found out that the new caregiver didn’t show up, he contacted more people in Zamboanga by phone and managed to find another one. He was able to do this despite having to work that day. Thankfully, Joanna showed up the next day and got to work right away. Finally on Thursday - Sept. 6th, Mama had round the clock care in her apartment.
I met Joanna, the new caregiver when I got back home (Neneng texted me that she showed up while I was at WMMC). She was a recent graduate of practical nursing school and was just waiting to get her license. Mama hadn’t complained of pain since the previous night and it appeared that the round the clock dosing of painkillers finally took effect. From that time on, she never complained of pain again. That made a return visit to the doctor unnecessary. We couldn’t say the same about how much nutrition she was getting because even though we encouraged her to have more intake, the next several days it was just mostly Prosure and medications.
I continued my search for Tramadol and for a pill cutter. None of the pharmacies had a pill cutter. We also took a thumb mark of Mama for an authorization letter giving us permission to buy medications for her using her senior citizen card. Whenever the caregivers ran low on supplies, I did the shopping. That’s how I found my way to Southway, Gateway, and Mindpro malls.
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