I used to accompany my mom to take care of my late grandfather. But just accompanying. I didn't do any cleaning, preparing food, feeding, carrying, etc..
But at least I'm used to massaging my mom when she's tired from a hard day at school (she was a teacher, by the way) and when she has retired, she got tired nearly everyday because she's getting sicker everyday. She had a lazy arm, and it got weaker as time goes by till she can't use it anymore to do tedious work. One day she found out that her hand shook uncontrollably. After meeting a specialist, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. What's even worse - we found out that it's heritable.
My mom really felt my absence at home once I got married and left home to live with my in-laws. She sulked at first. Haha.. But eventually she finally accepted that I'm now a married muslim woman, I have to faithfully be by my husband's side most of the time. (Plus, she has 5 other children that can take care of her. The house is always packed with more than 10 people. So I don't have to worry about her.)
Right now, I live together with my husband, my mother-in-law and father-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife. So it's us 3 couples under one roof. My sister-in-laws have their own place.
I can be considered lucky, as my mother-in-law is the coolest mother-in-law EVER! She's not the controlling mother-in-law that you see in Malay dramas (that normally end up with tears, shouting and divorce). We usually don't cook a lot, we normally eat out. Thank God, she's not the nagging mother type. (Because I lived with my nagging mother and 1 nagging mom is enough! Haha...) She can laugh at my jokes. Furthermore, she's very warm and lovable.
She had Miller-Fisher Syndrome (MFS), a rare variation of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), early 2011. It took her only 2 weeks to recover. Amazing, huh? God work in mysterious ways, because later that year, I got married to her son.
Last month she went to perform pilgrimage (Hajj) at Mecca - practically - alone.
She was diagnosed of having GBS. But it hasn't been 100% confirmed yet because the ONLY expert that we have in Malaysia on autoimmune diseases is not that expert after all. So they had extracted her cerebrospinal fluid via lumbar puncture (which is a very painful procedure) and placed them in 6 bottles. They had some of them flown to Australia for further analysis.
It is a rare case that someone could acquire MFS and then GBS. So she was constantly being examined by doctors, housemen and students. Even the head of division of neurology personally came to see her. Last Friday she finally ate solid food after 13 days of unable to swallow anything. So thankfully, she got to be discharged after a week being admitted.
Now my brother-in-law and his wife together with my husband and myself are taking turns to take care of her at home. And since I work just in front of our house, I get to spend more time taking care of her.
Waking up before 6am every single day, making her breakfast, feeding her, changing her adult diapers, washing her, help her to perform ablution (wudu') before prayers (Solat), taking her to the toilet to poo, seeing an elderly sick woman in her birthday suit - it's all a whole new experience for me.
It has only been what? 5 days? But I haven't been this tired. Nevertheless, I'm glad that I never loved the person, who bore and raised the love of my life, more than this. =)