Father & Mother

Home Living! Father & Mother Page 2

Now Wash Your Dick!

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My aged parents have been living with my sister these last few years.  When my father had a stroke, his ambulatory movement is much restricted.  I do not have a living room in my own house and it will be difficult to ‘haul’ him up and down the 14 steps.

Last year the contract on my sister’s domestic maid expired and she would be going back to her home country soon.  The maid takes care of my father all this while when he is confined to a wheelchair, bathes him, helps him sit up on the commode to do his bowel business, gives him breakfast and puts rice and vegetables on a plate for his lunch and dinner.  I will also nursemaid him as much as I can and I will visit them almost every day.

My sister has already engaged a new maid.  But it will be difficult for the maid to nursemaid my father, when she is new to her job and the maid will have enough on her plate with the various domestic chores and cooking for the household members.  So from then on, I bathe him, watch his daily bowel movement, shave him, dress him up, take him out to have some sunshine and so on.

And my father especially likes it when I bathe him.  He always makes some small complaints that the maid was too rough and she will do it her way.  He never demands that I bathe for him but from his conversations I guess that he loves me to bathe him.

It is actually an easy job to bathe my father.  His mental faculty is still strong though his memory is getting weaker and weaker.  He can tell me the stories of his life during his younger days in China and Nanyang but he can forget what he eats for breakfast or lunch.   Thus, I always engage him and tell him that I am going to write some great novel of China, so he must give me some background history of China and the coming of the communists to his village.  This is maybe one of the ways to ensure that he just does not go off to the deep end of senility.

I usually bathe him in the morning as I have to go to work.  Pushing the commode into the bathroom, I undress him, switch on the water heater and test the temperature of the water.  My father will then quietly enjoy a lovely warm bath.  He is as obedient as any 3 year old child, oh such a pathetic figure with his rubbery and wrinkled skin covering his thin sinewy bones.

First I shower and scrub him on his head which still bears some thinning grayish hair.  Using the Johnson & Johnson liquid soap I rub it all over his chest and back.

“Now wash your face,” I said.

“Orr” he replied timidly, ‘orr’ means yes in Cantonese

“Now scrub your body and arm pit” as I moved the shower spray over his body.

“Orr” he replied.

Then he will ask me to use the shower on his thighs as he says it is very itchy.  He just enjoys the sensation of the warm water jet onto his skin.

So I just sprayed the warm water stream on the body spots he commands.

As I squeeze some liquid soap onto his palm, I said, “Now wash your dick.”

He obediently does it as his hand is still agile and has a firm grip.

“Now wash your ass.”

“Orr”

Then I will use the warm water jet stream all over his body until he has enough.

Inside the bathroom I will apply some lotion cream onto his body and back and put on a fresh set of clothing for him before pushing his commode to his room.

After the morning bath, father is as fresh as morning dew.

Happiness is Big Shit!

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Father is 88 this year

Constipation is perhaps one of the most uncomfortable feeling for a person.  Something toxic is stuck inside and as days go on without its passing out, it gets hardened and bigger and it will be more difficult to excrete on its own.  As it might get absorbed back into the intestinal system, the stomach would bloat causing him uncomfortable tummy pain, frequent flatulence as well as lack of appetite.   Most times an elderly person tries to resist sitting onto the almighty throne to do his business and thought perhaps it will take care of its own.

Bed-ridden people can undergo significant muscle atrophy as a result of decreased activity as the muscles lose its tone and the loss of calcium from his/her bones.   Hence, the daily or least once in two days bowel motion of an elderly person is very important to his or her health, especially one who is confined to bed or a wheelchair and his/her ambulatory movement is severely restricted.

My father has been confined to a wheelchair for almost two and a half years.  We watch his bowel motion quite closely and most times we have to use enema to help him ease himself.  Every morning mother will cut an apple for him and feed him on a diet of high fiber food.

But that is not enough.  Many times I have to administer the enema onto his anus to ease him.  Ah, don’t leave it to the maid.  She would just make him sit on a commode chair and carelessly insert the enema.  The enema would just splash off due to gravity under its own liquid weight and it would only lubricate his anus slightly.

Donning a surgical mask and a rubber hand glove, I would make him lie down sideway on his bed on top of a rubber mat and pumped two enemas in swift succession.  Father would then at once scream excitably that it was coming, coming, coming……. No, he has to lie down for a while and with practice, I could easily get him to sit upright and move him out of the bed and onto the commode chair.

At first the pungent stinking smell and the ugly sight of a few big lumps of excreta may put one off, but after a while I got used to it.  Now I don’t even have the nausea feeling anymore when it is time to nurse-maid him.   At least my father’s hand is still agile and he can wipe his own ass.  I have some yoga training and I can hold my breath for some time, ah, long enough to take out the pot from under the commode chair and flushed the smelly stuff onto the toilet bowl.

One day I was back from overseas and I knew that father had not been doing well on his bowel motion for 3 days.  His face was pale and he was quite agitated.  Mother was getting worried.   On seeing me he was all happy and smiles.  Now, I had to pump him with 3 adult enemas and made him lie down longer on the bed until he ‘screamed’ that he could hold on no more.

Oh gosh, that big lump was almost the size of my fist and it stank to heaven high. Now happiness was the big shit had come off.  I could see the immense relief on his face immediately.

Poor old father.

On the next trip to the hospital for his medical check-up, I told the doctor that his bowel motion was not good and that we had been using enema almost everyday.  The good old doctor, no he was a young doctor, prescribed a laxative Lactul Solution for him to take on alternate days.  Lactul Solution is a mix of galactose and lactose and helps to break up the excreta as well as to lubricate the intestines.  We just have to ensure that he did not develop diarrhea and to use Lactul when necessary.

Since then, father has no more problem with his bowel motion.

It Takes One To Tango …..

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My father is now 88 years of age.  On a fine day in August 2008, he complained that his left leg was numbed and he could not move the leg at all.  My mother called up me immediately and I suspected that my father may be having a stroke.  I asked my mother to sterilize a needle and pricked all his 10 fingers until each finger drew a small dew of blood.  That might have saved him from a major stroke.

He was driven to a local hospital and the MRI scan showed that there was a blockage on his left thigh. Since that day, he was left immobile on a wheel-chair. He could do some walking with the aid of a walker and someone to hold him in case he fell.

Prior to that fateful day in August, he was quite active.  He loved to take walks and did some light exercises.  His left eye was blinded by an accident some years back.  His right eye was impaired by glaucoma and still he would take the magnifying glass to read some Chinese newspaper headlines.  For the last year or so, he could only see bright flashes.  He also has been taking hypertension pills for a number of years.  Otherwise, he is still healthy with a somewhat good appetite.

I have been taking him for regular check-up for a number of years at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, which is a government hospital, where medication and specialist consultancy are free for senior citizens.  Private care would have cost an astronomical sum.  Now, one would hear a lot of public complains and grouses about government hospitals and clinics.  However, in all the years that I took my father to the hospital, I have not heard of any nurses or doctors shouting at any of the patients.  In fact, the attending doctors and nurses are all courteous and often they are extremely patient with the out-patients.  The attending doctor will always touch their hand, handle their stereoscope gently and speak softly, often repeating their questions several times as a number of patients are hard of hearing or perhaps they have very short attention span.  My salutations to all these doctors and nurses for their care of their patients at the hospital.

I also took my father for acupuncture on alternate days.  But after one and half years there was really no improvement.  So we stick back to our routine of walking him.

It was not difficult to help him adjust.  The suddenness of his immobility did not left him embittered with remorse and self-pity.   He is not a bad tempered person and he seldom complains.  In fact he is ever grateful that his daughter and sons take well care of him. He never demand to be taken out for some fresh air, never demand to eat his favorite food nor does he demand that we must always be in attendance to him.  And his days are spent on listening to some old classic Cantonese operas and some Buddhist scriptures of life, philosophy and religious teachings.

A half paralyzed person is a dead weight.  His ambulatory movement being limited, he has no control over his left leg.  At first it was straining to get him on and off the wheel-chair, the bed or to get him into the car. One has to have patience when dealing with an incapacitated person.  What seems like an easy movement, it may be difficult for him to move even a foot in front.  Fortunately, his hand grip is still strong and he learns to balance without falling.

After a while, I learn to adjust to his motion without having a backache or putting unnecessary strain on him.  He takes one step forward I take half a step forward. He moves half step towards the left I move a full step towards the left.  His right foot must always gain purchase of the floor before his left dangling foot moves forward and the walker helps him to balance.  It is also easy to anticipate his next step as it becomes an automated response.   Every of my steps must be in synchronous with his ability to move and must come from his own willingness and determination to walk.

Hence, it only takes one to tango …..

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My Mother In Her Teens

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My mother was born in 1929 in a hamlet district of Ta Nam near Guangzhou, China to a family with 4 siblings, 2 boys and 2 girls.  She was the third child.  Her father was a literate sea merchant owning a number of steamers that sailed along the Pearl River and its tributaries to barter and trade.

A Wake of Destruction By The Japanese Bombers In Guangzhou

During the Second World War, there was not much damage to Ta Nam as the main Japanese occupational forces were concentrated in the city district of Guangzhou.  There were few active resistance fighters in my mother’s village.  Retaliation from the Japanese was often swift and merciless when resistance fighters were up in arms against them.  After the surrender of Japan, normal life returned to the village and once again her father plied the profitable trade routes to re-build his business.  He was a shrewd businessman and her family prospered.

From her childhood days, her parents showed no favoritism among the sons and daughters. Her father believed that he should give his best to his daughters when he still could control their destinies. They should have a good life before marriage as long as he could afford it.  After marriage the destiny of a woman would lie with her future in-laws.  Come what may, good or bad, in honor or in shame, in wealth or in poverty, in happiness or in tragedies, she would be on her own with her in-laws without the support of her blood family. So every of her siblings were treated as equal.

When she was in her teens she would follow her father on his business trips to various parts of Guang Dong Province along the Pearl River where she could drink in the sights of other parts of China. She would be alongside her father during the square table tea discussion on what goods were in demand and in what quantity would the buyer wanted. She could sample the various types of local fare and could cook a dish or two for her family when she went home. She was given the opportunity to attend the only school in the village, buckling the trend and traditions of China where a girl’s place was in the house.  Hence, her intellect was also matched by her literacy.

Mother was quick at her mental arithmetic and she could tally up a grocery bill faster than any store keeper using an abacus. Her father often asked her for her opinion on some business transactions.  When she was back to her village after a trip ‘abroad’, she came home bearing gifts for her friends and relatives.  Her generosity is still remembered today by two of her old friends in Guangzhou, who are now in the late 80s.

This Was The House Where My Mother Was Born. The Lady Holding Her Hand Is My Sister. Photo Credit: Yours Truly

More posts about my Mother coming up, folks. You may have missed other posts of interest. To read them, please click on the picture

My Father & Mother

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This year my father is 88 years of age while my mother is 82 years.  They came from a small village called Liu Piang in the township of Nam Hai about 50 km from the city of Guangzhou in the 50s, just after a few years when Mao Zedong drove out Chiang Kai-Shek of the Nationalist Party of Kuomintang and proclaimed the country as The People’s Republic of China.

I have an elder sister three years my senior and a younger brother two years my junior.  My sister too came from China with my mother while my brother and I were born in Malaysia.  As siblings we were very close to each other and even when we have established our own families we are still closely knitted.

My father is literate.  My grandfather ensured that my father was schooled as he was the eldest and only son in China until my grandfather took on another wife when he resettled in Nanyang, which Malaya was called by all Chinese immigrants at that time, after the passing of my maternal grandmother and sired another 6 children.  Father has an excellent command of the Chinese language, both written and oral.

My mother came from a family of sea-faring traders where her father buy and sell goods and plied his trade along the Pearl River of Guangzhou, seeing opportunities in the demand and supply of goods and the price arbitrage from different parts of Western China. Her father too ensured that she had an excellent education and sent her to a local school which at that time was not common at all as the place for a girl was solely in the house until her adulthood came to match-made her to an auspicious marriage.

At a young age my parents would regale me with their past history of their lives in the village of Liu Piang.  They told me stories of the tumultuous period during the rule of Chiang Kai-Shek, the Japanese occupation and the subsequent rising of the 5-star Red Communist in China.

It has been my dream for many years to write about the journey of my life with them as I am very devoted to them as they are to me.  They have taught me many lessons in life and it would be one of my greatest pleasures to record it.

And this website would be the perfect platform ……….. You may have missed other posts of interest. To read them, please click on the picture

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