Update: Moved to Thailand and my mom’s progressing Alzheimer’s

My mom and I have been now staying in Thailand for the past few years. We first traveled there before Covid and had planned to stay for just a few months.

However we decided to extend after realizing that Thailand is most suitable based on our situation. My mom was getting more quality healthcare even though we have to pay for it. The pricing is in the range of what we could afford.

My mother has chronic Hepatitis B where her liver is hardening (cirrhosis) and she also have Alzheimer’s. As originally I had thought my trip to Thailand was only for a few months, I did not manage to put all my affairs in order.

When the pandemic hits, I was not able to come back to get my stuff in order as I had wanted to do such as transfer ownership of my car, consolidate my banking accounts (closing lesser used ones) and clear tonnes of my stuff that is cluttering my house.

This is because I could not take my mom back as she is not so mobile. And the possible fact that after coming back to Malaysia, I may not be allowed back to Thailand due to travel restrictions.

Since end of May 2021, my mom’s Alzheimer’s had declined rapidly. She moved from middle stage to end stage in a short period of time. She was losing the swallowing reflex that we all take for granted. This caused her to choke almost each time she drank water or fluids.

Choking on fluids, where some gets to the lungs is actually painful. This caused her to decline fluid intake and I was warned by her doctor that if I were to force her, there is danger of her getting pneumonia which may lead to blood infection and endanger her life.

She was admitted to ICU last month in June due to severe dehydration. The doctors said it is best for her to be intubated (ie have a nose tube) but is also aware that due to her dementia, she would attempt to pull it out.

After she was discharged, we took her back and try our best to coax her to eat and drink using syringes. But about 10 days later, we brought her back to hospital and tests show that the fluids and nutrition she consumed on her own was no longer sufficient. In fact, she would have died had we not sent her to hospital. Her vitals were so bad- her blood pressure could not be read and her heart beat was so faint. But the most dangerous thing is she had no outward symptoms of distress…except that she just looked fatigued and wanted to sleep all the time.

We made the decision to intubate her. After intubation, the care required is much more as there are complications that comes with putting a nose or nasal tube to the stomach. But at least, we no longer worry about her nutrition and fluid intake.

Note: I made a video on this which you can listen to in my YouTube channel:

I sincerely apologize that I could not update this blog with the most relevant information with regards to the current situation as physically I am no longer in this country.

Since the past month, I hardly slept as I had to adjust to almost round the clock of monitoring and caring for my mom. My body is slowly getting used to the limited hours of sleep.

There had been a lot of things I had learned about my mother’s illness and caring for an Alzheimer person who in order to live needs to opt for nose feeding. I would be writing more of it in my Spiritual Wellness and Health Blog, as well as life in Thailand in my Thailand blog. Do visit these two blogs if you would like to read more about these topics. In this blog, I may include stories about my life in Malaysia if time permits.

The pandemic situation in Malaysia has now reached a critical level. Please stay safe and take care.

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