I brought mom to the doctor for her regular check-up this morning. I've done this many times before and know the routine very well.
I always drop her outside the clinic, she would go in to register while I find a parking lot further down the road. After the doctor's appointment, we would swing by the supermarket to get some household stuff before heading home.
Today, I noticed startling changes in her which made me rather sad. I pride myself on taking after some of my mom's traits. We may not be very meticulous in our work but we're both very fast and efficient workers. We move very quickly and we're not very patient people.
In the past, she would walk briskly into the clinic hoping to be in and out of there in the fastest possible time. At the supermarket, we often split up and go about systematically filling our baskets and meeting at the checkout within minutes.
When I dropped her outside the clinic today, she was fumbling with her umbrella which she now uses for support. She couldn't even muster enough strength to close the car door. I glanced at the rear mirror as I was driving off to see her shuffling slowly into the clinic.
She used to walk with me to the car after the doctor's visit but today she was in no condition to make that short journey. I came by to pick her up.
When we arrived at the supermarket, I dropped her near the entrance and went to park my car. Thinking that she had already gone in, I went into the crowded NTUC supermarket looking high and low for her but to no avail. I walked out to find her standing at the entrance, clingling onto a tree for support. What has happened to my mother, the strong and active woman I've always known?
I decided NTUC was too crowded for her to handle. So we made our way slowly to the smaller provision shops nearby, with her leaning on me for support. I could feel the people behind us were getting impatient as we were blocking their way.
Mom wanted to buy her stuff and get home as quickly as possible. And all I could think of was to find the shortest way to get to the car which was parked at the back. Thankfully, the kind shopkeeper opened her backdoor so that we could take the shortcut to the carpark. That saved mom from having to walk round the block.
Today's outing made me realise the changes in my mom. Even a simple supermarket outing is now so challenging for her. I hope this is just a phase. She's going to get better.