Special thanks and love to whom this story is based on,
Ruzaidah Hj Ramly, My Mother..
My mum first discovered that she’s having hypertension, officially, on 20th of August 2004. To count it in manner, I was 16 that time, in my upper secondary school. None of us really, truly bother about it. I mean, we know hypertension is the value of blood pressure measurement which is higher than its normal value, we know it can be due to unhealthy lifestyle, and we also know most people having it for being stress. But that’s it. At that time, for us, that’s normal for woman in her 50s.
My mum is a housewife. She’s one of the strongest figures I ever have in my list. She gave birth to all 13 of us, normal delivery and care for us more than any mother would be capable of to do. Well, I believe every child will say this about their mother; they deserve those exaggerating compliments indeed. My mum is my dad’s secretary. My dad was always away, may be due to over time, out stations, or meetings. At home, there my mum was, struggling to manage all the children and house matters. She’s the family chef, hair stylist, grooming trainer, florist, teacher, and carpenter, tailor, and even family physician. Being someone who is so much needed by all of us had been deceiving us from realizing that she actually really needs us.
To convey some pieces of my mum’s life, she had been such a dear and very loyal wife to my dad. My dad was a lecturer; in a semi- private institute which standing on by NGOs courtesies. His income was somehow quite small compared to such a truly time- grabbing work, plus to the number of kids he has to feed. Financially, our life isn’t that easy. Notwithstanding, we didn’t seem to care much about that matter, also didn’t notice someone who actually holds the pressure a lot... Money is not everything, true. But perhaps it’s not wrong to say that almost everything needs money. You can’t pay your kids school fee merely with love, don’t you?
My mum didn’t really pour her heart out to us. Perhaps because she thought we were too small to digest those pressuring things, or she just didn’t want to get carried away too much by the piteous emotions. Either one, but we believe it was both. She also having migraine of which I honestly never knew how severe migraine is actually is until I experienced it myself. Simple reason, because my mum didn’t show that shocking or pathetic face when years ago, doctor told about it to her while my sisters and me were also there and as far as I can remember, the house chores were always done nicely and neat (there were times it’s not as we, the mischievous kids did the opposite) and we have complete course of meal everyday; breakfast, meal box to school, lunch, tea time, and dinner.
“Doktor cakap darah mak naik lagi. Sekarang dah 160 ke 170. Bahaya tak tu?”. I remembered clearly what she said while we were talking on the phone years ago. Studying in Science boarding school didn’t help me much to understand the figures well. But by the time I finished my school hood, I had lots of time to read medical stuff, including about hypertension. I knew it better when I started pursuing medical study in 2007. Then I realize how much mum’s hypertension deserves a special care and attention on.
By 2004 to 2009, her blood pressure records were in the range of 170 to 180mmHg (systolic pressure). The least would be 165mmHg. Her blood pressure doesn’t seem like dropping to a good value. To list things down, she was pretty discipline with her medication and followed the schedule for doctor’s appointment well. Nonetheless, I have to state that she actually keenly hopes she can get to see the doctor once a month instead of only once in 3 months. She hardly being a second- hand smoker as my dad is not a smoker and even two of my brothers are, they always smoke outside of the house. My mum doesn’t do sport but trust me, she’s an active woman. Gardening is her everyday routine besides house chores. She already cut a lot of salt, oil, or coconut milk use in her cooking. These circumstances make her so much bewildered, and me feeling so either.
Last week when we were talking about her hypertension, I felt very much delighted to know that her blood pressure is now in the range of 130 to 140mmHg. Not a perfect score, but that is definitely good news. I’m much more in bliss when she told me that the value had been so since months ago and it’s maintained. Nothing changes much in what she cooks, what she eats, or even in her daily routine. To boot, she is taking the same medication; Covasc (Amlodipine besylate) 10mg one time a day throughout these years. But there’s something which changes a lot. It’s the amount of smile and laughter she has.
To be exact, 4 of my elder brothers are already married and they live with their own family. They are staying not that far from our house, but work and family let them have very tiny, miny time to pay a visit to my parents. Both my mum and dad don’t complain about it. They know their sons do have their own family to feed, do have their own children to raise. On the other hand, the rest of us are either in the universities or in the boarding schools. My mum who used to have a hectic and busy life at home taking care of her hubby and her child’s needs back to many previous years ago is now a lonely woman living only with her husband at home. My dad is a retiree now; nevertheless, he can’t really give my mum a good company. My dad had an operation for aneurysm in 2006 which that had limited much of his activities.
When two of my elder sisters got married in 2008, my mum was actually very upset. They didn’t upset her long though, as now; they are the reasons for her to feel even more contented. My second sister delivered her baby in 2009 while my first sister delivered hers in 2010. Their babies weren’t the first two grandchildren in the family but they are the first group who spend lots of time with their grandmother. Both of my sisters go back home once a week, at least once in a fortnight and even spend some days at home. They somehow let our mum to become the previous her; busy woman who taking care of the kids. It’s just the title is now changed, from “Emak” to “Uwan” (i.e from mother to granny) and the duties are not changing diapers, of feeding baby food, or anything which would torture her aging body, but they are duties I believe all grandmother would love to do; story telling with the little ones, let the little foot running on her self- made home garden surrounded by flowers she planted herself, and bring them to walk around in the evening, sharing the fun giggling of the little ones. And my sisters also provide her the all time favorite womanly activities; shopping.
Over time, my other brothers pay our parents their visits more often. Not as frequent as my sisters do, but more often then they ever used to. My mother told me that she really wants to be healthy. It’s actually not only during her last week interview with me, but she actually had been saying this so many times before; “Mak tak nak anak cucu mak semua balik, tengok mak sakit. Semua mesti rindu nak makan mak masak”. That sounded simple, but I bet the definitions are beyond what we can interpret. I believe it’s true to say that seeing or feeling us, her children, as well as the grandchildren to be close to her are what making her stronger and happier, and yes, consciously or subconsciously improves her blood pressure.
|This is just quarter of all of us:)|
To date, it’s not that now we are no longer having any financial problem. We are. There are still lots of expenditures going around; electricity, phone, internet, food, and there are still 4 of my brothers and sisters who are still studying. In addition to that, grandma and grandpa must put goodies to get for their grandchildren in the budget list either. Family pockets now are from the money of dad’s small pension payment and bits from my brothers and sisters. Their jobs are quite fine and gratifying, but they are young couples, with their own growing families. They have house payments, car payments, and many others that my mum always said she recognized the matter well that she never expect them to give thick bucks every month. She always appreciates no matter how much they give her. My mum is a good banker though. She always is. Despite the tightness of budget through these almost 40 years she got married to my dad, she managed to do good saving to support half of each of her children’s weddings (our family rule for the sons is you can only get married when you have enough saving to do so, and have a steady job), and currently has enough money for her and my dad to perform Hajj in Mecca. Unfortunately, my dad’s condition doesn’t allow them to do so at this moment.
As to windup my mum’s case, I’m not saying that those tablets of Covasc don’t help at all. They are absolutely and unquestionably help. And her healthy lifestyle about foods and her routines are beyond doubt useful for her health. Withal, I would like to say that happiness plays major role for the improvement. Laughter is ambiguously not the best medicine, but it’s one of those.
*This is another Block 4.2 assignment: “Narrative story based on the interview”, must written less than 2500 words. We already submitted it, I'm just glad to share it here:)*