A granddaughter shared how she has been living with her grandmother who is sick, for over 6 months, and laments having to deal with her sneezing and coughing at her, among other things.
Here is the story:
“So, my grandmother has been living with us for over 6 months now. Initially, I was hesitant as prior to this, years back, when she stayed over occasionally, it was horrendous having her over. I would be studying for exams but she would demand me to wash and hang clothes repeatedly in multiple batches (for the family) and when her guests came, I was told to make tea and serve them. I was 21 then. At 30, I came home at 9 pm on a Saturday after dinner with friends, and she from the room barked at me “What time is it?? Is this the time for you to come home!!?”.
Fast forward to the present day. All her children are living overseas except 2 kids here. One is practically useless (only know how to take take take and expect her siblings to pay for her family)- I been told this particular aunt of mine used to visit my grandma weekly and will get $$$ and food from her. Now that my grandma is living with us, this aunt barely visits- 3x in the past 6 months only and didnt visit after she was hospitalized also!!
Back to my grandma. Initially, I have no issues with her staying over. She settled in alright. And once she had to go to the hospital, it felt weird without her. I dont have any issues with her.. (the past is the past) but my life has been badly affected since then.
1. She goes to the toilet (pangsai also) never wash her hands! Then she will touch the surfaces in the house- chair, food stand, light switches, etc.
2. She openly coughs and sneezes! My mum has told her off countless times to cover up but she doesn’t. When she does cover-up, she will cover her eyes when she sneezes. Otherwise, multiple times over the course of the day, she will sneeze openly.
So much so I stopped dining with them (mum and grandma) cos I dont like ppl sneezing near my food!??? I stopped sitting in the living room with her cos I realise I start to feel sick when in her presence that she coughs and sneezes openly. I mean like one day is 20 sneezes or more- each time 4-5 times. The whole day is coughing. So my sis and I end up retired to our room.
Now, we do everything in our room. Eat all meals, work (I WFH), watch Netflix, sleep… everything! Mentally it’s been crazy to be confined to one room 247- we only come out to go toilet and recently we forced ourselves to cook at home.
That’s another problem. She takes 45mins to eat… and will sneeze all over the table. I have had to throw bread and my food! I always have to pray she dont sneeze while I prep & cook my food. Which she has done numerous times.. I have to use my back as a shield to my food. I cannot keep anything in the open. I’m so tired of sanitizing the place!??
She is not in a position where she cannot take care of herself. My mum says she is lazy cos she had a maid do everything for her past few years. She won’t even prepare her own breakfast or take a slice of bread. Everything has to be served to her.
3. Every single day, her urine-infested clothes are left in the pail in the kitchen openly- the stench is soooo bad I can’t even cook! My mum has to wash her laundry daily. So much that I dont even get a chance to do my laundry.. I get to wash my clothes once every 10-14 days.. and ends up my clothes getting moldy and I have to throw it away!! My mum forces her to wear pampers, but she will still go toilet to manually release herself. Then she will wet herself and her clothes when she uses a spray gun. Sometimes her tissue bits remnants will be on the floor. She wears the pampers for a few hours then discards it. But by evening/ night, she sometimes will reek so bad of urine!! She says she can’t smell anything. She sits on the leather couch with urined underwear.. smelling up the whole place and doesn’t want to change clothes. Makes a sour face when my mum tells her. Few times, there will be a urine trail on the floor from the living room to the kitchen.
4. She sleeps a lot- I know old ppl need sleep.. it’s ok. But I mean like she will wake up at 1 pm.. eating also she will knock out and close her eyes to sleep. Watch tv she will knock out sleep. All she does is sleep sleep sleep and force herself to sleep? She does not do anything else at all!! Sometimes I look at her, I have to double-check she is breathing! Then she can’t sleep at night, she will watch tv 2-3 am and keep us awake at times. I think she sleeps around 20hrs a day and more? The only time her eyes awake is bathing (i hope!!) and half of her mealtime- another half she will sleep while eating.
It’s mentally very tiring to see this in my environment 247. Someone who thinks that God will take their life if they can force themselves to sleep.
5. It’s also very draining every single time I need to use the bathroom, I have to clean multiple pubic hairs on the floor. It’s hers only. And sometimes will have shit spots. Then her pants are draggy and she gets her pants and inner shorts wet.. she carries the pubic hair out of the bathroom into the living area!!
I wish I can move out asap.. it has been a nightmare having to work from home and hear my mum bark at her daily. And for her to think it’s not an issue of her openly coughing and sneezing.
Yesterday I thought I hit the peak with her: She was coughing and kept sneezing in our path. She claims nobody will get sick. God will not let that happen.
Today, I hit the roof. My mum told her off its bcos of you sneezing openly, my kids dont sit outside anymore.. she retorted “dont sit outside la”.
Tell me you are not fed up? Come into our shared home, and tell us dont sit outside and expect us to put up with your unhygienic habits that have gotten us sick??
I mean I can put up with their TV and prayers blasting from 9 am to midnight while I work. But I cannot with the cleanliness. I cannot keep cleaning up after people!! And my health is in jeopardy. My sis and I already staved off stomach flu the past week.. and now we’re getting sick cos we have been exposed to her more frequent cough and sneeze.
Just wanted someone to tell me I’m not mad for expecting basic hygiene?? How can you open the rubbish chute and then dont wash your hands after!?? Go toilet also dont wash hands!?? Then touch other shared surfaces in the house?
I just wanted someone to hear me… what can I do? She’s been retorting back lately. Saying whats the fuss and to just clean the shit if it’s there. Like hello!! I’m not your maid!!!
Ps- I’m working so bloody hard at my job so I can move out asap. I’m just tired. I respect her as my grandmother so I dont be rude and take it in my stride to clean her fallen pubic hairs off the toilet floor every time I use the bathroom. But I cannot already….. im so done!”
- One day you will grow old too. Appreciate her when she’s still alive, not after she’s gone
- You’d get old one day, OP. And the standard in 2040 could be to wash hands 5 times before eating. And your grandchildren would probably write the same post