April 23, 2017
YOUR FUTURE LETTER
Dear Future Me,
I hope you can still remember me today. Kumusta ka na kaya? Kaya mo pa kayang basahin 'to? I hope you still can.
You are Elisha Carriedo, 29 years old, a fighter. You love coffee, sweets, and pies. Favorite mong ulam ay sisig at Bicol Express. Mahilig ka ring manood ng romantic comedy films dahil secretly hopeless romantic ka. Your favorite colors are black and white.
You love your parents but you do not know how to express them. Gusto mo silang gawan ng sariling bahay. Gusto mong kumita nang malaki para hindi na nila kailangang magtrabaho. Naiinis ka madalas sa mga kapatid mo dahil pinapasakit nila ang ulo mo pero ayaw mo rin silang nakikitang nahihirapan. You treasure your friends, too. Kahit na hindi kayo madalas magkita at mag-usap kahit online, hindi nagbago ang turing n'yo sa isa't isa.
I hope by reading this letter, some memories will return. Or maybe, you can still remember them. That would be the best scenario.
Hayaan mo, may mga darating pa akong kwento. May mga darating pang alaala.
So, please don't give up.
If, by chance, your mind is already eating up your memories, I hope you can still create new ones with the people you treasure.
Even if you cannot remember them anymore, they will, for you.
Remembering your past and present,
Elisha from 2017
April 20, 2017
Nakipagkita ako sa mga pinakamalalapit kong kaibigan. We met in one of my favorite cafes. Sa totoo lang, ang lala ng kaba ko habang naghihintay sa kanila. I couldn't gather my thoughts. I wasn't sure how to tell them my condition.
Pagkarating nina Diane, Allie at Riza ay sinabi ko sa kanila na nag-resign na ako sa trabaho ko. I carefully told them why and Allie teared up but Dianne and Riza tried to lighten the atmosphere. Nag-joke sila na lagi nilang ipapaalala sa akin kung gaano sila kababait at kagaganda. Ipapaalala rin daw nila ang embarrassing moments ko noong high school at college, pati na ang mga naging crush ko noon.
Honestly, I was thankful for that. I know they want to comfort me by making me smile dahil alam nila kung gaano iyon kahirap. Diane even offered financial help kapag daw kailangan ko.
Sa totoo lang, ngayon lang ako nag-open up sa kanila ng problema ko. Usually kasi, sa akin sila nagve-vent. I was the listener among us and I was happy with that. I'd rather hear their problems than burden them with mine. Besides, I wasn't comfortable sharing mine to people, even if they were my friends or family members.
Pero dahil maaapektuhan ang mga tao sa paligid ko ay kinailangan ko itong sabihin. I wanted them to know that I might not be the same for the next few months and years. That I might forget some things about them. That I might forget about them.
Pagkatapos no'n ay nag-mall kami at nanood ng sine. It's been a while since our last hangout. Busy na kasi kami sa kani-kaniya naming trabaho.
Riza also suggested using futureme.org to write letters for my future self and I think that was a good idea. For the first time in weeks, my chest felt light.
Today, I had fun.
I just wish I could keep this memory for a long time.
April 7, 2017
I quit my job today at baka mag-work from home na lang ako. I think that was the best decision. Kanina, medyo nag-panic ako dahil for a second, hindi ko matandaan ang address ng bahay namin. It was hard to calm down knowing that my symptoms were showing sporadically.
Pag-uwi ko sa bahay, isinulat ko agad lahat ng important details tungkol sa akin at naiyak na naman ako knowing that this might be my new normal. Na tipong kailangan ko pang tingnan iyon para sa information na dapat ay alam na alam ko.
Nagpahinga lang ako buong maghapon sa kwarto ko. At 2 PM, kumatok si Mama at dinalhan ako ng merienda. It was my favorite—egg pie.
She asked me if I was okay and I just silently nodded. Pero bago niya isarang muli ang pinto ng kwarto ko ay may pahabol siyang sinabi na nakapagpaiyak sa akin.
"Nak, hayaan mo, ako ang aalala sa mga paborito mo."
She gave me a tender smile, something I hadn't seen for a long time. That moment, I felt like a kid again. Gusto ko siyang habulin para humingi ng yakap pero pinigilan ko ang sarili ko.
It was hard to eat while crying but I did. My doctor said if I wanted to live for a long time, I have to be physically healthy, too. I have to change my lifestyle and my outlook in life.
Today, I finally accepted my fate.
And I will live my remaining years to the fullest.
March 17, 2017
I was given medicines that could alleviate the symptoms and could maintain my mental functions. Sa totoo lang, hindi ko pa rin matanggap. Ayaw ko pa ring tanggapin.
I would probably be fired at work because I wouldn't be fit to be there anymore but I'd rather resign. Ang lala pa naman ng stigma sa mental illnesses dito sa Pilipinas. Well, technically, AD is not a mental illness but a brain disorder but people won't care about that. If I said I have an AD, they would probably not believe it because I'm still "young".
Naiiyak na naman ako. Kahit nararamdaman ko naman ang suporta ng pamilya ko, pakiramdam ko, mag-isa pa rin ako.
Hindi ko rin alam kung paano sasabihin sa mga kaibigan ko. O baka hindi na lang. I don't want to burden them. I don't want to burden anyone.
Ang dami ko pang pangarap sa buhay, eh. I wanted to give my parents a new house. I wanted to have one, too. I wanted to travel. I wanted to fall in love. But all of those dreams were shattered because of this.
I have read about early onset AD and upon diagnosis, patients are expected to live only for 8-10 years, but some were even as short as two years.
Nakakatawa kasi lagi kong sinasabi na, "mamamatay rin naman tayong lahat" pero sa totoo lang, ayaw ko pang mamatay.
Ayaw ko pang makalimot.
Ayaw ko pang makalimutan.
Ayaw ko pang mawala sa mundo.
March 13, 2017
Today, I cried my heart out. I just received a bad news and.
I was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease after weeks of tests. I silently hoped I was wrong but here was the reality. Hindi ko matanggap. Ang bata ko pa para makalimot. I am just 28.
Akala ko sa mga matatanda lang ito nangyayari. At least, most of the cases were. The symptoms were there, but I didn't want to admit it. I kept on forgetting important things, and information were getting harder to retain in my mind. I thought that was just due to the environment I was in. I remembered how Mom would sometimes say na mas ulyanin pa ako sa kanya. 'Yon pala ay dahil nagp-progress na ang sakit ko.
I hate this.
I don't want to forget everything.
I don't want to forget everyone.
I don't want to die like an empty vessel.