Sunday, 18 March 2018

Waiting for spring

We did a joint visit yesterday - kind of rare for us in winter.

Okaasan was asleep when we arrived. Sitting in her wheelchair, in front of the TV...dozing after a busy morning of physical therapy and then lunch.

She seemed happy enough, we chatted, wheeled the chair outside and around the corner to the lobby of a hotel...and then encouraged her to walk in the care home corridor with the walker.
She is fast walking now. But her whole body weight is forward, on the walking frame. She isn't standing upright at all.

But, the time - and season - is coming when we will be able to take her OUT of the care home for a visit to a different environment. A hotel lobby or convenience store for coffee, and maybe even a restaurant for a meal? If the toilets are accessible etc. If SHE doesn't panic in an unfamiliar place.

We will try. Days are getting brighter and warmer. Had a snow storm 2 days ago, which was a wonder for skiers - I'd given up my skiing for this season, but even I got out for just-one-more-day.

I also had to do another shopping trip for Okaasan. Bath towels and long-sleeved shirts. Hopefully what I bought will be ok. Dear Son passed along the care home request for clothing  to me - because OBVIOUSLY I am a WOMAN and can do shopping.....Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Don't get me started on the sexist assumptions in this....he is a Japanese male and lives in the stone age.

Anyway. Waiting for spring and a time to take Okaasan out in sunshine.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Writing failure....

Yup. I KNOW! Another month and no blogging.

Work has swept me along...and visiting my old student in hospital...and worrying about what to do about the stray cat near the house.
And end of winter funk? Blues? I had one really bad week where I could hardly get up energy to do anything, just about made it to work with a smile. Then a falling out with an old friend. It wasn't a good time.

Dear Son is now back home for a break between ski work - so at least I have a cook :-) Things are getting better.

DS went to see Okaasan in the care home and tried to get her signature on the mobile phone contract. Something about cancelling the contract for her phone.

He was shocked to realize that she couldn't sign her name. She could hold the pen, but however much he pointed and directed her hand to the place to sign - she was struggling. And struggling to write the correct characters.
"Oh, I became so stupid!" she said...and finally he gave up.

It was something she could do before. Make notes of things on TV and in magazines, write her name...and with prompting her address. And now...gone.....
A shock to him. And reinforces how hard it would ever be to get her, legally, to sell the house. He is waiting until end of March to get all the care costs for 3 clear months - then he can apply to the family court for status to be her representative etc. THEN finally...if that is approved...he can sell the family house near Tokyo. Could take months and months.

Anyway. Still waiting for spring. Huge snow storm for 2 days here. People died in their cars, including one rescue staff. Spring is coming strom.

And I am sitting here in my classroom on a Saturday morning with a hissy/angry stray cat in a cage on the carpet - under a blanket. I got a cage and advice from an NPO and last night we finally caught him. Today I am waiting for the go-ahead from the NPO to take him in to their vets for neutering and check, so we can decide what to do next.

He isn't at all friendly. I did exchange one Jackson Galaxy slooooow blink with him/her, but I wonder if he is feral, or a former pet who had to live wild for too long. I spotted him in January, living under a neighbor's house and my cats were yowling and chasing him. No neighbors know about him. I've fed him. But...not hopeful he will make a pet now.

Will keep you posted!!
Oh - and also about Okaasan....

Monday, 19 February 2018

I want to die...ho ho ho...

"I want to die!" Okaasan moaned. Then laughed. Then moaned.

Our latest, joint visit wasn't a happy one.

Okaasan was slumped in her wheelchair by the lounge TV. Here eyes all sleepy, her speech slurred. Her mood bad.

Even Dear Son, with his funny chat, couldn't change it. She wasn't in a good place.

We weren't either. We'd just heard that a friend/old student of mine has contracted a serious disease and we were on our way to see her. Okaasan's care home was nearby.

That morning Okaasan had, apparently, successfully gone to the 3rd floor and day care again. Physical exercise, handicrafts, chat and lunch. And now she was exhausted.
We took her back to her room and put her to bed. At home she slept a LOT. Hours and hours every day. In the care home - of course - they try to keep people up and in the public space, so they are easier to monitor and will be less trouble at night. Try to keep them in daylight/awake - nighttime/sleep pattern.

We felt stressed and sad.
Left Okaasan in bed and went to see our friend. Pretty grim and awful. She is my age. A super active, live-life-to-the-max person in work and play. Struck with CFD, the madcow-like disease. 3 weeks ago working...felt a bit strange - and now shaking and weak in a hospital bed. It was a hard visit.

Two hours later we went back to Okaasan.
She was up and back in the lounge with the TV - smiling, laughing - and happy again.
Dear Son was relieved. Me too. Sleep is good for all of us.

Yesterday I did the same 2 visits. My friend, and then Okaasan.
The hospital and care home are 10 mins drive apart. My friend was ok and enjoyed a Starbucks latte and I helped her eat lunch. Then Okaasan was watching Olympic ski aerial races and all smiley. I wheeled her to the care home front door for  some fresh air, took two elevator rides and went to the toilets.
And came home again.

Okaasan is settling in the care home life. She was even smiling and exchanging words with other residents yesterday, a good sign. Some of the residents on her floor are fully mobile and able to chat. Mostly women. If she WOULD open up and let conversation in, it is there for the having.

This week I have the accountant visit, a few more winter illuminations, a whole lot of work, the stray cat near the house to worry about (I'm now feeding it in the hope that I can catch her and get her help with a cat NPO)...oh...and snow clearing.

Monday, 12 February 2018

The bits of a person's life....

Two blogs in one weekend.
This'll be bumped up the Google logo-whatsits as an "Active" site, soon.
And then our Russian-bot friends will be shortly joining us!

Anyway. Anyhoo...I am watching Fargo the TV series and everyone in Minnesota says "Anyhoo".

I am sorting thru OKaasan's stuff again. Yet again. I certainly know her stuff better than she does. Sorting thru the clothes, the shoes, the Hawaiian dance silk flowers and skirts....oh the BAGS!!! the bags!!!!

Why? Cos I am masochist on a snowy public holiday morning? It's the choice between this, or my taxes.

Really, I need to make her two rooms less like a place where an old lady might pop back in at anytime, and more welcoming for guests this side of 80 years old.. Also - there is still stuff she is never, ever going to use/need again. After she dies we'll have to get rid of it. May as well have another thinning-out session now.

I did a good job. Three hours of sorting and ditching.
Now it is boiled down to:
- a few bits of jewelry
- the photo albums
- a few clothes/shoes - if we ever get her out of the carehome and into fresh air

I've got a few nice bags to pass on to the guy who auctions them online, bits and pieces I might use. Maybe important documents for Dear Son. LOTS of Hawaiian stuff for the recycle shop. Nice bits of material for a student who sews.

And 4 bags of trash.

An excellent morning's work.

You should do it. Yes - YOU!! When you become infirm or die, someone is going to paw thru your stuff and ditch a lot of it. Wouldn't you rather it be you doing the pawing?
I'm reminded of Dad and Jane's house full of stuff. Oh god - of all the stuff Dear Son and I have here.....

And in other news: yesterday I spent an hour with Okaasan. Basially drinking coffee and looking out the window, commenting on whether the snow was less or the sunshine was more. A toilet visit. And a failed attempt to get her to walk with the walking frame - she started to get bolshy with me. Her whole demeanor changed, from bright and chatty and happy to slumped and obstinate.
"No, I don't want to walk using that....I'm old, old people should take it easy..."

So I gave up. Wheeled her back to the community lounge where the staff appeared to think that a room of elderly wanted to watch Olympic snowboarding on the TV.
The black pants both seem to be fitting well - I am a successful personal shopper, and sorter outer.

Pretty achievement-filled weekend.

Oh! An Sapporo Snow Festival - look!!! Big event, I've been many times this year, Dear Son and I went to the kids play park together and I'm enjoying other local festivals too. The taxes can wait...