Monday, 11 September 2017


Okaasan's condition has deteriorated. No real clear reason why. Yet.

Since last week she has had a fever, not very high...but a change. The hospital but the physical training on hold, and she ate less....and stayed in bed.  quiet...

We spent 2 hours with her Sunday. Sitting at her bedside being chatty and gentle. She liked a dried persimmon fruit we took in and snacked away on it....but her body stayed curled up and facing away from us.
When she nurses brought the lunch tray, they tried to get her to straighten her was a big performance and she seemed to have pain in the right knee...but finally stretched both legs out.

She ate a bit. Tried to. Gripped the chopsticks and the spoon strongly...but almost fell asleep while feeding herself and spooned pudding everywhere...I tried to help by supporting the plate and putting food on the spoon...and trying to get the spoon near her mouth.

It was agonizing....slow...quiet and a big struggle.

I wondered: is the beginning of the end? She seemed exhausted by the smallest effort. The hospital had her on an IV drip the day before....the doctor couldn't find anything specially wrong with her leg. Worrying.

After a bit of lunch she did look at photo albums a little. Smiled a little. But very different.

Most worrying: a week now of no physical all her muscles will get weak again.....just as we were seeing progress.

I suggested DS tae in music and headphones on some device, so she can listen to songs she likes. Watching Tv or a magazine seems too much effort.


Thursday, 7 September 2017


Occasional updated blogging...sorry.

We visited Okaasan at hospital and saw her physical training session again. She was mentally and physically a little dull, but she could walk around the training room using a walker/stroller on wheels - but with the staff firmly holding the belt of her pajamas.
Not self standing and moving yet.
She and I paid a toilet visit, she was quicker about standing up from the wheelchair and moving to the toilet seat - but sat down half on and half off the seat! Noooooo! very dangerous. That is exactly how a fall happens.

She is happy though. Chats to us, drinks a can of coffee...looks at the newspaper a little.

Tomorrow she is having a dementia test at the hospital - I don't know what the test a week or two before was. Anyway - it all helps to assess what kind of help we can get, practically and financially.

Next week NEXT WEEK!!! I am going to the Uk for a 2 week holiday, so I doubt Okaasan will come home before or while I am away, which leaves her at the hospital until the end of September. It's a long long time since her fall in the kitchen in May.

The house selling is still on hold. Dear Son will try to apply to the court to become Legal Guardian for his mum.

And so. All of that.
Over and out.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Missile approaching...

Not what you want to see on your breakfast Tv screen...missile course over where you live.

That's us, that big green island - Hokkaido, with the north Korean missile flying over Tuesday morning...actually flying about 3 hours south of here...

Dear Son and I were drinking coffee at 6 a,m and watching Kevin Spacey in House of Cards - where as US President he rips up democracy in Season 3 - when both our mobile phones started ringing and vibrating with government alarm systems.
Incoming missile. Take cover in a strong building or basement!!!!

I mean really. What would you do? 

Do you actually get up from the sofa, grab a cat and run for the nearest basement - in our case the local supermarket? 
We didn't. We sat watching TV and checking Facebook...cos that's what we do...

And then you go on the BBC website and send a Contact email so that later in the day a BBC journalist can contact you for a few words of "local British person talking about missiles"....I was in a webpage story and my voice and HORRIBLE LinkedIn photo was used on the lunchtime TV news....very strange to sit here listening on my phone and to hear the programme presenter say: "UN...President Trump....North Korea...Japan....Amanda Harlow in Hokkaido"....

You can read the BBC thing here :-)

Sunday, 27 August 2017


Here we are!
Okaasan and Me Festa! Festa!

The hospital annual summer festival for patients and families was a wonderful WONDERFUL event.

Big and well planned. Staff in festival jackets directing cars, manning game corners and food and performances. Lots of kids - lots of old people in wheelchairs - pajamas - festival coats - aloha shirts - music - balloons - food!
The physical training room transformed, corridors decorated.

We had a blast.

Dear Son was on his last day of bike taxi working with the special customer, so I was the family member with Okaasan for this event and she and I ate our way thru octopus balls, friend noodles and shaved ice with syrup - had our picture taken, pulled lucky strings and chatted to lots of friendly staff and volunteers.

Okaasan had a good time, watching the kids play with their balloons and laughing and smiling. She kept asking me WHEN the commemoration photograph had been taken - "was this a long time ago?"..."No, it was 3 mins, 10 mins, 20 mins 1 hour ago...look you and I are wearing the same T shirts now!"... 

After 4 months of hospitals and stress, it was nice to do something normal and fun with her.  
Can she come home soon? I nurse said she is now walking with a frame....

We had a toilet visit together, and I took off her dirty diapers, but had to get a nurse to help with putting on fresh's strange this - to change from being the friendly family member to saying "sit down, do this, go here, lift your bum, let's change these"....crossing back and forth over the personal line .

Anyway. A good day.

After the festival I went for a long walk by the river, came home and watched TV...went out with Dear Son for dinner, ate Christmas Cake and ice cream - a present from a British was a good day.