Friday, 23 June 2017

Holding pattern...

This family drama is in holding pattern - circling the airport, peering out the windows...wondering when we'll get permission to land...or whether we'll be redirected to another airport.

Okaasan in the mental health hospital, taking drugs to calm her down.
Dear Son visiting a few days a week.
Me staying away enjoying my life.

Dear Son thinking that he is going to wait and see what happens with her brain - and whether he can waltz into the hospital one day (or if she comes home) and give her papers to sign which will mean her home for 40 years will be sold.

He seems to think that might be an option...still.

Thankyou for advice about becoming legal guardian - two readers who know me in real life have contacted me to offer advice. Dear Son has done his research and talked to the real estate agent. There apparently isn't a big rush on the house sale because the buyer is a developer, not an individual. 
Delay on the papers doesn't mean a family is homeless, just that the development company can't start house demolition and site clearing as quickly as they hoped. Becoming a legal guardian would take a month or two - so DS is going to wait.

Wait and see: will Okaasan calm down enough to be able to cope with this topic and accept and sign?

This week she was calmer on his visit. Still angry about the nurses waking her up too early, but chatted with her son about things in a reasonable way. He came home a little relieved. We continue our Life Without Okaasan - eating random food we like, even planning a small BBQ with friends...alternatively happy in our life, and guiltily remembering Okaasan's enjoyment in things.

Wait and See.

Monday, 19 June 2017

And then....

First of all - that's a picture of my weekend :-)

Rented a bike in a mountain village and cycled for 5 hours. Saw flowers, listened to birds, ate icecream, met a wood sculptor, got sunburned.

Also enjoyed time with my man : homemade hamburger in the garden, sushi, movies on TV.

And. Booked airtickets for a UK holiday in September.

And then...

Saturday he went to see Okaasan.
He came home crushed.
After two visits when she seemed to be happy and good. This time, she was angry, shouting and NOT happy. The nurses warned him before they met, but he was still shocked.
He really feels it. To see his mum like this. Wondering if she will ever be "herself" again. Will she ever be able to come home and be happy with us?

For the first time we talked about what will happen if she DOESN'T come home. She will have to be in a care home. And us? We live in a big old house that is expensive for just the two of us. Questions about the future - should I move my English school here? Should we explore Airbnb?

And then....

The real estate agent called.
There is a buyer for the family house in Saitama. A good enough price. If it all goes through Okaasan will need to know about the brother "moving to somewhere smaller"/house sale etc and sign the documents to sell.
While we thought that would be possible for Okaasan to understand and agree to one month ago. Now is totally different. What timing....

Now, if she is told her house is being sold? What would that do to her mental state? Would she understand and be able to really make a decision? It doesn't sound promising. It's unfair to make the house buyers wait too long.

Discussions are taking place...DS may have to consult a lawyer to get the legal right to make decisions on behalf of his mum. Another complication he doesn't need in his brain right now. I am being gentle and supportive to him. Poor guy.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Tasting freedom...


I can confess here: I am soooo happy Okaasan isn't here.

There. I said it.

I am beginning to enjoy and luxuriate in the freedom of being just a couple again. After so many years.

There is a lightness to home life. We are playful with eachother. The schedule of life - specially meal times and contents - has relaxed. My God - we are even going out after work and doing things.

It's a new norm.

And I am loving it.

Yesterday DS went to visit Okaasan and I had a sudden fear that the hospital would say she was fine to come home and we would have yet another weekend of tension and care work. But no - he came back and said she seemed fine, but that she wouldn't be coming home so fact the hospital originally had said one month...ONE MONTH???!!!! - whatever - not this weekend.

My mind is giddy with possibilities. Walking! Cycling! Flowers! Eating. Pokemon special event! Is my knee strong enough to load the kayak on the car roof and go out to the lake?? All of that.

You don't realize how trapped you are/feel until the bounds are loosened and release. We have lived with Okaasan for years now, it's become our normal life - with only a night or two of break - and now I am REALLY beginning to relax. Carers need a break, really.

I am careful, though, not to express my happiness too much with Dear Son - after all this is his mum, and she is in a hospital away from home. He has sole responsibility to make decisions. I am lucky that he trusts me enough to talk to me about the situation - but the decisions are his to make.

Hopefully the medicine will give Okaasan a new level of serenity and she can come home again. And if she does come home - now she and we can understand that it is possible for her to stay in another place - so maybe short stay breaks for all of us are an option in the future. Or - maybe she can't come back home and we have to find a care home for her.

All of that is to come. For now - I am planning a weekend of relaxing. Have a nice one everyone :-)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


LISTEN to those lyrics!
Okaasan is HAPPY!!!!!
Dear Son reports from the hospital that she is smiling and calm and HAPPY!
He went and sat with her for an hour, watched her eat her lunch.
Chatted about things....or listened to her chatting about things.

Amazingly. She was happy.

So, we are happy. And we aren't on meds.

Is this possible in just 24 hours? Was this just a lucky moment that when he went she was on a high? He said she seemed naturally happy, not manically so. She said the last time they'd met was maybe downtown...she knew who he was.

Really wonderful. 

He met her in a meeting room of the hospital and the nurse brought her in a wheel chair. She wasn't allowed to have one of her magazines (too much outside stimulation) and she isn't allowed TV (in fact we did notice at the weekend that Tv seemed to enrage her even more, "WHY are those children working at 7 am?? WHY?").

So. There we are. The meds are helping. Thankgoodness for modern medicines.

We had a nice calm after work evening. I weeded the garden. He watched football on TV. The cats lounged on warm concrete. We ate dinner together in the kitchen....I take Okaasan's chair at the table now (work out the symbolism of that...) and then after some TV we slept. It was nice  and normal.


***WOW!! You lot - blog readers.
Thankyou so much for all the messages and support. They kept popping up on my e mail feed all day on my smartphone. Gave me lots of warm fuzzy feelings. Thankyou - I know there ARE people reading this blog, but at times like this past week I really understand it.***

What happens from now on, we'll see.
But several barriers have been broken - specially with Dear Son and his thinking. He has accepted outside help from care manager and social worker, and doctors. He has accepted that medicine maybe has a role to play in his mum's care. All of that is quite a lot. He is his mum's son, her attitudes to hospitals, doctors and medicine have inevitably influenced him.

But now. Medicine and a hospital are maybe helping.