A year ago....Okaasan was curled up on the carpet of her room at home, in great pain from a broken back bone...3 days after a fall in the kitchen...and still refusing to accept help. We were changing her soiled diapers and pajamas, putting newspapers and pet toilet sheets under her in a bid to keep it halfway clean....
And finally...on the Wednesday, after the Saturday fall, Dear Son agreed to call in professional help and she was taken off to hospital...one after another.
A hospital for the broken bone, then a mental health hospital after the dementia went batshit, then a recovery hospital, then another recovery hospital....and finally a care home.
Yesterday we were at the care home for Mother's Day. A display of pink flowers in a basket, some drinks and snacks.
Okaasan was happily sitting with her gang of old ladies at the table near the TV and chatty and funny. She talks about herself in the 3rd person now: "Oh, grandma is happy/healthy/sad/able to walk/wants to go to the toilet etc"
very odd. Not sure why. And the singsong, happy voice...
Windy, cold day - so we did a quick trip to the care home main doors for fresh air, and then spent the rest of the hour chatting inside. We took in a photo album of Okaasan as a young mum long ago in the 1950s....holding (now dead) older brother, and now middle-aged, farty Dear Son.
"Who is this baby?" she kept asking on every page...and didn't really seem to remember anyone, or anywhere.
Our life is so much better, too. We have more freedom about eating and planning. My winter is FAR more relaxed. We have got used to being in the house...just the two of us.
And she has got used to life in a care home:
"Which floor do I live on? Is my home the door with the pink curtain?" she constantly asks. She became used to the routines, the baths, meal times and exercise programs. She can stand better now. But gets tired quickly with any standing still or walking.
What a difference a year makes!!