Thursday, 23 July 2009

Change...and confusion.

Total solar eclipse
today - but Sapporo was cloudy and I was in the gym. So missed it.
People used to believe eclipses heralded bad luck: today was certainly full of change and confusion for all three of us.

I went to the gym and then to book my air tickets for the UK..and then to the bank to grab some savings to pay for it because the air miles were 5,000 miles short of making it a free trip. NEXT time will be free...and there will be a next time I am sure soon. Of course I want to support my Dad and see my step-mum. But I also don't want to go again. I have only just come back and I selfishly want MY summer break in my own life here. UK in August should be great...I will try to see one or two friends this time too. But, I feel unsettled.

Yujiro went for second day at the crab selling company. Hard. And a gangster type man came and spoke to the young manager. And a Final Demand from the electricity company arrived! This job DOESN'T look good at all. Tiny chance he'll actually get paid end of month. Some other companies phoned in the evening. he is continuing to explore other options.

And. As he left at 8.30 am he told Okaasan to fix her own lunch.
I went out at 10.15 am.
Okaasan promptly forgot...and was in big confusion about her midday meal.
From the evidence in the kitchen later I guess she managed to cook some noodles and eat yogurts and bean sprouts - but she wasn't a happy bunny.

When she saw me again at 4 pm she complained. I felt terrible for her. I tried to reassure - but it is tough to tell someone: "From now on you have to get your own lunch". Yujiro apologised to her later, I cooked dinner...but...but...

The book I read (Contentented Dementia ) says people with dementia don't do change at all well. Of course. She can't remember: "Mother, I'm working today, Amanda is out. Fix your own lunch."

I think we MUST set up a system, maybe a small white board on the kitchen table, so we can write "Fix Your Own Lunch" on it, otherwise Okaasan will be endlessly confused about what is happening for midday meals. Her routine for months has been wait for Yujiro to cook and call her to the table and now that's changing. Poor lady.

Some of my students looked at Shibata-san's photos this week and said: "OH! Okaasan looks so good! She looks bright!"

But that is the sad thing about mental disability/disease - you LOOK fine. And if someone meets you the initial conversation SEEMS fine. But you don't know if you had breakfast, you don't know if these socks are just washed or not, if you bought something in a shop...if you walked down this street before.

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