Monday, 5 April 2010

Quiet day at home

Yujiro skied. Okaasan and I stayed home lazily.

I offered Okaasan lunch twice, but she didn't want it and just made herself some instant soup.
I hung laundry outside for the first time this year and asked her to come and supervise me hanging stuff. Hanging laundry is one of her Happy Activities. hard to do in a Hokkaido winter.

The face swelling has gone done mainly, and now she has a blood bruise near the eye.
She thinks she fell on the steps outside the house.
But she isn't sure. And sometimes she isn't even sure she fell...."something happened to me yesterday didn't it?".

I watched the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy "Fifty First Dates", which ironically was all about a woman with a head injury resulting in short term memory loss....some scenes felt so familiar to me!!!...and actually for a Sandler comedy it treated the subject fairly sensitively....

In the movie he makes a video for the women to watch upon waking every day - to bring her up to knowledge on her condition and life. So she can actually remember who he is and what their life is all about.
I think this goes counter to all I've read about short term memory loss - telling the person that they HAVE this problem, making them face that. In the movie Drew Barrymore's character has to experience every day that she had a car crash etc and that this is her man's shown as a moment of shock and then moving on into happy reconnection with her life.

When Okaasan was so awful last year about me being a thief in her room etc...I DID write out a letter to her telling her You Have Short Term Memory Problems and So I Come Into Your Room to Clean and You Lose Things Constantly Yourself etc 
I knew I would never get it translated and give it to her. I knew she would never read it. But it helped me vent to myself what I wish I could say to her.

And I think in a strange way Okaasan does know she has problems. The constant questions and checking with us about stuff: did I fall? I fell didn't I?, What day is it today?, Hula class is on Wednesdays isn't it? And now she often says: I forget, I've forgotten, I must be losing my memory....

I guess as dementia grows you reconnect the person with who they are and what they are doing every time they wake up and start a day. The morning greetings and the routines.

The weekend ended quietly too.
I did my accounts, cleaned windows with the help of kittens-with-window-jumping-fancies and generally got ready for the week ahead.
Yujiro came home and I cooked dinner. Okaasan suddenly announced at 6.30 pm that she was going out to get something from the shop near the station....I pointed out that dinner was almost ready....we started without her, but she did come home within 40 minutes..and ate most of it and chatted a bit. She's still not 100% lively, but ok.
Today is hula dance. I wonder if she'll want to go?


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