Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A bad night of confusion...

Tired....we had a bad evening with Okaasan yesterday.

All was ok daytime. Yujiro was working. I was out in the morning and we left the "You should eat lunch out" sign on the kitchen table.
I actually came home about 12.45. Okaasan had just finished hanging laundry just-so, and was getting ready to go out. I could have changed the plans and given her some food, but thought I should just let her carry on getting ready to go and then head out into the warm sunshine for lunch and exercise.
She did, and when I popped down to the subway station area in the car to pick up some drycleaning I actually saw her (ok, I DID follow her a bit!) head into the Korean restaurant near the station around 1.45 pm.

So all ok.
Afternoon at home with the garden and kittens.

Started making dinner around 6 pm.
Yujiro came home at 6.45 pm
Okaasan telephoned him at 7.10 pm: "I've lost my Senior Discount Card for the Subway, and I don't have any money to just buy a ticket." She was at Sapporo's main rail station.
Several phone calls as Yujiro got her to look through her handbag etc.
Finally he suggested she take a taxi and we'd pay when she got home.


20 minutes later another phone call: "I'm going to look for a toilet first".


30 minutes another call: "I can't find any taxies. There are no taxies. I'm in a bus queue?"

We decided to drive downtown and get her. Told her to sit and wait. Don't move.

At 8.15 Yujiro found her sitting on the south side of Sapporo Station, where lines of taxies are waiting on the big taxi rank. I played pretty-please with a policeman about the parking while Yujiro hurried to get Okaasan and then we brought her home.
She was tired and very apologetic.
"Lunch? No, I didn't have lunch! I didn't have enough money!"

But when we got home she unloaded all her shopping cheerfully on the kitchen table: Look! I bought this and this and this! Bean paste candies, seaweed wrapped fish, dried mangoes, receipts from shops all over town - coffees in coffee shops, a noodles set lunch the day before (probably about 2 hours before coming home for dinner) etc etc etc...
And of course: the Seniors Discount Subway Card, safely tucked into the card her pocket....

And then. Finally at 9 pm. We had dinner.

Okaasan was very, very apologetic to both of us. We were forgiving. But tired.

Today is the last day of the Golden Week holiday. I'm just planning a quiet day with the headcold, the doorstep planters, the kittens. I'll give Okaasn lunch at home and try to keep her calm for the day.

Physically able dementia. It's hard. because they can set out happily into the world and get into all sorts of scrapes. Luckily Japan and Sapporo is very safe, understanding society. And we have a car to go rescue. But it's a hassle.

A translator I used to work with is dealing alone with her mother who has dementia, advanced from the sound of things. I see her about once a week near my English school - sometimes her mother is in a wheelchair and sometimes striding along with her daughter in armlock...heading somewhere, for something, for some reason.
I fear Okaasan will be the same. Her physical ability, which is good for a lady who is 80 years old this year, will continue even though her mental state declines. And we won't be able to phyisically contain her.
She'll shop and eat randomly all over town, and lose train passes and keys and the way.....and  still she'll think she is perfectly healthy.

Onwards, onwards on this life of ours...............

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