Monday, 3 May 2010

Golden Week catch-up

I've got a headcold - so haven't been up to any coherent thoughts.
Of course, I now have 4 days off work during the Japanese series of public holidays called "Golden Week" - typical!
I wasn't actually planning anything interesting - just quiet down time at home with the kittens and the garden. Yujiro is starting training and work as a Velo Taxi driver and the weather has FINALLY woken up and geared into spring.

We fixed the front door steps. I'd take a picture - but I just dropped the camera as I was trying to negotiate kittens gate with an armful of too much - and I think I've broken it. :-((
Anyway - cement/fake stones from the homecare center (we seem to spend 90% of our couple time at that place), and $40 later there is a stylish array of half steps for Okaasan to use as she returns from shopping expedititions with her loot.

A slight blip on the event was that Yujiro said airily at breakfast: "I don't think it's necessary, I asked her and she says she is ok on the steps now!".
I set him straight with on overly direct: this old lady doesn't know what day it is today. HOW can she judge whether she can manage steps of not? She is just being polite and doesn't want to cause a fuss and naturally doesn't want to think herself that her physical condition is not so great. So of COURSE she says: "I can manage, no problem". The reason she is living with us is that WE can make this decisions for her, to make life easier. We can't let her deny she needs help with some things.

It frustrates me that sometimes he wants to take the easy way out, and doesn't want to see his mum as a) a healthy but sometimes physically challenged senior b) a woman with dementia which effects her ability to make judgements/decisions.
Of course he is remembering the young mother who could do anything and the middle aged woman who was fiercely independent. I've only ever known this sometimes befuddled senior. So I am a lot more direct. She couldn't get up the steps the other night. A month ago she fell and grazed and bruised herself badly on these steps. Time to act.

So. The steps got bought and made. Looks good.
We celebrated by actually sitting outside and having our first outside lunch of sandwiches and beer of 2010.

Apart from that.

I've cleaned 37 pairs of Okaasan's pants. Now I have to find devious ways of slipping them back into her room so she can find them when she needs them.
I smelled them first. can imagine. Luckily this blog comes without pictures or smells.
2 days ago I could smell something funny in the hallway. I thought Okaasan had had a toilet accident. But after cleaning the floor the smell persisted.
Then I realized it was coming from the otherside of the door into the tatami room, where Okaasan keeps a lot of clothes and stuff.
I found her dirty laundry basket overflowing underwear. So I took half of them and hurled them in the washing machine. Dried them upstairs in our apartment...and now I have to get them safely home, a few at a time while she is out. Just leave them on her laundry drying area, on the sofa, on the floor etc.
She does do her own underwear washing by hand, but usually about 4 pairs at a time. She'll never get to the bottom of 40 plus pairs of pants!

But Okaasan is getting into laundry mode again. The good weather means she can hang stuff outside and rehang it to her hearts' content. She did it endlessly yesterday. Our laundry. Her laundry. Our laundry again. She loves hanging laundry.

And she is starting to go out every day again. Walking for a bit late afternoon. And coming home almost on time for dinner. All great.

Time to go. I am cooking her lunch today and while I got it all going she asked me to delay...because she was busy washing more...laundry......


  1. I guess it's a bit confronting to have to deal with his mother having dementia, and I guess that is why he sometimes wants to let her make the decisions even if he knows it's not the right one, because by making the decisions himself it means acknowledging the situation for what it really is.

    You are a great daughter in law, how on earth did okaasan get 40 pairs of knickers? All those shopping sprees she goes on?

  2. Yes, I know...he finds it hard....because he knows what she was....and it is wearing what she is becoming.
    His brother has it so So easy.

    40 pairs? well those are the ones I can see at the moment. I think she has about 60 pairs of knickers actually! She buys them endlessly because she is often incontinent when she is out, so she goes to buy more underwear...and then puts the soiled knickers in a plastic bag which I find a week or two later....YUK!