Sunday, 20 June 2010

Unwelcome guests.

This "have I eaten?" thing is getting crazier and crazier.

Today I had two friends for a quiet BBQ in the garden at lunchtime. Yujiro was working.
At 11.30 am I got the kittens inside from the excitements of the Great Outdoors and locked them away from the tempting dangers of burning charcoal.
Then I made Okaasan's lunch: 3 soy-cooked little fish, salad, pickles, rice, soup etc and got her to the table. Chatted a bit and apologised for not eating with her: friends are coming for BBQ lunch later.
She said: Oh, I'll be going out soon, I lost my nice black parasol on the subway yesterday, so I'm going to go to the subway office and look for it.
45 minutes later she had got herself together and came out of the house where we were just starting barbecue in the garden: said hello to my two friends, all very friendly etc. Off she trotted.

Friends and I enjoyed relaxing afternoon with food and beer and chat. First BBQ of the season!

At 4.30 Yujiro called me. Okaasan had telephoned him and complained: "I'm hungry and I haven't eaten all day. There are people at the house. I can't go back. I haven't eaten anything".


Of course I reassured him that I HAD fed his mother lunch, and that she had chatted on her way out with my guests and had seemed perfectly happy.

He came back an hour later. He found her sitting alone in the little park around the corner from the house. She didn't want to come back in case the guests were still here!

This is bad. Firstly because I had no idea having people to visit gave her such bad feelings. And secondly because she had totally forgetton having lunch at 11.45 am.
Of course this is our home and sometimes we will have guests here. Now when I think about it, I can remember a few occasions when Okaasan did the "I'm tired/I've eaten/I have stomach ache" story when somebody was here.

So tonight I made extra big effort to get her back on a Positive Mood.

I cooked up Another Delicious Dinner. I got Yujiro to go and give her 25 minute and 10 minute Warnings of Impending Dinner Arrival, and once she got to the table we chatted about stuff and got the Kawagoe Booklets out to chat about life in Kawagoe.....finally got a fairly normal Family Dinner together with Okaasan chatty and happy.
I hope.
By tomorrow she may be accusing me of stealing the parasol.

But I'm shocked. Lunch was a perfectly acceptable level of food for her (but of course she hadn't eaten any dinner last night), and she seemed happy when she was eating it and chatting to me about the weather.
But somehow while she was out - maybe feeling confused about the parasol and not knowing why?? - she got it into her head that she'd had NO lunch and that I was busy making merry with food and my friends.....

These swings of mood and memory are disconcerting. Okaasan seems ok...but then isn't.
I feel her condition has shifted somehow in a negative direction in the past week or so....

Thankgoodness for the Kawagoe booklets. As the dementia books advise: Have a useful prop to hand to provoke the Positive Memories. These booklets are my prop!

1 comment:

  1. How frustrating and worrying at the same time. She really seems to be having more not so good days than good days lately. Imagine forgetting you've eaten. Actually think the not wanting to go home because guests are there is worse. Poor you. When will ever get to enjoy a whole day and not having to worry about this :(