Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day 5

A GOOD day - hardly saw her!
So, I'm doing well!

A few morning words in the kitchen, left lunch money and Go out and Eat sign on the table. Went to work. Came home and made a big pan of miso soup and left that and supermarket sushi on the table at 6.30 pm, pointed out dinner to Okaasan - and then went round to a friend's home to eat delicious Costco ravioli for dinner and watch SYTYCD till late.

Hardly any Okaasan interaction. So, a good day.

BEST thing - I laid carpet tiles. Lots and lots of pink carpet tiles all over the computer room here.

Look at it all! Doesn't that look better?
Well, I guess if you don't know what it looked like before it's hard to know. But believe me - this is a vast improvement on the manky old carpet we had before, which didn't reach the walls and recently after cat-sick incidents had been turned backside we didn't even have manky carpet...we had manky carpet underside.

This? Wonderful. At 7 am in my pajamas I was laying carpet tiles with Popo's help. Whenever Yujiro goes away I do some kind of home-improvement (I guess cos it is easier to do what I want without discussing it!) poor guy probably wonders what I'll have done, what money I'll have spent when he returns.

Okaasan's underwear.
A whole topic in itself. All 50- 60 of them. They will shortly be launching their own blog.
Yesterday morning I had another try at getting her to hang up the damp pants I'd washed on Friday. The bowl of pants is still just inside her room door on the carpet, she even MOVED it a bit to the right when she came home on Friday evening. Moved, but didn't hang up. So yesterday I gave her the laundry hanger rack thingy - and cheerfully put it ON top of the bowl of pants, "here you are! Sorry, you couldn't use it, sorry!". She peered over for a moment, thanked me for the hanger thingy and then looked back at the stupid Japanese TV show.

Late afternoon after work I had another go - "Oh! You didn't hang up the damp laundry yet! Shall I do it? It might get moldy if we don't hang it, won't it?!"
Okaasan dragged her attention away from the TV for a moment.
"Eh? Laundry?'s ok, tomorrow is ok. It's ok for a day like that. Mold? no, it's ok."

She is so good at making up an instant excuse to cover totally forgetting to do something.
( Hi RItsuko - does this remind you of YOUR mother and her excuses about forgetting to take the medicines??!)

I am absolutely sure it is NOT ok in the Book of Super Housewifery to leave damp laundry sitting for a day or two without hanging it up!
Not in the UK. Not in Japan. I'm sure of it.
But Okaasan says this excuse so convincingly, you can't really argue.
So I left it. Another day. By Sunday afternoon I'll secretly take it out and hang it up myself. I have 20 MORE of her pants hung and drying upstairs anyway. I'll put those into her room secretly sometime today.

But, as I mused the other day. Because I really have nothing better to do than wonder about Okaasan's underwear - I reckon she isn't doing so much handwashing of her clothes anymore. So, a new strategy is needed - otherwise the stale urine smell from her room will force us to wear gas masks and she'll buy enough new pants to reach 100. Nobody needs more than 60 pairs of pants.

Either we 1) take the pants and wash and return them secretly, or 2) we give her a laundry basket once a week and cheerfully offer to help her. I think option 1) is better, because 2) will just lead to a "My laundry? No, I can do it myself!"...and then nothing.

It is so strange to be even thinking about all of this with an adult. Okaasan is a walking/talking adult. She doesn't look incapable. But doing laundry is maybe becoming harder. Not the actual doing it - she is still physically able to stand and wash clothes at the sink - but the deciding it needs doing and getting up from the TV to do it - THAT ability seems to be diminishing.

What did people with dementia DO before there was TV to sit in front of all day? I am sure Okaasan thinks she has a busy day. Exercising, reading newspapers, making notes about Tv recipes, shopping etc - but the reality is a LOT of sitting and looking at TV. I am sure she thinks she is always just taking a quick break - the never-ending "I'll just sit down for a bit".

Anyway. Onwards. Yesterday I booked the taxi for tomorrow's hula dance event. Yujiro sent me an e mail with an attachment of a Letter to Okaasan (Today you have a Hula dance event, the taxi is coming at 1.30 pm, lunch is on the table etc. ) Even on holiday he is thinking about organising his mother's life!!!
 And today I have to get Okaasan to gather together the costume and accessories she will need tomorrow. THAT should be fun ;-((
"There's a hula dance event? Nobody told me! When? Where? What? I need to take stuff? What? Where? Why? There's a hula dance event? When?"



  1. Chin up! Only another few days.....

    I have been reading your week's doings from my sick bed and alternately laughing, being horrified, feeling for you. I think I've said before that my FIL is possibly slipping and I'm wondering if you are writing my future......

  2. Good luck for the hula fiasco. Hope she remembers at some stage - preferably before she has to go. Your day and night out at friends sounds nice. Okaasan obviously doesn't mind being on her own. She seems so capable in some things and then the undies - seriously 50 - 60 pairs?

    Painful.. Good luck with that :)

  3. Thankyou both!

    We are just embarking on Round 1 of Hula Dance Drama - just given Okaasan lunch...and talked about gathering things together for "tomorrow's event"....predicatable surprise that there WAS an event...then confusion, then negativity about going, then don't want to go.....aghhhh...and its only 1 pm!!!

  4. Yeah just a day or two more! Doing well kiddo! I don't know bout the pants either. There might come a time you just have to do it for her. Yikes.... I guess if you had the time and energy, getting up and going to the washer together. But yeah dealing with an adult and not a child. Takes getting used to, if ever.