Friday, 24 December 2010

Cabin fever

Okaasan hasn't been out for 4 days now - I detect signs of cabin fever.
She was wandering around her rooms and the kitchen a lot yesterday afternoon. Went to peer outside the front door a few times.
Sadly Sapporo had non-stop snow ....big white fluffy flakes of it for hours and hours.

I fed Okaasan lunch: fried tofu, pumpkin, soup, rice, pickles.
I fed Okaasan dinner: hot pot of tofu, chicken balls, veggies.
Chatted along merrily about weather/wartime/food/cooking/wartime/cooking lessons/naming babies/Christmas.

Okaasan gets much more talking time when she is just with me. I guess it is good for her. Yujiro talks into infinity - but I can't do that (and certainly NOT in Japanese!), so my style is to ask leading questions that I hope will get Okaasan into one of her pet topics...then to just supply the polite "oos" and "ahhs" as she goes round and round with the story for a while.

Today is Christmas Eve. I hope the weather is slightly better and Okaasan will make it outside.

And Uni Spagetti-chan is coming to stay tonight! I've ordered KFC chicken - which is what most Japanese people associate with Christmas and we'll eat that with Okaasan - and then escape upstairs to mulled wine, cheese, TV....and open our pressies together tomorrow morning.

I am SO happy she is here for the holidays. I'm sad that she's got a job back in the Uk and will be leaving in January, but it's great that she thus cancelled her planned Xmas trip and is here to make the holidays happy.

*On a sadder note: one of my Japanese-sisters has lost her Dad this week, and the funeral is tonight. Of course Christmas Eve in Japan is just another ordinary day, and my friend isn't Christian. But even so - for ever after Christmas Eve will hold such sad memories for her.
When I first came to Japan I shared apartments with 3 Japanese woman and we call eachother sisters. I don't think Naoko reads this blog - she is always too busy working and travelling to work - but she is in my mind a lot.


  1. Merry Christmas! Enjoy time with your friend!

  2. Bless you! I've lost both my parents w/in the past 4 yrs; both suffered from dementia. Yours stories are all so familiar to me. No regrets! I became a demon at getting the bad smells out of clothing, furniture, etc. Finally figured out how to get the wheel chair out of the car and reassembled with out injuring myself. My reward: just before dying, my mom opened her eyes and looked at me with recognition and love. You'll have no regrets too! But I want to read about how your husband learns to help! My Japanese American brother learned how to give mom a bath! MIRACLES HAPPEN!

  3. Thankyou!
    Hedgehog - did your parents BOTH of them live with you and you did the caring? I can't imagine!!

    At this stage with Okaasan I feel there is so much deception and window dressing - from us and from her.
    She must know that she has incontinence and be unhappy about it. But she cleans herself and the toilet most of the time, and tries to wash the soiled underwear secretly....
    Meanwhile we (mainly I) are taking her soiled underwear secretly when she is out, washing and drying it and returning it to her room....and cleaning up after the accidents in the toilet...
    Does she KNOW this? I'm not sure.
    After soiling herself or the toilet room, or after putting soiled pants in a plastic bag in her room or on the bathroom floor...does she remember it?
    I think probably NOT...once something is done and out of her immediate sight I think she forgets it....

    But it is strange - she and us doing this double facing-saving about personal, embarrassing stuff.

    How boyfriend helps?
    I am just so so lucky - he has always been this way...he is able to shop/cook/wash/maybe clean house...and he does it...he is the kind of person who just regards doing that kind of stuff as "just being an adult and taking care of what has to be done".
    I know! I am SO lucky!!!