Thursday, 28 April 2011

Talking toilet.

No - not a Japanese Super Loo that chats while you squat..although I expect that exists somewhere.

He and I - sitting talking about "What to do with Okaasan's toilet situation?"
Strange conversation to be having.
Prompted by yet another "accident" on the toilet floor mat last night. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and I could hear Okaasan taking a looong time in the toilet and using up loads of paper...I found it this morning...the mat anyway...haven't found the clothes yet because we can't get into her room while she is there.

So. What to do?
This is going beyond the occasional accident that Yujiro could explain away by saying Okaasan had accidents when she couldn't stand up and walk to the toilet in time.
From Internet searches I am guessing we have two problems; a) elderly people lose power in the bowel muscles and the shit becomes softer and b) dementia sufferers don't remember and act on the "must go to the toilet soon urge".

It's time to move onto diapers - called rehabili  (rehabilitation) pads in Japan - and a special trash box in the toilet and her room so we can throw away the soiled pads easily.

But how to approach this topic with her?

I am all for getting the nurse at the health check hospital to do it in May. Maybe send a letter to the hospital now outlining the situation and asking them to have a private, gentle chat with Okaasan when she goes for the free health check. Then having the diapers and trash boxes in place. Let the professionals give Okaasan some semblance of privacy on the matter.

Yujiro thinks HE can talk to Okaasan about this topic and suggest the time has come for diapers and toilet trash box etc. He looks pretty depressed about it, as you can imagine - it won't be an easy conversation to have with your own mother.

I feel like I'm trying to a balancing act: trying to support him in this new strange role in his life, but trying to push him to do what I feel is best for all of us. I WANT the outside world (doctor/health center/care people) to know about Okaasan and our situation - but Yujiro wants to take care of it all himself....for love/guilt/pride reasons?

And so. aghhhh...............

Whatever we do it'll probably have to wait a while; until we've got the Fallen Out Tooth situation dealt with. I made an appointment for Okaasan for next Monday afternoon and prepped my dentist about her aversion to modern/Western medicine we'll see if we can get her to go to THAT first.
Yujiro will be working as a cycle taxi driver - so it'll be my responsibility to get her ready and out to the dentist.
She seems fine - yesterday she actually went downtown to meet Yujiro (he'd forgotten to give her money for lunch) and she ate dinner with us in the evening, seemed a bit quiet...but basically ok.
The dentist visit isn't essential of course - but if the tooth has fallen out I am guessing the gum isn't healthy and there could easily be infection which will spread.

So, first Tooth....then we'll tackle Toilet.
Or Yujiro will. I feel a bit helpless - I don't have the language ability and I don't have the close relationship with Okaasan to be able to talk about such a personal topic with her.


  1. I think you must love Yujiro very much. I am amazed at your patience and tact, I only hope I can be so good if confronted with this situation or worse still am IN the situation. Carole

  2. No expert obviously but the last couple of weeks have taught me non-family members have much better success with patients than family! Good Luck. Another stage about to be entered.


  3. poor okaasan. i do hope she has a successful dentist visit, and that the toilet situation is resolved soon. hugs to you, oyome-san!

  4. Talking toilets? Only a matter of time... Yujiro is in a really tricky situation, I hope you guys can sort it out in a way that makes you all comfortable.