Wednesday, 12 September 2012

How not to talk

I really need lessons in Negotiating a Tricky Topic.
Instead of calmly sitting Dear Son down and discussing about Okaasan and daycare assessment etc...

what did I do?

Got all riled up and stroppy after a night of bad sleep. and almost shouted at Dear Son on his lazy day off in front of the TV: get off your ass and call up the latest hula dance organiser! We MUST get Okaasan set up with something to do! I'm not going to have her here all winter - while you are off skiing - and I'm going to be her sole source of entertainment for weeks and weeks. I know you don't want to get her assessed, because it'll be a fight etc...but...but...we MUST get her into something!!

And then I stormed out and went to work.

Not the way to do it.

Later I apologised for the outburst. But said we will TALK about this, won't we....

And he failed to get hold of the hula dance person, and I tried the next day...but I'm it'll have to be next week that I take Okaasan to try the oldies class...

and so the whole thing goes on and on.
Must. Do. This. Talk.

Okaasan is wandering on thru her days ok - alternatively surprising us and doing-things-as-normal.
She met my friend and her baby two days running in a local street - and amazed me by actually remembering those meetings and even what they had talked about. That really is surprising. She doesn't usually remember anything she did during the day...but she remembered those encounters and the chat topic.

And then...

Yujiro spent a rainy morning at home, and left for work late. 
"I'm off to work" he told Okaasan.
"Oh? What work is that?" she asked.


She knows exactly what he does. Bike taxi driver. We often sit at dinner and talk about his day and his customers. Okaasan sometimes comes and says "Hello" to Yujiro if she sees he and his taxi downtown.
But..."what work?" - where the hell did THAT question come from?

Dementia, all very strange - clarity and fog. Often on the same day.


  1. Claire would like to add a comment...but can't for some technical reason.
    Here is her comment from another source!
    Hello Amanda. I accidentally stumbled upon your blog 'Okaasan and me'. I have been trying to comment on it but for some reason it won't let me. You see, I am also an oyomesan. I lived with hubby's parents for 18 years. His mother was diagnosed with dementia 5 years ago. His mum was 83 at the time and his dad 91. We cared for her for 3 years until we could no longer. She started to leave the house at night, could not longer speak, cook, clean, use the bathroom or have a bath by herself. We put them in day care as we are both working full time. To cut a long story short, in the end we had to put her in a home or one of us had to quit our job and stay home full time to cope. We chose a home. His dad also moved there because he didn't want to be apart from her. Now she is in a coma and has been for almost 2 years. Reading through your blog it made me remember all the familar emotions, funny moments and of course the not so funny ones too. I am an ALT in Kanagawa and have been in Japan for 20 years now. Anyway...I hope we can be friends. Sorry for commenting here. I hope it won't cause you any problems.

  2. Hi Claire!!!!

    No problems at all!

    I am so glad to hear from real people - I know there are people out there lurking...but it is a real boost to writing energy when I get a response from real people :-)
    18 years???????????????????

    Oh wow....

    Yes - I often think that we are so lucky at the moment, because Okaasan can do so much still.

    Re the technical hitches - I will try and solve them...but at the mo Google and Blogger seem to hate eachother and it's touch and go whether I can get into my own blog sometimes :-((