Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lost the memory...of Found.

Okaasan is still on the Aloe Yogurt Buying...

Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.    Pure dementia in action.

Came home Friday afternoon. After the morning lost-subway-card-found-in-Macdonald's saga.

Okaasan in her room looking very stressed.
"Dear Darling Oyomesan, can you tell me...can you tell me...earlier on you said something about that place?? that place??? that Doutor Coffee shop? What did you say about it???"
"Doutor coffee shop?"
"Yes! Yes! You know, that place, you said something about it....what did you say? That place, near Seiyu...that place?????"
"Oh - Macdonald's? This morning I went there and found your shopping bag, and inside was your subway card. Look, in this brown bag."
"In this bag? My subway card? Where was it?"
"In Macdonald's, the staff had it behind the counter. It was lucky to find it!"
"Where was it?"
"In Macdonald's, I brought it back this morning, didn't I? Now you have the subway card, you can go downtown's nice weather, you can go now..."
"Downtown....I don't know. Do I have a subway card?"
"Yes, in this side pocket of the"
"Oh, right. I haven't been downtown because I don't have a subway card."
"Yes, but now we found it. So you can go."
"We found it? Where?"
"In Macdonalds, this morning...."
"Really? Where is it? Do I have it?"
"Yes, look here is the subway card, in the side pocket of your!"
"Ahh. yes....I didn't go downtown recently because I have no card."
"It's ok. I found your card. So now you can go."
"You found my card? Where was it?"


Repeat 5 times more.
Yes, 5 times more.

So sad. I am often flippant in tone in this blog, because a) it's the only way I can keep my sanity here and b) it's a more entertaining read for you....but of course this is the tale of a nice old woman and her brain holes.
And seeing it in raw, full-on inaction is so awful. Just sad.

I knealt on the carpet, among the random socks and newspapers, alternatly showing Okaasan the subway card in her handbag and telling her she had it and how it had been found at Macdonald's. She couldn't keep any of those 3 pieces of info in her memory long enough to understand.
All day she had sat there worrying about "something about that coffee shop" - of course my 5 minute appearence in her room in the morning with the brown shopping bag and lost subway card hadn't lodged in her memory at all. For her there was just the vague memory of something about me and Macdonald's. And she'd stewed on it all day.

Just sad. Okaasan is usually ok - day to day. But something to break that routine - like looking for the card and us looking for the card, and conversations about the card - all threw her out of safe routine and her mind just imploded.

Finally she set out for her walk - with the card in her handbag.
And .....went to Macdonald's. Not downtown.

By the next day she seemed ok again, chatting to my friend and her baby about the trials of motherhood and coming out with us for a family dinner in a local restaurant. But, was a glimpse into the chaos of her mind.
Just a little break from routine and a bit of confusion/stress - major holes.

Roll on a rainy day on Dear Son's working day so he will go to the city office and get into action.


  1. omg how sad and frustrating for everyone! You are taking the brunt of this. You've gotta push him into action - could you even record some of these conversations? Because if she's having a "good day" when she gets assessed, they might not realise how bad she is. One hopes they have strategies to get to the truth!

  2. He WILL be pushed into action. The weather is getting worse here and as a bike taxi driver the day is coming when rain'll keep him home - and then I will be telling him to seize the moment and GO to the city office. Got my friend to talk to him about it yesterday (she's an city public health nurse) to reinforce that this is something we are gonna do...I can glimpse light at the tunnel end...maybe....I think they will realise her state....if you talk to her for more than 10 minutes the repeats come in very naturally...this endless cycle was her response to a day of stress - usually she isn't this bad....yet....!!!

  3. Wow, at least having circular conversations with my young son, I know he'll grow out of it. How sad, getting old and knowing it's not going to get any better :(

  4. You are a saint to take care of her as you do.