Friday, 12 October 2012

A doctor date :-)

Dear Blog readers - let us stand and join hands in celebration.

Dear Son has booked an appointment at a doctor's office next week for Okaasan to go along and have the assessment.


I feel so lightheaded and happy today - nothing can pull me down. Walking with a spring in my step (despite reoccurring gammy knee) and a silly grin on my face.


Yup. We are finally moving towards getting outside help on this situation. This time next week Dear Son will somehow persuade Okaasan to follow him trustingly into a clinic and into a nice, friendly doctor's office where she will do the Hasegawa dementia assessment test interview, and score mild to intermediate - and get recommend as suitable for day care etc etc etc.


This is what I hope. It's very late to get Okaasan all set up for day care this winter as the roads here will be bad 2 months from now, and she may give us many stresses along the way as she fights the change - but I want us to be trying this, and trying it with outside help - a day service staff or city office case worker.

Finally we went with one of the doctors recommended by my student's husband. As I was getting ready for work yesterday I was telling Dear Son to call the clinic - NO! DON'T talk to Okaasan first. No! Clinic first, then a white lie to her on the morning of the visit. No reason to get her all stressy before that.
In movies people have important conversations sitting at a table, in my life I seem to have them dashing around trying to get out of the house for work - hunting for students' homework books, car keys and knee support band..."yes, call that clinic, don't talk to her first....we must do this".

And he did.
All summer I put off activating him on this topic, he put off responding, we've both delayed too long. Finally action.

The clinic looks really nice. And I looked at the web site, the doctor is a woman...the clinic is a small, clean, calm looking place. Unfortunately it is called XX Mental Clinic, which isn't a great name..."mental" gives most people a bad impression and certainly for a Japanese woman of Okaasan's generation.
But maybe Dear Son can distract her at the entrance with chat about a pretty flower display or she misses the word "mental" on the sign board.

The nurse told him that they can do the interview, but don't have the equipment to do CT brain scans. I hope that's unnecessary - Okaasan would never submit to actual machines and drugs and things. A chatty interview just about.
She does have dementia and the interview alone should show that clearly.

I would so, so love to be a fly on the wall of the interview. But I guess it'll just be mother and son...or mother alone with the doc. I wonder if I can burrow down under the building and press a glass against the floorboards?

Oh, great. I so hope this is gonna happen. Yipppppppeeeeeeeee!!!

*...and other doctors..

* I went and did the barium drinking test for a stomach cancer check-up. Not at all as bad as I was expecting. I think the Japanese delicacy of fermented squid guts is far worse. Results in 2 weeks.

* I went and did two lots of physio at the orthopedic hospital for my knee. It's tough love, but obviously good. I need to build up much more strength in my left leg so that the pressure on the knee is reduced. It is scary how seemingly simple exercises are hard when you have to do them 10 or 20 times. I felt exhausted.




Okaasan is going to get assessed for day care or something. Everything else - even the fact that I have to do a 30 minute speech on volunteerism in the Uk to a Rotary ladies lunch IN JAPANESE next week - even that, is doable.


You can all let go of eachother's hands now and relax.


  1. Oh, such wonderful news! I hate to say this though, but I think that you should go along too for the interview. For this type of testing, you need to be overally realistic (for example she can not decide a menu, buy the food and prepare it.) things like this. I can see your husband saying well .. I think she can, or being a bit indefinite. We have gotten my son a 'techo' for his autistic spectrum disorder, and we had to be brutally honest. I think that without the help of the doctor, we wouldn't know how to phrase thiings sufficiently. I think that the doctor needs to see your worried face and angst . If the interview doesn't go as aspected, it might be hard to get your mother in law to a clinic again. I think that you should call ahead and brief the receptionist and the doctor about the idea of the interview of 80 year olds. You can help distract her as you walk in the clinic etc. The doctor will cooperate I think, since she must see this type of problem (people not wanting to go to the doctor) alot. good luck! Nancy

  2. Great news! I hope it goes well.

  3. Woohoo!! So happy for you! :)