Saturday, 10 November 2012

Sooooo bloody strong.

Apologies for British swearing.

Okaasan is soo bloody strong. Physically.

Thursday she went to the hair salon to get a cut and perm. Yujiro took her downtown by subway, and then went to pay for it all - and instead of coming home after almost 3 hours in the salon Okaasan THEN headed out alone into the department stores etc. She was out over 6 hours.
Didn't come home till almost 8 pm.

And last night we did a family dinner at a local soup curry restaurant.
She ate her way through a huge bowl of chicken and vegetables curry, and a plate of rice. Huge amount.

Dementia is the brain; the body - and stomach!! - are doing great, thankyou.

Dinner out with Okaasan was sadly, the usual conversation-blackhole affair.
Yujiro says it isn't the dementia, that her generation of Japanese people don't talk and eat.
That, I understand. But I think the conversation black-hole before the food comes IS the dementia - she puts absolutely nothing into the social event of sitting at a table waiting for food to come.
Of course, I am not complaining. (well, only a little here!!! It's my blog, it's allowed ).I don't expect to have entertaining dinners with my old mother-in-law. It's family duty time.

But it IS strange to sit at a table for 15 minutes with people and say nothing to them. Only responses.

Okaasan read the restaurant information papers on the table, stared around a bit and responded a little to our conversation...but really passive.
I find it exhausting. Even with Yujiro there - he can chat and chat. I am at the end of a working week - where I have successfully brought personality and energy to many conversations with a wide range of  people.
I totally fail when it comes to Okaasan.
After we'd commented on the restaurant decorations, the menu, the poster on the wall, the elephant design on the coaster, the water bottle.....agghh.....what ELSE can we talk about?
I try a few funny stories I've heard from students (GREAT one about the lady who sent her daughter a "Happy Birthday" email, only to be told it was the dog's birthday, not the daughters)...and anything else...but its tiring.

Yujiro got all defensive when I mentioned it, and said some people just talk more than others, but I am sure that if you sat in a restaurant 10 years ago with Okaasan she wouldn't have sat silent like this. I'm sure she would have talked about her life, or asked questions about our lives, or commented on the elephant table mats herself.
But now, I am sure - the burden of filling out the space with conversation falls on us.

However, she loved the curry in fact. Ate her way all through it - even the meat. And was happy. Chatted in the kitchen with Yujiro at home etc Happy lady.

Thankgoodness, the weekend.

I'm STILL in this collar thing....I HATE it.

1 comment:

  1. Conversations with an Alzheimer's sufferer is extremely difficult - I am finding that out fast. It can be really draining trying to pick fact from fiction and answer the same question over and over. Enjoy the silence for a bit!