The day arrived. Day service for Okaasan.
After all the long waiting and trying to arrange and pressuring and couple tantrums and fixing.
The bus was due to come at 9.20 or 9.30 am - which is just after the time I should really be leaving for work.
But I knew Okaasan would need help in getting ready. The day service manager had left a note with instructions - but still she would need help to get the hula skirt, socks, T-shirt, change of underwear etc into bags.
At 8.55 am she was still her pajamas......
We had 30 mins of ever increasing panic. Sooooo hard to keep my cool in this. But Okaasan couldn't remember what she'd already chosen and put in a bag, so she tried to gather more clothes and put them in another bag.
She fussed terribly about what blouse to wear, what socks to wear, whether to wear a coat etc etc etc She and I circled around her room and the kitchen and the hallway - fussing, fussing, fussing. Was there money in the purse? Was the front door key in the purse (FOUND the 2 weeks ago lost key in yet another little bag!!!) and on and on and on.
I really had to leave by 9.25 and I imagine the bus came shortly after.
All day I wondered about her. Like a mother with a child at school for the first day...what was she doing now? Was she happy? Was it confusing?
I rushed home mid-afternoon to get there before she arrived back: because I hadn't been able to get into her room for more than a week - since she didn't go out - and I knew there was dirty underwear lurking.
She'd had a toilet accident last Friday after the day service people came, and sure enough - I found several soiled underpants all wrapped up in newspaper in one of the laundry baskets....:-(( And about 25 more needing laundry.
At 4.20 pm the bus pulled up outside. I ran out and the driver threw open the doors and put down the special steps...and Okaasan was helped out. A few other old people peered out at this unusual Oyomesan.
Okaasan seemed animated and happy - a bit tired - but happy enough. Her hair looked newly washed and brushed. I made her a cup of cocoa and she said it had been "fun", and lunch was "okay". The hula dance was "easy". Hmmm...
I prepped dinner. Went back to my classroom for the 6 pm class. Then took a taxi home to get dinner on the table....
Okaasan and I ate and chatted about this and that...I mentioned the day service place lunch....and the hula....
"That place the hula is low level, I can do better than that. I don't need that. I won't go again. Those people have just started haven't they? I won't go again. It costs money to go doesn't it.....I won't go....it was boring....I can exercise myself, every morning I do my exercises here, I don't need to go there......".
I tried to do the voice of reason: but your room exercises are not enough, because last winter your legs got weak and you fell over many times. Yujiro is worried about you. You should go, just once a week in winter and exercise and enjoy it. Just once a week, it's easy in the bus.
And then I stood up, put my dinner plates away, swept the cats off chairs and left the kitchen before I got too angry and frustrated.
This mixture of pride and false sense of abilty, mixed with the dementia is SO bloody hard.
Just talked to Dear Son on the phone and he advises leaving the topic alone. Hoping she will forget the negative feeling. And then getting her ready again next week...next Monday morning the whole Getting Ready thing again...or what? Refusal to go?
I can't actually do that at the start of MY working day. I was 5 minutes late for class this morning anyway, can't be late again next week.
I wonder if we should get the day service manager to come in and talk to Okaasan again - persuade her to try again, or try a different exercises class?
Aghhhhh..... bloody hell.
I knew it of course. No matter how much we all strived to set it up and get her there - the real task is getting her to continue going...