Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Shades of shit.

My shit.
Other people's shit.
It's all different.

Realized that today. Yet again.
Got ready for work in a depressed funk, plodded thru the snow to the station... head full of Okaasan and her troubles. Wallowed in it all.
Should I just leave it all be and let Dear Son talk on the phone to Okaasan and tell her to go along and be the leader of the hula dance class etc? Should I call the care manager myself and get them to help? Would they be calling Dear Son anyway after his mother's first day service visit?
Should I just step back and let it all waft on out of my stress levels - and focus instead on taking my stomach and its suspicious polyp to the hospital next week?

Wallow. Funk. Snow.

Got to the first class and a dear, dear lady who has just battled cancer this summer - told me she'll be absent in the next few weeks because she has a retina problem and has to be hospitalised soon for 5 days.
Got to the afternoon class and found a sweet guy, who had a cancer operation this summer - HIS latest checks have revealed suspicious raised areas and shadows - and he will be in hospital again next week for further checks.


So, those two bits of sad news put all my shit into perspective.
My shit. Their shit. Very different.

I just have a difficult old lady to contend with. Have to give her dinner and chat every evening. Have to manage her money and dirty underwear.
It's easy.
If Okaasan won't go to day service - with her son and service manager's persuasion - then sod it, she can vegitate in front of the Tv for another winter. Get weak legs, go out and fall over - hopefully end up in hospital with a broken hip.
I have done as much as I can.
Just dish out the dinner, chat and smile. Dole out the money. Do the laundry. Clear up the literal shit. Focus on me.

So. That's what I've just done.
Luckily a student cancelled tonight, so I got a rare whole evening at home. I came back, shoveled snow, fed cats, threw in some chat into Okaasan's room, watched Al Pacino in "Insomnia" on video, made an easy dinner, gave Okaasan chat about winter and Japanese food and snow and cats and winter.

Did my duty.
It's enough.

* But thankyou all for so many ideas and support - I think actually the care manager has got to step in and deal with Okaasan - offer her a different class to try next week. Jolly her along into it all. It's their job. Dear Son is away till late next week. He will just be a voice on the phone.
Either he or I have to tell the day center that Okaasan isn't so enthusiastic.
Next Monday I will prepare Okaasan's bag with a change of clothes in it and indoor shoes. And leave for work and my life. The day service people can fight it out with Okaasan when they come to get her.


  1. Yujiro is right though.. she may forget all her negative feelings by next week. Also, can you see if the bus can possibly come earlier. It's too much stress for you to be late, and I wonder if she can get ready and out the door by herself each time. What a disappointment for you. I was thinking also that just once a week is hard, since it's not really a routine. I hope that the care manager can help you. Maybe she can do flowers, which she did say she was interested in... So to not be coherent. Nancy

  2. Hallo Oyome-san,
    now I read all along through you Blog. It helped me a lot when I had to care for my father in October. Normally my sisters care for him. Because of your Blog I learned to understand what it is like to live with dementia. And I can understand you so well how you are reacting and feeling in the different situations. You are a really strong women to me and I respect you so much. My fathers dementia is at the beginning, but it can change so quick. I enjoy reading your Blog and hope I can learn more. Thank you so much!
    (Sorry for my terrible english, I hope you understand it. I'm german and out of practise;) )


  3. oh dear. hang in there! Just remember, there are 56 shades of sh*t! sorry, lame humour probably won't help.

  4. I would just get her bag ready on Sunday night and remind her one time on Monday A. M. that Yujiro called, said she should go and the time is, then leave for work. If she goes, she goes, if not...you have done all you can for her. You are more kind and caring to her than I can imagine the average Oyomesan being. Too bad she is not a little easier to deal with on this issue. Seems she does not realize that you all are trying to help her and take care of her.

    I enjoy your blog very much.