Saturday, 15 June 2013

Dentist Date II

Another cosy twosome - to the dentist last week.
We left Okaasan large notes at home to meet me at the subway station at 2.30 pm, so I could come and get her between classes - and after a few minutes of nervous waiting...she trotted into sight at the station by 2.40 pm and we just made the dentist's clinic by 3 pm.
It's clear she doesn't really know where the dentist is. On the way I kept repeating the phrase: "almost there now, it's opposite Grand Hotel, isn't it!"...she maybe she got it fixed in her memory.

Delivered her safely for treatment, and then I managed to pay up front and make the next appointment - before I headed back to work. Reassured the clinic staff that Okaasan would be ok this time leaving alone - once she gets outside the building I was certain she would soon walk into a familiar area of downtown.

Later in the evening we all met up again back home for dinner and I apologised to Okaasan for not waiting for her.
"Oh, THAT'S ok! Don't worry at all! I'm not a child!!! It's no problem!" she said happily.

Maybe next week I will give her the cash to pay for the treatment herself. Will still probably have to take her there, and make the appointment myself - but the leftover cash won't be such a large amount. We usually only give her Y1-2,000 a day...any more and she gets shopping crazy in department stores and comes home with expensive, old fashioned vegetables or dried fish...which we then have to work out how to cook.

It's hard - how to balance managing Okaasan's life and how to balance letting her do stuff herself. I'm always surprised that she generally lets us direct things - timetables/money/plans and only occasionally gets tetchy with us about being over managed. I guess at some level she isn't certain and welcomes the reassuring help.


  1. So much admiration for your love and sincere care of your "okaasan". As you know, my husband and I cared for my MIL who suffered from dementia for four years until we moved her into a care facility for the last 8 months of her life. Almost a year has passed since she died, but I think of her every day. Every time I meet an elderly person, I feel a sense of tenderness for them. The most difficult part of dementia is the occasional spell of normalcy and the false promise those moments hold of improvement and stability. Those moments are what reminded me of the importance of family and love (sounds trite but sincere), It's clear that Okaasan trusts you and depends on you to be there for her....when I left notes for Jiro's mom to be ready by 10:00 for an appointment, she would be waiting, bag in hand at 8:30 and by 10:00 would have completely forgotten what was going on. I learned to leave notes saying to be ready at 10:00 for an 8:30 appointment. Aaah, the acrobatics required of the caregivers. 感謝。

  2. Oh yes - she is often ready way ahead of time for stuff - we leave multiple notes so the information is at several points around the house :-) She really needs a hair cut soon too and of course if we did nothing she would do nothing - probably until her hair was knee length...