Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Rheumatism drama

Had ourselves a bit of a rheumatism drama last night.

Okaasan had a bad rheumatism attack at the subway station on her way home from downtown. She couldn't stand or walk. The station staff rescued her in a wheelchair and called Dear Son.
He brought her home in a taxi.
Then they stood in the street outside the house - he holding onto his mum and trying to help her walk into the house.
She couldn't. Kept shouting out about pain in her legs.

I arrived home from work in the car and found Mother and Son standing in the street clutching eachother.

Dear Son and I then put our hands under Okaasan's arms and slowly, slowly walked her across the street to our garden.

Then we thought it would be easier for her to get into the house thru one of her room windows, because it's 30 cm off the ground - kind of easy to sit and swing her legs round...maybe.
But we'd forgotten about the slightly raised area in front of the window. Followed an agonizing, stressful, panic-filled 10 mins as the three of us looked more and more like a version of that game Twister.
Okaasan, moaning and shouting at us in pain, was hanging onto the window frame and one foot was stretched waaay back on the lawn, her whole body swaying to the right, while Dear Son tried to escape the garden hose loops and I kicked away the garden table.
One cat miaowed at us stressily from inside.
It was a right scene...

It would't happen. She couldn't pull herself into the window. We couldn't lift her.

Then we got the garden chair and got her to sit into that - and we CARRIED her into the house on the chair! In stages, cos we both have bad knees......

She claims it is rheumatism. Says she had it years back. The remedy is to just sit and not walk. And of course - not eat.

So she sat. In the garden chair in her room in front of the TV.

At 10 pm we were getting ready for bed and we wanted to see if she could get up and walk, even a little. Worried of course about nighttime and toilet.
Okaasan got very defensive and angry with us.
"I can do it! I don't need help! Leave me alone!" etc etc.
Finally we were shouting at her to force her to stand up and SHOW us that she could walk. She did for a moment, and then crashed back down onto the sofa.
Very angry with us.
We were angry. 
I shouted some home truths at her. Dear Son swatted her on the head.
It wasn't our finest moment as carers and cared-for.

But she COULD stand and walk.
We left her alone. During the night she took off her own clothes, went to the toilet, lay down again on the carpet.

* This morning was day care day. Of course Okaasan didn't want to go.
So the day care staff just came to check on her.
She is brighter and less angry this morning, and chatted to the day care staff about long ago leg problems and pain. Said she was just going to stay home on the carpet.

I don't know anything about rheumatism.
Her knee looks swollen. Yesterday her feet and ankles were swollen.
Of course, there will be NO doctor for this old lady.
She will be the authority on her own care.


1 comment:

  1. Wow how stressful for you all. I hope the pain is relieved quickly. It doesn't act like you would think rheumatism (rhematoid arthritis.. or maybe osteoarthritis) but she wants to decide. I wonder if she can bare the pain. I guess that you can't worry too much, but I imagine it is difficult to see for 'problem solvers' like you both are… Nancy in Tokyo