Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Reset to normal

After weeks of physical and mental stress all round- just a normal week.
As normal as it is to track someone with GPS and fetch 'em back from the local shopping center by car; wash their underpants while you are showering and scavenge around their room for forgotten food wrapped in old newspapers!

Okaasan's leg pains have stayed away and she went walking alone locally. Went to day service center...almost willingly. There is another member who is kind of bossy and Okasan doesn't like her - so she has to be reassured that "THAT woman isn't there today" and for their part of the center staff are trying to keep the offending person away from Okaasan more.

I'm standing aside and letting Dear Son tell Okaasan about day care at the moment. Then I help with the final 5 minutes of packing the bag. She is getting worse at this: deciding what to take and finding it and putting it in the bag. The center have actually asked us to pack stuff secretly and just give it to the driver - obviously Okaasan has turned up at the center with random stuff in her bag.

On Sunday I took Okaasan to the hair salon by car. First time for her downtown for ages. She walked ok from the parking area to the salon - a bit weakly, but ok. I hope the trip doesn't jog her memory of how fun downtown can be so that she tries to go there alone by subway - fetching her home by car from local shops is easy. Downtown will be a hassle.

Debating taking the old people's subway pass OUT of her bag, so she would be flummoxed at the subway station and give up on the idea...

* Laundry.  I tried to give Okaasan some newly washed underpants and the hanger - to encourage her to hang up her own washing for the mental exercise...she used to spend hours doing this. But...she just glanced at it, thanked me and her attention went back to the TV. 24 hours later the laundry was unhung...she'd climbed over the bowl several times..and I did it myself.
She used to do so much of her own laundry and take interest and pride in hanging it just so. Now that has almost gone as an activity.

* Hallucinations? Last night Okaasan called Yujiro to catch "those moving things!"on her carpet. Turned out to be pieces of black paper. She was convinced they were moving...

:-) But generally, she is much better mentally - all good as the temperatures drop and the bad weather of autumn and winter comes.

+ My leg pains???? Haven't come back yet!!! Did that mysterious, off-the-wall treatment work? Am I thinking it might work, so it works? Don't know. But happy not to have spasms.

So happy in fact...that.....

I bought a kayak!
Yes. I am mad. But a nice Canadian guy came to show me his old kayak and I fell in love right there in the street with the thing...and it was only Y10,000 (with an old lifejacket and spray skirt included) I bought it.

The cat approves.

Now. That car. You may notice...kind of small.
I didn't notice.
Have now had a few days of worry - will the kayak fit ON the car roof? Will every police patrol car in Hokkaido home-in on me and set up road blocks to happiness?
The Suzuki dealer guy had his mind a bit blown by my question: "an Alto Eco and a KAYAK?????", but the measurements are just about ok, and the police website maybe says it is ok.
Next stop will be an outdoor/car accessories shop...
October...November...hmm...can I squeeze in a kayak debut before the snow comes?

Every dementia guidebook for carers says: you should develop an interest away from the caring. You will need it for your sanity. Too right. I do.

Oyomesan is on holiday from tomorrow for a few days: heading to Japan. Real Japan on my own for a trip. Kyoto - Imperial Palace Tour AND gonna dress up as a maiko.....oh yeeees.

See you soon.


  1. 'Every dementia guidebook for carers says: you should develop an interest away from the caring. You will need it for your sanity.'

    This sounds like good advice for foreigners even for those not living/working with dementia sufferers:)

  2. Have fun in Kyoto and would love to see photos of you as a maiko!

  3. A kayak! YAY! My poor kayak is hanging in the rafters of my father's garage in Canada. I would LOVE to have access to a kayak in Japan - enjoy!

    I used to transport my kayak (I think it is a good bit longer than yours) on my itty bitty little car, so you can do it. Just make sure you have a good roof rack and straps. I found cincher straps worked the best (but it is tough to get the tension tight enough but not too tight). I also tied a bit of brightly coloured ribbon or tape to the back end, so it hung down and was more visible.


  4. So glad things have been better! And dressing up as a maiko... I'm jealous!! I hope we get to see!

  5. I hope you have a wonderful vacation in Kyoto! And enjoy (and good luck) with the kayak! So nice to read that things are going better after weeks of stress.

  6. Thankyou all - yes- maybe happier times are here again for all of us...maiko-dressing up and a kayak for me and walking for Okaasan. Today is ballroom dance class at day care and she even looked happy about it...progress.

  7. Have a nice trip to Kyoto! you certainly deserve it.