That's me! That's him! In Rio!!!!!
It was amazing, a real holiday of couple time again. The football (although he was gutted that Brazil were knocked out), the homestay, the city, the food, the sights....the obligatory pick pocketing (small amount of local money and about $800 taken from two credit cards)....
He called our home almost every day to check in with the carers and Okaasan. One of our friends also visited a few times to make sure Okaasan wasn't trashing the house. He called the vets to make sure the cats were ok.
That's what it's like to go on holiday and still have responsibilities at home...
We came back late on Thursday night. Okaasan was sleeping.
Next morning I met her in the kitchen as she was heading to the toilet. She just said "Good morning" and shuffled on. Did she even realize we'd gone?
Later we sat with her at lunchtime and chatted. Souvenir biscuits etc She listened to our chat and only showed interest in our observations that Brazilians were really kind to strangers on public transport/that Brazilians eat a lot of sugar....because she could quickly relate that to something she knows about - "Japanese people were like that before the war"..."they all have diabetes from eating too much!".
But she didn't ask any questions: it is a feature of the dementia. A kind of wall of disconnect from things which are beyond HER own world/knowledge.
If DS came home and said a huge purple monster had ridden his bike taxi I think Okaasan might comment that monsters eat too much and get diabetes....
Day care people had left a report file. Everything was fine, Okaasan had been out sometimes when they came - but after they called her she came home quickly. She ate dinner, she chatted, she had one bath, they did a little of her laundry, tidied a little in her room.
By Day 3 she had taken down all the signs DS had made for her about "Don't Forget to Take When You Go Out"....and for several days she wasn't really understanding that we'd gone to Brazil...then she got the idea...but by the next few days seemed to think we'd gone to South Africa...then by Day 7 she was telling the calling friend/care staff "Oh I don't need help now, they came back already, they are upstairs..."
But basically she was ok.
Such a relief. It means we can take trips together. We really can. Because it WAS so great to be together on holiday, to remember who we were before care duties and responsibility.
I wonder a little if there will be a basic knock on effect of this experience for Okaasan. That we won't see immediately. She appears to have coped with a change in routine, but all of us react to stress some way. I hope not...but I do wonder.
Our first dinner as family again - pretty strange!
DS had booked day care for yesterday too, in case there was a travel disaster and we couldn't get back in time. So, rather than cancel it and let the woman have a probably welcome night off...he asked her to cook THREE dinners and feed us too!
He has a nerve. Really. I was amazed.
So was she. But she agreed to do it. Went and did the shopping. came back to our kitchen and while DS sat there chatting about his holiday....and I watered the garden...and Okaasan watched TV...this lady cooked dinner for us!
There can BE no better home coming from holiday than to have someone shop and cook for dinner.
She served us dinner while we sat at the kitchen table. We joked about booking her for every night. Okaasan looked confused about why this woman was here cooking for us all and we were all chatting and laughing and showing cat pictures on our cell phones etc.
It'll probably give Okaasan the final push into another stage of confusion :-)