I've just changed my mother-in-law's diapers and given her lower body a towel wash.
I think we've pretty much crossed all the personal boundaries that exist.
Yesterday was more and more of Okaasan prone on the carpet of her room, curled up under a blanket, or sitting, or propped up on one arm - looking at her legs and rubbing her arm. Glancing a little at the TV. Drinking a little water, eating a little rice and soup. At some points stretched out face down on the carpet, trying to push herself up on her arms like a baby - and lacking the strength to do it. Falling back and staying there for another 20 mins, off and on.....
She doesn't have the power to drag herself, or the understanding how to move her body to another part of the carpet using her buttocks or rolling.
He stayed home all day, I came home three times between classes. We carried her to the toilet 3 times in the morning using the chair.
But in the afternoon she refused help and said:"I can go there myself" or even "It's ok, I went to the toilet!" - all the time prone or sitting in the same 1 meter of carpet space, at slightly different angles.
She slept deeply.
And now, Thursday morning a soaked and smelly carpet and a full diaper to change. Trying to get her to roll her body a little so I could tug the diaper out from under her, washing her and then gently easing clean diapers over her feet and up her legs.
The breakthru is that she accepted wearing diapers. She allows us to put them on and take them off. It's embarrassing, but at some level she knows it is necessary.
And he says we will wait "a few days".
In the past when she falls or has self-diagnosed "rheumatism" she has laid low for a few days, hardly eating etc - and then gradually got better. Last summer she went from unable to walk to being able to stand herself, and then crawl around the kitchen table....and then, after weeks and weeks - to recovery.
So he is prepared to wait. Because he too believes that if you wait, the body will cure itself.
I know, I know, I know.....
I will give him "a few days"? Play it his way? Or will I just call the day service people? Call the ambulance?
If she is still almost immobile on the same spot of the carpet...by Monday?
These are questions I don't know the answer to myself. As the initial crisis of Tuesday night has passed, we have entered a holding pattern which is kind of manageable. She MAY have some internal injury we don't know about, but she is marginally brighter that yesterday and can move her left arm around - but can't put weight on it.
So a holding pattern.
Trying to keep her clean and dry on her lower body, trying to keep her warm and fed. Trying to keep her feeling positive.
So strange that this has all come out of the blue.
Tuesday morning I got her to have a bath, she ate lunch and at 3 pm set out with a ring to sell it....took herself on the subway downtown. By 6 pm she was holed up in her favorite coffee shop with pain and fear.