Thursday, 9 October 2014

Crawling home.... :-(

I sometimes get home for an hour or two in the afternoon, between classes.
Time to feed cats, take in laundry, prep an evening class.
Send Okaasan out for a walk. Maybe.
She is always watching TV. So when I say: "You aren't going for a walk today?" she always says: "Oh of course! I am just going" - and starts busying around to get ready.
The weather was iffy and it was already almost 4 pm. But off she went. I tried to get her to wear a coat and take the walking stick. An uphill struggle. Gave up.

90 mins later I was gathering my stuff together to head out for a 6 pm class. 
Walked into the entrance hall and to the front door - jumped a mile! Okaasan was sitting on the front door steps in the cold dusk. Sitting on a neatly arranged handkerchief on the cold cement.

"I can't stand up. Is DS here? I can't get up..."

How long she'd been sitting there I don't know. Not so long I think - this time, because I'd been cutting down tomato vines until about 5 pm

Of course she refused any physical intervention from me. Instead she ordered me to bring old newspapers and spread them down on the door step area, into the hallway make the floor cleaner...

So she could crawl on her hands and knees into the house.

I felt helpless. Stood there while this old lady crawled at my feet. Really pathetic.

She could see my work bags and kept brushing me away - telling me to go. I stayed until I made sure she into the house - with only two hallways and a kitchen to crawl across. Then I had to go. Called DS on his cell phone and told him what to expect when he got home in the next 15 mins.

Apparently he got home and she'd crawled as far as the kitchen door. Then she got into her room. Didn't want any dinner.
But an hour or two later she stood up from the carpet nest - and walked so she could close the room curtains herself. All the pain forgotten and gone again.

Is rheumatism such a come and go condition? I have to check up on this. Although knowing anything won't be much help - because she won't allow any action to be taken to ease the situation.

It's a worrying situation. She doesn't remember her own, recent condition at all - and off she goes for a walk. Goes too far. Doesn't wear a coat. Doesn't take a stick. Gets tired. Gets immobile. Needs help.

Mostly either he or I come home about 6 pm - at the moment.
Winter is coming. 
He will be away for a week next month on his annual Old Mates' eating and drinking tour.
Then he will start ski work.
I'm hoping Okaasan won't go out walking so much anyway, because 20 mins sitting on a cold step in October is not great, but won't harm her. A month or two from now it will be very different.

TV Drama
There's a TV drama in Japan now called "Massan", it's a very fictionalized telling of a true story about the Japanese man who started whisky production, and how he came back from Scotland with a Scottish wife.
They made their whisky fortunes here in Hokkaido where Nikka Whisky is still a famous company.
The drama is big in Japan now. Okaasan sits and watches it every morning and lunchtime.
But when we talk about it she has no knowledge/memory of the drama and the story.
The information is all too recent I guess - she sits and watches it and understands what is happening. But the same day at dinner - there is no recall about it.
But I'm hoping - just hoping - that the whole foreign-kind-helpful-wife image will lodge in Okaasan's mind and make her think at some level: "ahh I have a nice daughter in law myself, she tries so hard....even if her miso soup isn a bit watery..."


  1. That sounds like very odd behaviour... I would definitely recommend seeing a professional, or at least consulting with the staff from the care facility she has been going to. As for your BF, if he were any kind of man he would cancel his drinking trip and stay home to care for his mother. Being away for work is one thing, but going on holiday and expecting your girlfriend to care for your mother while you go off to get drunk.... just not on IMHO.

    I have an elderly mother as well (81 years young) but thankfully she is still in good health and has things together. Your blog has been very helpful in preparing for what may come to pass in the future.

  2. HI there - thankyou for reading and commenting.

    Yes - we really have to DO something about the winter season and Okaasan soon. Probably she will refuse to try another Day Care center - she quit the last one in spring.....could be a big stressy fight to get her interested in going again. Probably we'll arrange a taxi privately, or a day care person to come in once a week and take her out shopping and for dinner.
    But yes too - I do worry.....what would happen if son is away and I am working, and she is immobile somewhere...

    The drinking trip is his ONLY trip away each year and I don't begrudge him it a bit. One week out of a whole year, a break to just be a guy again.
    But thw actual winter months when he is away - and if her current fluctuating immobility continues...that is a worry. I may have get the day care people on speed dial for emergencies...

  3. You may not like it, but I 100% agree with the first comment. She needs a medical evaluation. A blood test. You must know if this is rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis or whatever. Don´t doctors make home calls in Japan? What if she needs a simple medication for this that could easily be hidden in her food and who knows? minimize or control the symptoms and make your life much easier.
    For Gods sake, she preferred to crawl than to allow you to help her walk to the front door! What are you going to do if she gets immobile in the snow/or indoors when he is away during Winter and refuses your help? I don´t want to be rude and I am sorry to say that, but you are being too lenient with his passivity in all this. He relies way too much on you to save the day. You need to stop "hoping" things won´t be to bad because odds are they will become worse as time passes by. He needs to change his dynamic and do something proactive to help you before we goes away to work. Forget about him and her for a moment, and please think about you. You need more help to be able to help them both. It is not fair.