Sunday, 16 November 2014

Winter caring warm up

Into my first weekend of winter care.
DS buggered off to Tokyo on Thursday morning - leaving me the health insurance card, and the number of the day care manager. No Letter of Authorization this time. That's ok, while he is drinking and eating his way round Tokyo he is easier to phone contact than somewhere out on a ski area in real winter.
He left on a lunchtime flight.
There were flurries of snow.
By 6 pm winter had arrived. It snowed non-stop from Thursday at 6 pm until Saturday at lunchtime. 10 -15 cm. Wet, heavy snow.
So, my trial run with Okaasan for this winter season really felt like winter.

First two days a bit crazy. The snow, I had dawn till dusk work. Came home between classes Thursday and Friday to prep dinner for Okaasan.
I ate with her Thursday. Quick before my work.
Thursday's White Lie was that DS was at a party.
Friday/Weekend's White Lie was that he has gone to Tokyo for a ski instructor's big meeting.
She doesn't seem bothered, either way.

So, she and  I did Saturday lunch together, and then Saturday dinner. Lunchtime I got her chatting about her hydrangea plant at her home in Saitama. A familiar story: how the old man who grew plants professionally gave her a hydrangea, how it was better than regular plants, how people in the street commented on it - but Okaasan wouldn't give them a cutting...because then everyone would come and take flowers.
Why do some stories in our life become THE stories we treasure and retell. Especially in dementia?
I guess this one has elements of special service/praise from others/home/flower?
But funny: when I broke the hamster wheel of chat about this famed hydrangea plant...."How nice, what color is it? Pink?"...Okaasan looked around the kitchen as if hunting for a clue right there: "Pink? no, I don't think so, what color? Not really a pink....."....before getting back onto the main rails with "...and there was this old man who grew plants professionally...."

Her memory stories are stories, rather than memories? Words that give a sense of comfort. Not the detail of the event?

Anyway, Saturday night dinner - I tried, oh I TRIED, to leave the silence as we ate and see if she would fill it herself. Nothing. She ate. I ate. The minutes ticked by. I said nothing. Neither did she. It is so unnerving. Silent eating.
Finally I asked her about her Japanese tea bowl that was on the table and got her onto a 15 minute hamster wheel about the bowl, the design, samurai, men doing tea ceremony/tea ceremony school etc etc

Apart from that: took her in the car to the big supermarket yesterday. Let her loose in there for 30 mins. Today she'll have a bath.

So. Winter mode.
I miss my man. My TV companion and joker. But in a way it is easier to be in full responsible mode for Okaasan. I will decide everything she does today: the bath, the lunch, the dinner. Probably even the curtain opening and closing times. Whether she goes out or not. Not. It's my turn today, she can stay home and watch TV,

Working life is busy at the moment. Classes, narrations and editing work. I'm happy. But tired this weekend. Lots of sitting and watching TV. I even went to bed at 9 pm last night.
The cats are amazed about snow. 4th year for them. But still amazed.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure the snow was a shock for you! It seems like it's early for all that cold, wet stuff. Hopefully it will all melt and you'll have a few more weeks snowless. So glad you made it through the first few days of winter OK. Nancy in Tokyo