Monday, 12 January 2015

Fingers and toes

Full on Oyomesan duties this holiday weekend.
Well, not 100% true...cos I did escape to a friend's art show in a gallery, drink some beers, eat a curry and go skiing...but apart from THAT ....I was on duty at home.

Fingers and toes.
I feel bad about this - family neglect of an old lady...

Finally I focused in on Okaasan's hands and realized her gnarly yellow talons were about to scrape the carpet from a standing position, and her toe nails were forming human-cell clogs.

I didn't know why: but she has stopped cutting her nails. Always used to do it herself after baths. Has nail cutting scissors on the trash pile on the table in front of her.

How long? Oh.....months probably. 4 months? Five?

On Saturday I got her to have a bath. Then after went into her room and gave her my nail cutting kit - a great assortment of clippers, scissors, scrapers etc - 
"You said you wanted to cut your nails, didn't you! Better after a bath, isn't it!" I cued her in cheerfully to the task at foot.

SO necessary. She got out an old newspaper and sat on the floor for 45 minutes bent over in deep concentration as she did battle with the yellowy growths, which were very tough to cut and shape.....looked SO much better afterwards.

Yup. I know. That's probably one good reason why her walking wasn't so great recently - toe nails fighting for room in her shoes!

Why did she stop cutting her own nails?
Just forgot and forgot until the nails were so hard that her little scissors wouldn't cut? And then she never remembered to say anything about it. So they just grew and grew?

I feel bad actually that we...well me really...let it get this bad. Have to step up and take responsibility for the body care of this old lady.

And today: mental and physical care.

I took her downtown in the car and for a long walk all over the underground walking areas. Looked at shops, looked at old photograph displays, craft market, drank coffee, bought a magazine, left her in her favorite coffee shop to read for 45 mins, brought the car round and drove her home again.
Three hours of Okaasan and Me bonding time.

Just now served her dinner in the kitchen.
"TV said there was 30 cm of new snowfall since Friday..." I mentioned.
"Really, I haven't been out, I don't know".....

"Haven't been out????!!! WE went out today! Together! Downtown in the car! Walking!. The coffee shop....the....."

And you know: she remembered none of it. None of it.
Even when I described what we'd done...she shook her head, looked around the kitchen in case a stray memory was skipping around somewhere...
We both had a giggle about it - bad memory - going senile etc etc.

Because there really is nothing else to do but laugh.....


  1. I can see myself coming back and re-reading your blog in about ten years. I can see the very hints of Granny K becoming forgetful but probably nothing more than like me after a couple of glasses of wine - yet. A thing came in with the newspaper about those correspondence courses you can take - one is caring for the elderly and I sent away for the information. I have sent away before but didn't follow through!! Am pretty sure I could just refer here in the future though and not do a course - are you planning on keeping her at home if she needs help bathing?

    1. I hope I am not coming back here in about 10 years and remembering the "good old days when Okaasan could go to the toilet herself"....I think the help with bathing time is coming - that we should open the bathroom door and get in there and help her wash her hair and body. It's the kind of thing that day care help with too. We are already home when she has a bath (nervous about her falling) I just have to open the door and get into the room....a BIG step!