Saturday, 1 October 2016

Gradual decline... blog writing......

No, actually Okaasan.
But yes I know - this is probably the longest gap in blog writing ever. The Summer of Cat sleep, work, two friend visits from the Uk, more no sleep, stress, work....then a holiday in America and the last night of Queen and Adam Lambert in Tokyo.....
All of those excuses.

Really not great recently.
A summer of decline for her.
Even Dear Son has noticed it - which says a lot, because he doesn't notice anything that isn't football, beer or cat related.

Okaasan seems to have lost her going out mojo. She even said to Dear Son: "Am I going out alone? It's not so fun. I don't feel like going out" and there have been many days when she stays home in front of the TV, with strange reasoning like: "The workmen in the apartment site across the road can see me going out...."

It's a change. She has always loved going out for a walk. Never wanted us to go with her. Proud and happy to go out independently. We wonder what happened. No fall, apparently. Maybe she got lost or felt disorientated? She has lost confidence in going out for a walk.
Not a great sign - if this means we have to walk with her more....just when I have escaped walking the cat on-a-lead duties, maybe Walking Okaasan will replace it.

Activity-wise she has declined too. The handwashing of underwear, small room cleaning activities....towel folding...has all declined this summer.

More toilet accidents and clothes soiling....

Conversation has diminished and got odder too. I visited Nihonbashi, an old area of Tokyo and thought that might be a nice memory trip for Okaasan as conversation.

A few years ago, if you gave her the jump off word "Nihonbashi" - she would set sail with the story: "Ahh, Nihonbashi, I used to go there. My husband's office was near there and sometimes if he forgot some important documents at home he would call me up and I would go to Nihonbashi to deliver the documents. And he gave me money and I'd go shopping in the big department store there, so actually I was happy to go all the way to the center of Tokyo....."

Last week I told her I'd been to Nihonbashi.
"Nihonbashi. My husband worked there. I went there......but the war there wasn't gasoline for cars, so my father couldn't work, no gasoline. I didn't have school lessons in the war. I worked....."

The husband/father mix up, and "work" went from husband/work to father/work and then to me/work and wartime within one or two sentences. Wartime Japan and childhood. The years of being a mother and wife are fading.

Many times now at family mealtime she hardly enters our conversation unless we directly talk to her. We chat - even in Japanese - but she concentrates on the food and dropping bits and looking for them. And at the end of mealtime sits and waits for whatever happens next.

But there have been some happy things too: we did a trip to a shopping mall and she and I sat together in foot massage machines with the shop staff praising Okaasan's amazing leg muscles.
I came back from America and gave her a flowery scarf, which she obviously liked so much that she put it on immediately and sat in her pajamas all day wearing it :-)

Today we are doing a family outing to the last day of the autumn food festival in the park. Hope she enjoys it.


  1. You have indeed had a very busy summer!
    How did the cat do while you were away?
    I'm pleased that Okaasan liked your gift from the US. Did she realize you had been away and was she pleased to see you when you returned :)

  2. Hope all is going well. Okaasan is so lucky to have such kind care. Take time for yourself too.
    It's so sad to see a loved on declining.