Thursday, 30 June 2016

The business of eating

Eating is maybe become more of a mental challenge for Okaasan.

Not the actual physical act of food in mouth, chew and swallow. No , she still does that very well. Positively stuffs it all down. Huge bowls of ramen and soup curry, mounds of snacks. Huge appetite. We are always amazed at how much she can eat (of course while saying "overeating is bad for you, I once survived 6 months on a glass of water every second Tuesday).

No. What she is finding harder is the business of getting the food from plate to mouth.
She has always dropped a lot of food. And that has really increased this summer. It makes her mealtimes very long, because then her focus switches from the plate to the food on the floor, or her clothes. She is reaching for tissue paper and scrubbing away at stains.
Usually discovering old stains on her clothes and getting sidetracked into scrubbing away at THOSE too with tissue paper. We sometimes have to remind her to come back to the food on the plate :-)

She has never been very communicative while eating. Now that is a total wall of silence. Even if we talk to her directly, she kind of starts and looks up - almost surprised to find us across the table from her.

GREAT concentration on the chopsticks, the bowls and plates. The water glass. The beer glass (if she is lucky!). The tissue.
Japanese people, of course, use chopsticks without thinking. But I notice now Okaasan often looks at her chopsticks, and repositions them in her hand. Sets herself ready for eating, again...and again.
She picks up plates/bowls carefully. Sets them down just so. Brings great focus to every act of eating.

But dropping a lot.

It is probably too early still for a spoon, or some kind of assisted chopstick design. She would think that was strange. But the process of the implements is harder for her.

And. here we go again.
BBQ time approaching.
Okaasan's dreaded day, when the garden is full of people and noise.
I've booked her a hair appointment for 1 pm, so I can feed her lunch and then take her away from the house as the BBQ gets going. Hopefully from the hair salon she will go to the nearest subway entrance and a train will take her downtown for a walk. So she should be away from the house for at least 4 hours....

But I will have to juggle BBQ hosting with Okaasan's needs. Such is life....onwards! garden is FULL of roses!!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Me Bad.


My birth country people voted to rupture Europe asunder yesterday.
And I'm not happy.
Watched it all unfold on the BBC website with the fan shaped graphic and the blue wedge of the "Leave" votes growing and growing.......between Friday classes...and then dumbstruck at lunchtime.
Still can't believe it.

In the evening I got the e mail telling me I'd been successful in getting really, really expensive and great seats at the Budokan concert in September when Queen and Adam Lambert will rupture ear drums in Tokyo. First Queen concert after 31 years in Tokyo. Going to MASSIVE. Can't believe my online lottery application was a success. 
I had even changed my American holiday plans to make sure to be in Tokyo for the concert!! Cancelled and rebooked flights, stay, plans. Lost money on that.....
But I am GOING!!!!!!!! And will probably be in Adam's lap for this ticket price...

So. Lots of stuff happening.

And Okaasan.

Me Bad........

On Thursday our babysitter broke down.
Okaasan's Tv stopped working.
Just as I was going to work. Okaasan and me in her room, me wrapped in a bath towel. Trying everything with the remote controller, the dusty cords behind the TV, the buttons...all no go. Zilch.
Okaasan and the TV. It's a unit. She lives in front of the TV. It's on 24-7. Only switched off at meal times and when she goes out.
Leaving her for a day without TV was like leaving her cut loose from a familiar, loved carer. She started saying: "I'll go out. I don't need TV" - so - still in my bath towel - I started reheating her lunch food and serving it. Wanted to make sure she ate before heading out.

Finally rushed off to work. Having changed from the bath towel to clothes.
left Okaasan with silence and a long day ahead.
Wondered how she would manage.

Dear Son got home around 6 pm.
Okaasan was at home. In her pajamas. Maybe hadn't been out - because she is usually in clothes if she's been out - and sad because she'd had a toilet accident...and confused because toilet wouldn't flush.....

He investigated.
Finally realized the electricity in her room and the toilet wasn't working. Then found the breaker switch was flipped. Why had that circuit shorted? She'd pissed on the electric carpet and shorted it all? Seemed strange...her room and the toilet seem to be on the same circuit.

Anyway. He got the electricity going again and the Tv etc. Okaasan was okayish...didn't eat much dinner and slept usual in front of the blaring TV. She had got thru what was a big break from her usual routine. Relief for us.

Forward an hour or two and we are getting ready for bed.
I stretch out and mentally review the day. Stuff I managed to do, things I must do tomorrow.

Cleaned the garden a bit, cut the grass round the wildflowers....sent that e mail....made that list...

Cut the grass.
With the electric cutters. With the long electric cord. Plugged into the toilet socket.
Did that before I went to work.
In my rush I CUT the electric cord with the blades!
There was a popping sound and big fiz. I dropped it with a small scream.
Everything stopped.

Yes. Me. I shorted the toilet....Okaasan's room....the Tv......etc etc,



Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Living with Dementia

Quick posting - because I think this will get taken off YouTube in a few days.

Very good BBC documentary about a UK family living with dementia, the makers followed them over 18 months and shot footage in their home etc. The husband and wife and their children talk so beautifully about living with this disease.

If you have time - check it out!

Living with Dementia.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Weekend duties.

Weekend is the time to catch up on life - Oyomesan duties too.

Amid the gardening, eating, TV, cat playing, laundry, Adam Lambert latest video watching....

Last week was cold, windy, wet weather and Okaasan didn't go out at all. So, Saturday lunchtime - still cold and wet - I took her to the nearest shopping complex and attached her to a big strong trolley because her legs were definitely weak  from all the sitting down.

We walked round home furnishings, via pet foods, thru kitchen supplies...and on into the supermarket. Several laps of fruit and Veg, then a spring thru fish...and pondered the meaning of choice in the snacks department...

After that: bought some of her fave sushi and came home for lunch a deux.

Dear Son and I were out in the evening at a city-wide Tapas event, with discount tickets going from restaurant to restaurant with food and drink along the way. A glorious festival, sadly in its last year.

Sunday was finally good weather. We sent Okaasan out walking about 3 pm...she came home around 6 pm...obviously tired and a bit mixed up on understanding things. I wonder how much longer we can let her go off walking alone? She can find her way home ok, but she doesn't have the judgement to know when too far/long is too much. Walks until shattered. Our life will REALLY change when we have to escort her out every day..

Then this morning: major toilet accident. Had to clean the toilet mat, Okaasan's slippers, the hallway floor...and throw away the pajama bottoms...which were too awful to contemplate. Yuk.
Such is life. Not sure why the accident: we only had fish for dinner last night. It may be that she ate too many snacks: on Saturday she bought 3 bags of snacks and has practically eaten all of them in 72 hours.

So. Okaasan's summer starts. Hopefully more walking and exercise.