Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Let's hospital.....

Okaaasan and me went to hospital. Oh yes indeedy.
A wonderful weekend of togetherness.

All started Saturday morning. In the toilet.
I'd had a party with students Friday night...eaten and drunk too much. Had an upset stomach. 
Thought that was it. Planned to spend the day quietly anyway with a Downton Abbey Season 3 and 4 DVD catchup. Felt a bit hungover.

Saturday passed. So so feeling. Quiet. Bit tired.
Lunch and dinner with Okaasan. 

Saturday night...Sunday morning.

Toilet hell. 
Both ends for me. Diarrhea and vomiting.

And the missing toiletmat told me Okaasan was having diarrhea too.

Sunday dawn I was in her room - weakly - checking for soiled towels and pajamas.

A kind friend whose husband has just spent a week in quarantine in the guest room with a stomach virus etc was advising me via Facebook thru the night and so I bagged up my and Okaasan's soiled clothes and two toilet mats and started the search for a hospital open on a Sunday.

I mailed Dear Son at the ski lodge. Told him that I was definitely going to get medicine. He agreed I should try to take Okaasan too. I'm 56 and can probably fight off a virus. She is 86.

I dreaded it. Really didn't have the energy to fight it out with her. Hospitals no no no...doctors no no....medicine....no no! I decided  to try and gently trick her into it. And if she fought me on it not to waste my dwindling energy on her.

She seemed fine. Of course didn't remember anything about her diarrhea. Even when I showed her the mat and pajamas covered with.....

At 10.15 am I entered her room and brightly suggested: "Let's go out! Nice weather today" She willingly scrambled up and started getting ready for "out". Hoping shopping and food. 

Instead we drove to a local hospital.
As we entered the parking area I made an excuse: "Oh, I was a bit sick last night, I need to get some medicine here, yes...yes...come in with me...waiting in the car is cold..."

And she came with me. No fight.

A full waiting room of zombies. Sweaty, dull, exhausted people. Influenza and stomach virus is everywhere here now. We registered and sat watching TV for an hour or more.
I had a temperature of  37. 4. Okaasan was 36.

Finally saw a breezy, cheerful doctor who managed to process us both within 4 minutes.

"Ichoen". Stomach virus. Not Noro Virus. Not food poisoning. Not infectious, unless you cough on people or share a dirty toilet seat.....and then eat food with your hands....

He questioned Okaasan, who agreed with the last thing suggested to her - without really knowing what was what.
"How many times did you have diarrhea? 4 or 5 times...?"
"5 times? yes, maybe..."

I was worse than her. Luckily. About to fall off the hospital chair actually.
They put me on a IV drip for 40 minutes.

OKaasan sat in the waiting room with all the sick people. She looked tired. She needed lunch. I needed my sofa and a blanket. But I couldn't think of easy food at home to give her, and I felt sorry that her trip out in the car was this tiring,. negative experience.

So, after we got our medicines I took her to lunch. Let her order what she liked. I ordered the smallest thing on the menu for me. And ate about 25%.

She was happy! Not a care in Okaasan's world!

THAT is all her lunch set. And still many Japanese people say - "Oh Americans/foreigners eat so much! The meals are too big"
Look at all of that. Soba noodles, 4 pieces of sushi, tempura and egg custard.

Made me feel ill just looking at it. But I managed to take away half the sushi and all of the tempura while she was looking at fallen bits of noodles on her lap. She didn't notice at all. Didn't notice the big space on the tray. Short term memory loss has its uses. The waitress looked surprised - specially as the sushi was hiding on the seat next to me. But I managed to make excuses and get it taken away.

And then. Medicine time!
"Okaasan, time for our medicine! Yes. You and me. The doctor said. Here you are. Yes. You should take this. You and I had bad diarrhea last night. very bad. Yes. We need medicine. I don't want to clear up the toilet again  this afternoon. Yes. Medicine. Here is the water. Here. Yes...here"

She took three pills.

Even exhausted. I was elated.
Mission accomplished.

Got her home. Got me to the sofa. Slept for 3 hours.
Went for a hair cut and gentle chat with my kind, sweet hairdresser at 5 pm.
Gave Okaasan small dinner and MORE medicine.
Ate half a piece of toast and dosed myself.

Slept for 10 hours.

Now? I still have diarrhea. Yesterday 70% energy. But I did classes and a magazine interview about Hokkaido tourism.
Okaasan seems fine. No diarrhea I think. My Friday night part students said in Monday class that they were all fine - it wasn't food poisoning from the hotel party food.

I'm still operating at 80%. And very careful what I eat and drink.

But. The GREAT takeaway from this is that I CAN manage Okaasan and a medical situation. I can trick her gently into coming to a hospital with me. And even into taking medicine.
That is a win-win.

Excuse me. The toilet is calling.


  1. Hope you are feeling better soon! I have to smile looking at the restaurant picture and all that food. She looks happy.

  2. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  3. Been through all of that with one parent w/ dementia and the other Alzheimer's. Have the most admiration for you! You're a tough lady & you deserve all the appreciation from your family! Please take care of yourself! Respite in the form of a week or month of Okaasan in a senior home is what I recommend. Yes, might be inconvenient/expensive but your husband should be happy to finance this!!!!!!!! I am so angry for you. Love, Li

    1. HI Li - thankyou for your comment. Don't worry about me - winter iS the hard time when he is away working. And this winter has been the worse. But from April to November he works 9 to 6 pm, and is home a lot shopping/cooking/laundry etc. He is a very hand on son in law and a very unusual Japanese man in that he likes spending time with his "wife" and at home. We do a lot as a couple :-) And I go off to rock concerts and foreign trips - he stays and cares for his mum. Winter is his away time. Summer is mine.

  4. Hope you're feeling better. Nothing like the sofa, hot tea and crackers. Take care

  5. I am amazed you managed to do so much being so sick. I get the feeling she is more pliable now, isn't she? That helps.

    Drink lots of ginger tea and rest. Take care.


  6. You, know, I think so too! More pliable. There wasn't the fight I expected. Mind you - I did introduce it all in careful stages as they suggest in all the literature.
    First - lets's go out. Then - let's just stop here because I need something. Then - oh yes, you come inside too and wait with me. Then - oh look, here is my application form and here is yours. Then - it's nice they will see us on a Sunday, isn't it. Then - let's go in together. Finbally - oh you are lucky - you are not so bad! She trotted along thru all that quite happily....amazing really.

  7. You handled it beautifully. :-)
    Although it is sad to know that her beliefs are disappearing in the mind fog I honestly think the most important thing is that this does not prevent her to move happily through life, quite the contrary. She is going with the flow. It is a blessing. I have friends whose once gentle parents became irascible and odious creatures.