Have to go to work today...and the next 5 days.
Spent a lot of emotional energy yesterday...
We visited the hospital at lunchtime. While he parked the car and went on upstairs, I went to a local cafe to get a choice of coffee or a cocoa, and a nice cake for Okaasan. Try to take her something nice everytime.
A few minutes later I arrived in the ward room. Okaasan was the only patient - the other 3 bed were empty and clean.
And fury was in the air. She was NOT happy - she was angry - at everything we did or said. The fury. The aggression. Anger. Rudeness. Raw emotion sitting in a wheelchair.
DON'T sit there!
Don't move that chair!
Hmm. Coffee? Cocoa? Both.
Don't put your bag there.
Don't use that trash bin.
It's itchy on my back. What's this thing round my body. I want to go to the toilet. What's this. Don't.
Such a change. We'd left her Saturday afternoon all smiley and pleased to have seen us.
And come on Sunday to this.
I got riled up too. I couldn't help it.
Dear Son put a warning hand on my arm....I went to walk around the corridor with my coffee. I Reset and went back.
DON'T walk around the hospital like that with a coffee cup!
DON'T put the lid there!
It's impossible to fully get over the shock of seeing someone so different. So much anger, where usually there is none.
I left again. Blood boiling. Went to the toilets downstairs.
She was talking about the itchy feeling of the corset and wanting to go to the toilet. Dear Son trying to explain that she couldn't GO to the toilet - she was wearing diapers and a urine tube and bag. Trying. Anger. Wanting to defecate. Badly.
We left her. Hoping that without us sitting by the bedside she would defecate.
Stood in the rain in the parking area wondering what had hit us. Was she alone in the ward because she'd turned difficult and the nurses had moved other patients? Or was that just a coincidence of hospital admin?
We went to lunch. Tried to Reset. Exhausted. Dear Son had a whole thing about whether he was bike taxi working or not, whether the rain would stop.
One hour later we went back to the hospital.
She was in bed. The anger was gone. Replaced with whimpering sadness and irritation about the itchy feeling.
I'd bought a back scratcher. While DS paced the room I sat at the bedside and tried to scratch inside the back of the corset. Okaasan endlessly telling me to take it off and check her skin for redmarks. I sat and talked comforting, kind words. On and on....she calmed.
I got one of her magazines and held it over the bed, showing her pictures of old Tokyo - asking her about places in the city. Scratching. Talking. Calming.
It was a relief. She had returned. That other person, the anger person. Gone.
I guess everybody who lives with dementia in the family has this experience? Seeing a whole OTHER side to the person they know? It's amazing. Scary and confusing.
20 minutes later DS wandered off to the toilet. Okaasan heard the word "toilet" and started getting agitated. Flapping her hands on the bed, whimpering...stress building.
I asked the nurses to come and a team of three went into action behind the curtains to help Okaasan. We stood in the corridor and wondered when this will all come right...when will she be able to come home?
She HAS started physical therapy. End of last week. She had talked happily about the nice therapist. Obviously a positive experience. Will she be able to stand and start walking this coming week?
We left. In the rain. Exhausted by the two hospital visits.
Went home to finish cleaning Okaasan's room and clothes. Watched a video. Ate steak for dinner.
And now a week of work begins.