Thursday, 18 May 2017



She is there. We are here. Feels strange.

Since we moved into this house 8? years ago, Okaasan hasn't been away while we are here - apart from the two night visit to a family wedding in Tokyo a few years ago. 
It seems strange to see her room empty. And to know that we can eat cheese fondue and meat for dinner. And have dinner any time, or out...

However, Dear Son has his regular bike taxi customer until the end of the month and is working most evenings. I am in and out with classes - I don't think we'll be having a wild, freedom time here.

And room cleaning. The ambulance hadn't left the street and I was already taking up the carpet for dry cleaning. Got a whole lot of other cleaning plans for Okaasan's room too!


She is in an orthopedic hospital downtown. NOT the big hospital near our home, where I teach the staff...which would be so convenient. It took the ambulance five phone calls to find a hospital to accept her, such is the state of Japanese healthcare now.

She is in a room with 3 other old ladies. She ate the hospital lunch yesterday.

X-ray and MRI yesterday didn't find any big bone break, and the skin marks on her hips appear to be bruising only. But the back bone specialist will look at her today to find the cause of the pain and they are measuring her for a corset.

Basic idea seems to be for her to stay about 2 weeks. Not moving around for at least a week....trying to get the pain reduced.

So, maybe good. Not a huge injury. 

I feel guiltily happy she is in hospital. It gives us a break. It gives expert people the chance to check her over for everything.
But it WILL, inevitably, make her dementia worse. A stay in an unfamiliar place with people and sounds. Sharing a room. No walking.
Or will it be good for her? A brightly lit room with people coming and going? Not so much mindless TV. Nurses making chat. People taking an interest in her?

Who knows.

I've just put together a bag of Okaasan's things for Dear Son to take into the hospital today.
Pink underclothes, a red cardigan, her hand cream, the framed photo of the family reunion party...a magazine. I hope that familiar things on the hospital bedside table will reduce her stress.

maybe I should add in a handful of supermarket receipts, a half eaten bread roll and note pads with TV shopping phone numbers?


  1. I am relieved to know there is no fracture. It seems odd to say that but I care about her. Her dementia will probably worsen while she is there, but with luck will go back to the present stage when she returns home. If any of you could visit her every day that would be a great stress reducer.

    I remember when my mother had to stay for a week at a hospital she would call me 2 or 3 times a day to tell me she had been kidnapped by strange but very nice girls (the nurses). When she returned home it took her a couple of days to adjust but went back to her "normal".


  2. Hope she is improving. This will give you a little break while she gets checked out. Don't feel guilty - it's good for all of you.