Saturday, 20 May 2017

Staring at walls

Okaasan in hospital.

Not a happy thing.

She doesn't remember the fall, doesn't remember the pain - until she tries to sit up or move her body....

so wonders - endlessly - WHY AM I HERE?


We expected deterioration in her mental ability with such a dramatic change of location/people/routine.

But even we were shocked at the physical change in her. Okaasan's speech is slurred and sometimes incomprehensible. Of course she suspects the nurses, doctors and other patients of spying on her and the family - told us that in big whispers - that "they" are bad people. Old, familiar paranoia is back to the fore.

The slurred speech and rambling words. That was a surprise. Even here 4 days ago - as she lay on the carpet in pain etc - her speaking ability was clearer.

Yesterday we did a joint visit. Okaasan was on the bed staring at a dirty, stained grey wall. The TV on the bedside table was turned in another direction and the magazine was unopened on the side table. Dear Son said she had watched Tv before, but then dismissively told the nurses "I don't need that", so they'd maybe moved it away from her.

She DOES need TV. It's her everything at home. It's life and entertainment. Companionship.

We got the nurses to move the furniture back into position. We guided Okaasan to her handcream to attend to scratchy feeling on her leg where the hospital diapers were rubbing her skin, we gave her drinks and chat...and...

There are three other elderly women in her room. The others looks more mentally alert. The room is near the nurse station - from where I am sure Okaasan listens to every conversation and thinks they are talking about her.

She is eating the foods. She is sleeping. She can sit up a little, if the bed is moved into position.

Today Dear Son will meet the doctor and hear what he thinks. Was it spine damage, not exactly a break...maybe a crunching together? A nerve is caught?

The house is so strange without Okaasan in it. Feels huge and empty.

I came home Friday night. Dear Son was working late.
I threw all the left overs in the fridge into a frying pan, added cheese and ate it upstairs in front of the TV. No need to plan a healthy dinner at 7 pm.
Years of having my daily routine guided by Lunch at 12. Dinner at 7. Must Feed Okaasan. Must Check Okaasan. Now freedom....strange.

We really, really hope they don't keep her in hospital a long time. get a corset fitted, get her sitting and standing and walking again. Get her to come home the end of next week?

What more is necessary for an elderly lady? As long as she isn't in great pain. She doesn't need perfect physical ability. She needs a livable-with feeling in her body.


From kind of looking forward to the day when Okaasan might go to hospital and experts would take some of the burden off our shoulders - I am already missing her and hoping she comes back to us soon.

Strange that!


  1. Often when I read your blog, I wonder what I will be like when I am her age. I don't have a good daughter in law and son to watch out for me. I don't mind being in Japan alone and I am never lonely, but when I am older, I don't know.

  2. It must be hard to deal with all these problems! Google the term: hospital induced delirium. It's very common with the elderly but usually hospital staff do not mention it. Do not ask me why... I hope things will get better soon.