Saturday, 3 June 2017

Volcano in the living room

Bubbling, bubbling...erupting...throwing out again...bubbling...spewing forth....raging...simmering...

ALL of the above. Often in the space of a few minutes.
We are on volcano watch this weekend.


Physically? Okaasan IS getting better. We had to use the wheelchair last night. But then she started being able to walk and stand - in a kind of two-step with Dear Patient Son. They look like judoists grappling. She is holding onto his arms as he backs slowly in front of her and she shuffles forward.
She has got to the toilet a few times with help.

She slept on the sofa, with a coffee table upended next to it to stop her slipping onto the floor. And her Dear Very Patient Son sleeping on the carpet nearby.

We had family dinner. She ate well. Looked soooo sleepy and was pretty silent. Maybe happy to be back.

"I went to hospital? When? Why?" was probably the stunner of the evening. Two weeks plus of experience gone from her memory. 

But the impact of those two weeks is right here and raw. 
Fury. tetchy, fractious, scolding, anger - at everything.

MOVE that clothes rack!
Why is that table there?
Why is that wheelchair here?
What's that?
Are those socks clean?
That man on TV.....

All of this with raised voice and anger.

It's very, very wearing. And she only came back yesterday...we are hoping this will subside. Apparently the hospital said she was more aggressive in the mornings.

Oh God we hope so. And we hope it gets less. If THIS is the new norm? It's like the dementia has scaled up by several notches.

And then.
She let us change her pajamas and diapers without too much fuss. Like a toddler - she let Dear Son kneel in front of her and she held onto his shoulders. I was behind her as we took off the clothing, she obediently lifted one foot at a time to let us undress and dress her - all the time chatting on about the name plate of the neighbor's house she could see thru the curtains... 

And 20 minutes later - she took off the hospital corset  and threw it on the floor...."I KNOW what is best for my body? What hospital? What doctor?" 

And then polite again; "thankyou for the flower. That's pretty". 

"Why is that piece of paper on the table? Is it mine? What is that cup?" with cold fury voice.

We are exhausted. It's only 10 am on Saturday.
Onwards into our weekend.


  1. The same happened to me when my mother had to spend a week at the hospital. Like you I was emotionally exhausted all the time. It took her about a week- 10 days to get back to "normal".

    See if you can avoid a return to the hospital, can't the doctor see her on an appointment instead of having her as a hospitalized patient? It may be more convenient for him but it is definitely not convenient for you two and you may have to fight that.

    In the meantime take deep breaths and ignore the anger. Deflect the tantrums like you would do with a toddler. Because you see an old lady, but emotionally she is exactly like a toddler, she feels helpless and frustrated and have no idea of why, so she snaps at everything and everybody.


  2. Oh my goodness. I hadn't checked your blog for a while and have been reading with my hand over my mouth here. Sounds like you have it all well in hand but i just wish it weren't so difficult. I am really hoping for the best outcome for all of you.

  3. I'm glad she is able to move more. Do you think that some of the anger is because she is in pain and can't articulate it? It sound so exhausting for all of you. Nancy in Tokyo