Sunday, 25 August 2019

Quiet August...and changes

Okaasan IS ok...we actually saw her sitting upright yesterday...first time for me in about a month.

We visited the care home before lunch, to make sure we got her in the vertical position and awake. She was watching TV in the main room and we did a quick wheelchair trip outside in the local streets to enjoy fresh air.
Then a toilet stop inside.
Her standing in the toilet was very weak...and she was pretty confused about what to do with the toilet paper etc. AND not quite sure of her son's name...

Generally a decline cognitively this summer...and physically.

We will try and do a car trip to a lunch one day. But the staff say that she doesn't eat so much and often needs feeding to get her to take a little more nutrition. They have a stock of nutrition-in-a-can drinks to boost her, too.
Maybe a coffee shop trip is better. A whole lunch thing is unnecessary.

Ho hum. 89 years old....

Yesterday was a memory of our lives 10 years ago because it was the 10th anniversary of my dad's death (thank you "On this Day" Facebook). At that time we'd moved into this house with Okaasan and she was trotting out for a walk every afternoon. Often taking the subway downtown to her fave coffee shop and meeting another old lady.

MY life is much better now. Freedom from caring and cooking, and cross-cultural mis-understandings. Hopefully Okaasan's life is good too? Familiar and routine. Caring people bringing her food and drink, helping her exercise? A kind word, a laugh?
I hope so. Every time we go to the care home I feel the Leaver's we wave and smile and bow...heading for the elevator and our freedom. She doesn't strongly complain, but looks a little sad...and if we go back for a forgotten something she is soon engrossed in the TV or a drink cup, or food.

But still. A bit of guilt.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Not so happy birthday...

Okaasan was 89 years old last week.
In past years we've had trips out to crab restaurants etc - this year was very different, for planned and unplanned reasons.

I was not free at all - 3 days of tour guiding back to back - fun and challenging for me to show Hokkaido off to a lovely family group from Canada and the Philippines. But bang on the weekend that we hoped to celebrate with Okaasan.

Dear Son went in to the care home with a pudding and some decorated cookies, which Okaasan enjoyed with him. She knew he was him, she knew it was here birthday. All well.
Hokkaido has had a crazy 10 days straight of sizzling temperatures - about 30 C. Unbelievable here. We moved downstairs to sleep, leaving the front door open etc. Most homes here, and many businesses, don't actually have air con. So prolonged heat is hard.
But also hard to take Okaasan in her wheelchair outside...

But next day the care home called.
Okaasan had a fever, the doctor had visited...which of course is the main reason we chose this particularl care home. It is attached to a hospital and a doctor is never far away.

Dear Son went in again...Okaasan was so so.

Then yesterday we went together. The heat had broken and we hoped to do a wheelchair walk. Took in 3 pink T shirts I'd bought for her.

But fever again. In bed. Quiet. Not eating so much.

"What food does she really like, if we can tempt her with something?" asked the staff.

!!!! crab...gyoza...aloe

We stayed for a short time to chat to her a little. But then left her to sleep some more. The doctor will check again. Recently they've been giving her regular IV supplement make sure she is taking in enough.

So. Not the planned birthday celebrations. Hopefully she will feel better later this week and we can go out together. BUt now is Obon time in Japan - when families all over return to hometowns and visit graveyards to remember the ancestors. Restaurants tend to be packed.

We'll see.