If you only see somebody for 20 mins a week...
Last week's visit Okaasan was laughing and bright eyed.
The staff agreed to us taking the wheelchair JUST outside the care home doors for a few moments, so Okaasan could feel the sun and wind for the first time in over a year.
Sadly, the wind from the care home parking exit was winning over the sunshine power - and we had to rush her back inside. But she was fine and we left happy.
Yesterday. A different Okaasan.
Slumped sideways in the wheelchair, with grey, almost unfocused eyes, and sunken cheeks.
We took her down to the staff canteen area and sat for our 10 mins of chat time. Although she did give us a smile and one laugh, she certainly wasn't with it...at all. Stared to the side with hooded eyes. Moved her mouth in the goldfish gesture a bit. Stared at her hands when I sprayed the alcohol cleaner on them...and made no attempt to mimic my hand cleaning movements.
Looked shattered by life.
The staff said she'd had walking practice in the morning. And been to the toilet.
We found her in the lounge, sitting across the table from the woman-who-sings and folds paper bits...slumped...sad.
We HOPE it was just a bad day. A sleepy moment. But her eyes looked so empty of life. We were both shocked. Bugger COVID. Now we have to wait another week to see her again.
In the UK, my oldest friend's dad has just died. I remember him in my childhood - the cool dad because he was the airline pilot, jokey, funny story-guy. His wife died a few years ago. Recently he's been living with round-the-clock care, and drugs to keep him out of pain.
Sigh. Age. What a bugger.
I so hope Dear Son and I have a good old age. Able to care for eachother. Be active and enjoy life. The just die one night while asleep.
Oh shit. Maybe not that! Waking up with a loved one who is dead next to you.
Maybe not like that!!