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Author Topic: my friend is going senile  (Read 6028 times)

hillbilly-joe

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my friend is going senile
« on: August 18, 2013, 07:40:13 AM »
Most of you here know I live overseas and I live where really there are no foreigners are living. My friends, name is "Hiyoshi" he met me about 7 years ago walking along the country road while he was going to his rice fields. He stopped on his motor scooter and told me in English that he often seen me walking on this road, so on that day he stopped and said hello to me. I was very surprised since I've rarely talked to a Japanese out in the countryside. Well, we became friends  and over the years he  occasionally stopped over the house with his freshly grown vegetables and we'd share a small chat over some coffee. He told me that he is a mountain hiker, and I said, wow! Let's go mountain climbing one day. We did and continued to do so for several years. At that point I started to notice that he lost track of time and didn't take rest, I actually had to say, hey dude, break time. In the spring of the following year he told me he forgets quite easily, but hey at 70 what do you expect. But for the last 2 years he begin to lose it. The other day I paid him a visit at his house and we sat down and chatted a bit. I knew then that his days at home are going to be numbered. He was kind and said let buy some beer, a tear kind of ran down my cheek at that time. I agreed. When we got back to his place he wanted to pay me for the beer he bought. I was sadden because  I put his money back on the table and said nothing.  It is really hard to lose a friend or anyone close to you with this illness.

reb

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 05:21:58 PM »
it is one of the most difficult things in life....and there is nothing one can do but enjoy the person's presence in the time they have left.

i have a friend who has been fighting cancer.  i have spoken to a couple of people who don't go to see him because they cannot deal with their own feelings about 'losing him'...they don't know 'what to say'.  be present with your friend...it doesn't matter what is said. i view these things as a test of a person's courage....the less than courageous (i'm using my 'kind' words here) shrink from being with those who are fading away.  it's life...embrace it...wrestle with life, Joe.

VikingBlues

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 02:05:31 AM »
Horribly difficult - my father suffered from dementia - around 9 months of gradual decline then a very sharp decline and 9 months of hell culminating in 3 months in hospital with a total loss of self and no dignity whatsoever in the situation. We had wandering off, we had going to neighbours to say he was kidnapped, we had multiple versions of close family members in his head - there were at least three versions in there of my Mum who really took the brunt of it in becoming a 24/7 carer at just short of 80 years old herself. We also had him desperate to get home to see his parents - long gone for well over 30 years.

You're so right - it is really hard to lose a friend or anyone close to you with this illness. You do actually feel you've lost them a long time before they die too. The shell that is the body seems to contain a stranger. Very difficult to know how much to humour the person with their incorrect perceptions of reality - I believe trying to distract them is supposed to be best. It all finished about 6 months ago and I still feel mentally drained from it all. If you can find the strength to stick with it - embrace it as Reb says - it is at least the best you can do for your friend.

robert

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 12:31:12 PM »
That is sad to see happen. I feel your sadness. Best wishes for your friend, Joe.

creekster52

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 07:38:51 PM »
Hang in there Joe. Hiyoshi needs your friendship now more than ever.

hillbilly-joe

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 06:48:53 PM »
Thanks guys.  I'll be visiting my friend as time permits. I'm sure his wife will be sending him to a home soon. The sad part is I'll never know what place he'll be sent to.  You know, hiking in the mountains and having an experience hiker with you being able to tell you what streams of water you can and can't drink from, shows you that mankind still has a heart.  Also here they build little shines of rocks for safe travel in the mountains, he showed me the one he built and why he built it there. It was on a path with trees on both sides and as the sun shines through the umbrella of the trees, the little shrine shines of such brightness, I saw it at its perfect timing. Nature and man living in harmony is what I thought.

creekster52

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 07:33:16 PM »
So now it will be your honor to maintain Hiyoshi's shrine?

Why will you be unable to determine where he will be? Is that protected/restricted information in Japan?

hillbilly-joe

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 09:51:20 PM »
So now it will be your honor to maintain Hiyoshi's shrine?

Why will you be unable to determine where he will be? Is that protected/restricted information in Japan?

Sad to say, his wife is not a very friendly person at all ,and when I visit she makes us stay outside the house in the sun, but we manage to sit under a shade tree on the ground.  I don't get along well with her.  Sometimes I just want to say this to her "しぬ bit..   If it wasn't for his $2500 a month pension that she has control over while he is home, I'm sure that he'd be in a home now.

reb

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2013, 07:00:14 PM »
stories like that, joe, are why i would never remarry. jeez....poor Hyoshi. he really needs a friend now.

creekster52

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2013, 03:25:50 PM »
That is unfortunate. Glad he has a friend like you.

hillbilly-joe

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Re: my friend is going senile
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 12:39:18 AM »
That is unfortunate. Glad he has a friend like you.

Thanks creeks, actually I'm lucky to have him as a friend also. Got to learn about the old life style in Japan and how it has all changed in this area. His folks home, is like you see in them pre 1940 movies. Amazing really.