Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapter 7 : 20 Years Old [ "I don't want to be beaten . . ." III ]

Hospital admission and a caregiver

I've finally entered Akita Hospital. I was feeling nervous because I'm not familiar with it.

A little old lady came to look after me.
"I'm Aya," I said in a small voice. "Nice to meet you."
Mom explained to her in detail about my condition, what I could't do, and so on. But it's really difficult
to get her to fully understand.
My speech disorder's getting worse, so I asked Mom to buy a magic blackboard. I probably say some words that
other people can't understand.
The movement of my tongue's bad, so the food overflows my mouth. My way of eating looks filthy. It's a
pitiful sight.

'What am I living for?'
From Aya's diary

I feel miserable for being unable to communicate well.

I'm the one who should take the most sensible attitude. But I don't feel very confident . . .

Mom, what am I living for?

I felt dizzy. I had a tearful face. But I closed my eyes and stayed still.

There's a pigeon's nest on the branch of the tree outside the window. A chick is growing up in it. I'm
happy about that.

My little old lady helped me get into my wheelchair and took me to Building #1. Then what? I used the
Western-style toilet to relieve myself.

During rehabilitation, I tend to close my eyes when I stand holding the bar. I can't easily open them again.
I know I shouldn't be scared, but my body gets stiff because I feel I might fall over.

I should properly grasp the things I can do now and put them into practice. Then I won't have to suffer so
much mental agony that I can't get to sleep at night . . .
I can't convey my desires quickly, so I sometimes can't get to the toilet in time. Mom suggested that I should
use a urinary drainage bag during the night. The reason for that is that the caregiver gets tired if her sleep
is disturbed.
I started crying, saying, "I don't like that idea because I know when I want to urinate. I'll try to tell you
in plenty of time, so please don't do that."
"All right, all right," said the little old lady gently. "Don't cry. You won't have to have one."
That made me cry even more.
In the morning , I met the Hospital Director in the corridor.
"Good morning, Little Aya. How are you doing?"
I smiled and tried to say "O-HA-YO" (Good morning) with pouted lips. By the time I got it out, he was already
a long way down the corridor. He must be very busy.

My tearful face is taking root - that's no good.
At night, my arms and legs got tense and stiff. The little old lady got up and gave me a massage.

Because I couldn't easily express myself, I lost my temper and cried. I'm the one who should be blamed for not
being able to communicate well. There was no reason for me to get angry with the little old lady. I'm sorry.

It's nice weather today. I want to stand up. I want to talk.

My little old lady praised me, saying, "Your handwriting's a bit better. You're eating a little quicker now, too,
and you're not dropping your food."
I feel there's something to live for if I improve even a little, and I get more relaxed. I must live considering
how other people feel. I made a promise to Dr. Yamamoto that I'll try to be able to ride in my wheelchair by
myself by the next time I see her.

I saw the blue sky. It's been a long time. It was so transparent, I felt I could be sucked up into it.

My pronunciation of the 'na' and 'da' columns is not very clear. It's also hard for me to say the 'ka', 'sa',
'ta' and 'ha' columns. I wonder how many words there are left that I can actually say? I'll have to overcome this
somehow or other.
Gather up your fighting spirit or the disease will defeat you!

My little old lady bought me an 'okonomiyaki' savory pancake for lunch. We had half each. I also had some
'o-shiruko' adzuki bean porridge with rice-flour dumplings.

I was running a fever and had no energy to talk. I felt very heavy. I lay in bed all day. My little old lady
looked into my face with a worried expression on her face.
Aunt Kasumi took me to the coffee shop inside the hospital. She helped me drink lemon soda with a spoon, one
spoonful at a time. I had given up on the coffee shop, thinking I'd never be able to go there as long as I
lived, so that made me so happy.

My little old lady's hands are rough and cracked now. They look so painful. It's because she has to keep on
washing my nappies due to my failures during the night. I'm sorry.

The Chunichi Dragons won the baseball league pennant! For some reason, we had a bonus of sweet red bean rice
and a cup-steamed egg custard for dinner. I wonder if the Hospital Director or the head chef is a Chunichi fan?

I wanted to stand up, but when I tried, I swayed like a swing and almost fell over. I was scared. My little
old lady helped me.
In the morning, I nearly choked. I was scared again. Unless I take care eating things - however tasty they
may be - it could prove fatal.

When my little old lady took me to the toilet, we saw a vase full to overflowing with beautiful cosmos flowers.
We winked at each other and stole one bud. We put it in the vase in our room.

"Little Aya, you're depending on your caregiver too much," Dr Yamamoto scolded me. "You must find what you can do
by yourself and do it."
I was happily thinking I was OK If I simply stayed out of bed for a long time, but I was wrong. Starting today,
I'll practice fastening my buttons.

I could walk! Leaning on my little old lady, I asked her to take me to the park. I wanted to play with some
dirt; I felt like putting the soles of my feet on the soil. I asked her to put my feet down softly on the
ground from the footrest of the wheelchair. The soil was so comfortably cool!

I desperately practiced fastening my buttons and rolling over and standing on my knees for rehabilitation. My
little old lady was impressed with what I was doing and helped me. She also bought me a pair of sweatpants and
a jacket. I must keep at it more . . .

I want to go home over the New Year. I wonder if I can make myself understood? I'm worried about how I can
communicate with everyone if they can't understand what I'm saying. But I still want to go home.
The bud of the cosmos has opened.

My little old lady cried while she was watching me training. "You did a good job!" she said.
"Why don't you watch Aya once?" she said to Mom one day. "She's working very hard, you know."
But Mom replied, "It hurts me too much to watch her." Then she said to me, "Aya, you've done very well. We
want you to come home for the New Year."
I moved my bowels carelessly.
"I'm so sorry," I said to my little old lady.
"Oh, helping you is my duty," she replied. "It can't be helped."
Still, I didn't know how to feel.

I had some ham for lunch. I hadn't tasted ham for a long time. It reminded me of the past.
I wonder how i can show my gratitude to my little old lady? I can't buy her anything because I don't have
any money. It will be nice if I get better soon and can look after her. Please wait till then!

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