Saturday, 14 March 2015

I am alive. Older. Alive.

This blog will get wiped off the Internet as unused if I don't check in!

Am alive. All well in Okaasan-land.

It's been a busy few weeks for me: two headcolds, tax season, the publishing of my friend's Hokkaido-in-English book with my voice on the CD, a book Talk Show event with a speech and book signings, two TV CM commercial auditions (didn't get either job), and moving into the next stage of planning the Mainichi ga Alzheimer's film screening in May. was my 54th birthday. He and I escaped for one night to a big ski resort, for skiing and onsen and food. It was great.
We booked the Day Helper to come in and take Okaasan to the supermarket and settle her in for the night. This time we left cat feeding duties with the Day Helper and a friend who came in the next morning. Didn't want to change Okaasan's routines by giving her a stress-inducing responsibility.

Luckily - Dear Son was home a lot of the time, as the ski season winds down. So he was shopping and cooking a lot. Chatting to Okaasan.

She asked why the Day Helper was coming in. "I don't need someone to take me out" - he pointed out that this will continue until April when the roads might finally be walkable. Made it appear that the Helper's main role is helping Okaasan get exercise in winter. 
We think/hope that in spring and summer she will be able to go walking alone again. Maybe will need some training trips with one of us - to make sure her legs are strong enough.

We took Okaasan out for a family dinner. Ordered a small bottle of sake for her. She drank a cup in about 20 seconds and looked around for more, we gave her a tiny amount and then hid the bottle. Now at home we put a little in the cup and hide the bottle quickly.
She really has no control over how she eats/drinks something she likes.

The repeat phrases and stories are pretty bad at the moment.
And random topics.
One dinner we talked about horse racing courses (one of the TV CM jobs was the voice of a horse!!). Then DS and my chat went onto other subjects, we all ate. Okaasan ate. Dinner had ended and we were clearing the table..
"There was a horse racing course near my house when I was a child, because Mrs X used to take us there when she was looking after us!"
And then she told us the same story again. Same words. At three 30 second intervals. Each time as fresh at before. Some 20 minutes after the topic had first been in the room.

Our dementia-moments

Living close with dementia you are horribly aware of your own life, and the spells of confusion. Can't help thinking: "and me?"
When DS and I went away for the weekend: I almost left the wrong key hidden in the garden for the cat-feeding-friend. Almost left the office key instead. Had to stare at the remaining key on the key ring for about a minute to know that I'd made a mistake.
And DS changed by the car after skiing, put his gloves with expensive watch attached on the roof  of the car. And forgot them. We drove 7 km away to the guest house and checked in before realizing the mistake...had to drive back along the road looking for the gloves and watch....thankfully only the watch face was a little damaged.

Can't think what else to write really.
Still waiting for spring. I've broken ice in the street to make little channels for melting water to escape down. Bits of grass are appearing on the edges of the garden. but there are heavy, wet snow storms.

Onwards. Apologies for boring blogging :-)

*** Almost forgot. OMG - my brain IS getting sieve-like!
Okaasan realised it was my birthday - maybe saw a delivery of flowers or a large box of craft beers. She told the Day Helper that she was going to buy a present for me. Actually bought two boxes of chocolate almonds...and remembered to come and give them to me at breakfast time :-)
It is a small thing: but good. That she realized there was a birthday, felt friendly about getting me something, executed that plan and then followed thru by giving me the present. 

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