Saturday, 6 February 2016


This was meant to be a heart-warming blog about taking my Okaasan to the Sapporo Snow Festival. Oyomesan and Okaasan, hand in hand, strolling the park and enjoying good snacks and amazing snow statues.

It isn't.

This is me at the snow festival....not pictured are three large oysters I ate, and the Macau egg tart..or the roasted chestnuts.

Okaasan? In her favorite coffee shop with a coffee and her Mont Blanc pastry. Looking out the windows at the Snow Festival.

Both of us happy actually.

I took her downtown after lunch. Via car and a different subway. That threw her a bit. Going on an unfamiliar subway, different names. The festival site was packed of course and she gripped my hand as we set out to look at ice and snow statues. 
She was mildly interested. Kept saying: "this is where I always come!". And then got really fixated on the coffee shop that overlooks the park. I was trying to get her to walk a little more and then go for coffee - but it became a whinge: "there's my coffee shop! You can sit on the 2nd floor and look outside! My coffee shop! We should turn left here...we can see the park from the 2nd floor. That's where I always go..." on and on and on and on.

I snapped at her. Actually dropped her hand and let her shuffle across the ice and snow alone while I followed a few paces behind. Gave in and went to the coffee shop. Settled her on the 2nd floor with coffee and pastry. And went back out for an hour to enjoy the festival.

Here is some Sapporo Snow Festival :-)

I went back after an hour and she was happy enough looking out the window at the crowds. I sat for a few moments, then suggested we walk on...and she came willingly. Through the shopping mall, the subway, the supermarket...and home.
It wasn't the idealised trip to the festival together - but we both did what we wanted. And she had some mental and physical exercise.

This week she was fine. The cat wasn't. He bloody well went out and got a NEW injury! Ripped out his left thumb and damaged his right. Somehow. Needed 4 stitches in the wound. Is back in the collar and under house arrest. I'm back to barricading him into the 2nd floor of the house and dealing with two cats and medicines.....aghhh....

Okaasan didn't mention her brother's death at all. I didn't either. Just let that be....Dear Son is the person to talk about that, if she wants to again. She went out with day service ok to the supermarket on Wednesday.

One slightly strange thing: for the first time she asked me WHERE very familiar things are in the house.
"Where is the toilet? Where is the tea?"
Haven't noticed that before. Confusion about what is inside the house itself. We maybe need to put up Toilet signs...

Finally. Like everyone I get on YouTube and end up finding all sorts of random stuff. Cat videos. Adam Lambert as a high school boy. A guy snowboarding in New York recently.
Also things about Alzheimer's. Found this video. It's a very interesting and moving description by an American about her mother's stages of Alzheimer's. 7 stages she gives.
If you have time have a look. It IS VERY religious - be warned if that isn't your thing. It isn't mine. But if you can get thru the Bible quotes and the annoying guitar playing. Interesting. 
I thought Okaasan was at stage 5..6....but as the narrator says - dementia isn't linear. There are ups and downs of ability and outlook. Lovely photographs of this lady's mother. 

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