(It’s time to write on Kate Motaung’s weekly word for five uninterrupted minutes — unedited, unchanged. A time to stop and reflect. This week’s word is “still”.)
I lie still in the middle of the night on my side of the bed, listening for the sound of Bo breathing. Is he sleeping or is he just lying there, still? Sundowning comes on, and as his circadian rhythm changes, sleeping becomes an elusive thing at night. He used to make lots of sleep sounds — snoring, holding his breath then breathing suddenly and deeply because of his apnea — but now it has stilled. I think he is just lying there. Is he thinking? What is he thinking?
What I’m thinking is that I need sleep. More sleep. Some sleep. I’m feeling sleep-deprived because I don’t go into a deep sleep anymore. I’m always listening for his movements, for him to get out of bed so that I can jump up, turn on the light and help him. Will he find the bathroom? Will he know what to do? Will he find his way back into bed? Not any longer …. not most days. Now he needs my help.
Sometimes I lie there wondering what will happen, how I’ll handle this as it gets harder. Should I give him sleeping pills? Will I have to get more help — an aide to care for him at night so I can sleep? Where will this all lead? Will I have to find a residence for him? I don’t have an answer.