Five-Minute Friday – “Still”

(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.

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13 Responses to Five-Minute Friday – “Still”

  1. Paula Kaye says:

    I’ve been thinking about you! Nights seem to be the worst. It is hard to keep that ever vigilant watch and still get our own much needed sleep. It has been almost 4 months since Richard passed and I still don’t feel like I have caught up. Nights are still hardest for me. God Bless you. I am keeping you in my prayers!

  2. Arleen Stolzenberger says:

    You need your rest. Maybe you could get a night nurse a few nights a week so you could get needed sleep. Understand your concerns but maintaining your health is a priority.
    You and Bo are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Mary Smith says:

    You have described the nights so well – the lack of sleep, the thoughts of the future and the emotions. I’m sure this post will resonate with many.
    We tried to have someone in for a couple of nights to stay with dad but it didn’t really work. Dad didn’t sleep the night there was a carer in the house so slept all the next day and was wide awake at bedtime.

  4. Joan K. says:

    You will come up with a solution to let you sleep. I know you will. Finding solutions is your strength. Thinking of you often.

  5. Before I forget... says:

    Wonderful writing, heart achingly good to read. It is an awful lot to have to think about, but you need help too, and support.

  6. MCI Alice says:

    This is one of those essays that I can’t respond to with a simple “like” because it is painful but also true and honest. You are such a pillar of emotional wisdom

  7. You have so eloquently described what our nights are like now; the constant worry about both the current night and the future, the lack of sleep because your loved one may go to sleep at 7 pm and then be wide awake at 1 or 2 in the morning, and the desperate need for sleep yourself! Thanks for writing this blog, it helps to know that others are on similar journeys and are forging ahead with success and strength.

  8. Juiie says:

    Hi — I’m your FMF neighbor. Nice to meet you. Thanks for writing about this and to let us know what it is to have this journey. I can tell you have lots of wisdom and courage. Prayers for you!

  9. Carissa says:

    Praying the little sleep you do get is life-giving and recharging. Praying wisdom and peace for you as you care for your loved one. Praying you find moments to be still and breathe deeply.

    -FMF Neighbor!

  10. Lisa M says:

    We tried sleep aids, but they didn’t work with mom. Finally, the doc prescribed a low dose of Seraquil (sp?…we had the generic that started with a Q) and that really helped the Sundowners and her sleeping. None in the morning, one at lunch, one at dinner and at bedtime. It made such a difference. I didn’t really sleep any sounder, but it was nice to know she was less anxious.
    I still wake up 2 or 3 times a night…I guess it’s a process to say goodbye to even the tasks that have been my normal for the past couple of years. Always thinking of you and praying for you both.

  11. Pamela Fisk says:

    You are always in my thought, Nancy.

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