Friday, February 10, 2012
Shhhh!! Caretaker sleeping...
It was 4:00 a.m. when I heard it the first time. It woke me up out of some much needed sleep. At first I couldn’t quite make it out. At that time in the morning, I was a little groggy. Then I heard it again --- HORSE POCKEY!!! – and I knew what it was. Riley was watching TV.
There’s no point in staying in bed. I toss on my bathroom and slip into my slippers and make my way to the coffee pot. Riley says “good morning” as I pass by his rocking chair in the den. He then informs me of the status of the animals.
“Jax is in and has been fed. Jade has been in and out and has been fed.” I’m not sure what the significance is of him telling me the whereabouts of Jax and Jade. I don’t worry about where they are or what they are doing. If they want inside, they will let me know. Much to my chagrin, Riley feeds them on demand – as well as the neighbors dogs. I worry that Jax will get fat. I’m not too worried about Jade getting fat because she runs it off as soon as she takes the food in. But, I really can’t afford to be feeding the dogs that don’t belong to us. That’s a different story.
I ignore the status report, get a cup of coffee and settle into my office. Mornings are my most productive time and I like to take advantage of that. But, it takes me a while to really wake up and be able to actually see the computer screen. I’m tired. I could have used at least another hour of sleep.
Sleep… I feel like I sleep all the time, but I never sleep “tight.” My sleep is broken into bits and pieces. I fall asleep while watching TV, which is set to turn off on a timer. But, as soon as the TV is turned off, I wake up, go to the bathroom, and try to fall back into a sound sleep. That just doesn’t happen; I wake up just about every other hour. I’m not totally awake each time. I’m awake just enough to know I should go back to sleep.
I like to watch my soaps in the afternoon. The combined programs are one and a half hours long. The problem is that I always fall asleep before they are over and I end up sleeping for about two hours. That sucks because I’m not a good napper. In fact, no one should be around me when I wake up because I am truly a bitch. It takes me another hour to get back to being human after my nap.
My ideal sleep regimen would be to fall asleep around 11 p.m. and sleep until about 6 a.m. As hard as I try to manipulate my body into that routine, my brain refuses to read the memo. I would rather not nap in the daytime, but just stay awake all day long until 11 p.m. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable and if my brain and body doesn’t start cooperating, well, I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll do something. There must be a way I can whip them into submission.
Recently it brought to my attention that my inability to sleep may not be from something internal to my body. It could be that something is waking me up that has nothing to do with my brain. So, I was thinking, Jax is in and out of my room all night. He comes in through the window and wants to be feed around 4 a.m. Maybe he is the culprit. Maybe he jumps up on my bed and disturbs me enough to make me just barely wake up. I doubt it, but it could happen.
The more likely scenario is that Riley is waking me up. He is up and down all night long. He watches TV and fixes himself something to snack on. He talks to his computer which is right across the hall from my room. The TV is the source of loud angry rantings. Even though the television is in the den and I can’t hear the program when I’m in my room, I can clearly hear him screaming at the hosts of Chopped that having a time limit on cooking something is unreasonable. Riley makes his political point of view known when he says someone campaigning – loud and clear. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks the actors, hosts, politicians or contestants can actually hear him as he sits in his rocking chair in rural North Carolina.
My room. It is my haven from insanity. I retreat there often. I even eat my dinner in there. Wait a minute!! It used to be a place for me to rest and recharge my batteries. In long ago days it was sometimes a romantic place and other times it was hot and steamy. Ahhh… those were the days. But it was never, not ever, where I would eat my dinner! Meals were only eaten in my room if I were too sick to go to the dining room or kitchen. Something has to change here.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know I always come up with a PLAN. My family will probably have engraved in my tombstone – She had a plan. My plans don’t always work out, but for my sleep situation, I have a plan.
It may take a few days to get the brain on board, but maybe by the time the weekend is over, I will be acclimated. I’m going to go back to eating in either the kitchen, dining room, office – anywhere that is NOT my bedroom. I’m not going to watch my soaps in my room. I have a wonderful hi-def television in the living room and it’s about time I started using it. Same thing goes for watching evening programs. In short, my bedroom will not be for watching television when I’m supposed to be sleeping.
Imagine that – my BEDroom will be used for sleeping, resting, recharging and/or maybe a little light reading before sleep. If my room becomes a sleeping place again, maybe I’ll get some sleep.
The door to my room will be shut and I might turn on a little “white” noise to block out the sound of Riley’s nighttime escapades. My humidifier might just do the trick. I’m supposed to be using it anyway.
Attaining any normalcy while in the midst of the insanity of caretaking an end-stage alcoholic is an extremely difficult task. Unfortunately it is a series of trial and error of different scenarios. To top it off, what works today may not work tomorrow. As Riley gets deeper into Wernicke and loses his ability to reason or the recognition of night from day, things will get more difficult. I expect that and that’s all the more reason I need to get as much rest as I can while I can.
Yes – I am more productive early in the morning, but maybe I’m more productive because I burn out earlier. I think I will still be more productive in the morning, but I’ll just me more rested and as a result thinking with a clearer mind. OMG!! I might start making sense!! Where would the fun be in that!?!?
at 7:49 AM